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Using project demand profiling to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of infrastructure projects

Janet Godsell (Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), University of Warwick, Coventry, UK)
Donato Masi (Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), University of Warwick, Coventry, UK)
Antonios Karatzas (Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK)
Timothy Mark Brady (Centre for Research in Innovation Management (CENTRIM), University of Brighton, Brighton, UK)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 24 April 2018

Issue publication date: 21 May 2018

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the applicability and utility of supply chain (SC) segmentation through demand profiling to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of infrastructure projects by identifying different types of project demand profiles.

Design/methodology/approach

A three-stage abductive research design was adopted. Stage 1 explored the applicability of SC segmentation, through demand profiling, to the portfolio of infrastructure projects in a utility company. Stage 2 was an iterative process of “theory matching”, to the portfolio, programme and project management literature. In stage 3, theoretical saturation was reached and “theory suggestions” were made through four propositions.

Findings

Four propositions outline how SC segmentation through project demand profiling could improve the effectiveness and efficiency of infrastructure projects. P1: the ability to recognise the different demand profiles of individual projects, and groups thereof, is a portfolio management necessity. P2: projects that contribute to the strategic upgrade of a capital asset should be considered a potential programme of inter-related repeatable projects whose delivery would benefit from economies of repetition. P3: the greater the ability to identify different demand profiles of individual/groups of projects, the greater the delivery efficiency. P4: economies of repetition developed through efficient delivery of programmes of repeatable projects can foster greater efficiency in the delivery of innovative projects through economies of recombination.

Originality/value

This work fills a gap in the portfolio management literature, suggesting that the initial screening, selection and prioritisation of project proposals should be expanded to recognise not only the project type, but also each project’s demand profile.

Keywords

Citation

Godsell, J., Masi, D., Karatzas, A. and Brady, T.M. (2018), "Using project demand profiling to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of infrastructure projects", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 38 No. 6, pp. 1422-1442. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-02-2017-0095

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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