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Article
Publication date: 6 August 2018

Eduardo K. Yamakawa, Thayla T. Sousa-Zomer, Paulo A. Cauchick-Miguel and Catherine P. Killen

Project portfolio management (PPM) has been recognized as critical for the productivity of research and development (R&D) investments, but empirical research on PPM use…

Abstract

Purpose

Project portfolio management (PPM) has been recognized as critical for the productivity of research and development (R&D) investments, but empirical research on PPM use and outcomes in non-commercial R&D environments is limited. The purpose of this paper is to investigate PPM processes and outcomes in a unique R&D context within Brazilian electric power utilities.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory best practice survey was used to collect data on PPM processes, methods and performance results in the power sector. Analysis of the data employs descriptive statistics and comparative analysis in the light of the literature.

Findings

The findings emphasize the importance of strategic value and the need for PPM to be customized for the specific context. The results also demonstrate the importance of adopting selection criteria and measures in accordance with the organizations strategic goals.

Practical implications

The findings may help organizations better understand how PPM can be tailored for the environment. PPM managers in utilities and other non-commercial R&D environments may find guidance in tailoring and improving their PPM approaches.

Originality/value

The contributions of this paper are twofold. First, it provides empirical findings to support PPM concepts on strategic alignment and the importance of context by demonstrating how PPM works to deliver strategy in a unique environment. Second, it contributes to the management of R&D projects and portfolios in power utilities, providing an example and analysis that may offer guidance. The contributions from this study may also offer insights that are valuable for R&D management in other utilities, or for R&D management in general.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 September 2017

Catherine P. Killen

The purpose of this paper is to improve decision quality, and therefore project and portfolio success, by testing the influence of different visual representations of…

1171

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to improve decision quality, and therefore project and portfolio success, by testing the influence of different visual representations of interdependency data in a simulated decision experiment. A network mapping approach to visualize project interdependencies is introduced and compared with matrix and tabular displays.

Design/methodology/approach

A simulated decision task in a controlled classroom setting tested five hypotheses though a sample of 480 experiments.

Findings

The type of data representation used is associated with differing levels of decision quality, and the use of network mapping displays is aligned with the best results.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are limited as this experiment-based study presented a simplified decision scenario and involved students rather than practicing managers. The findings are best interpreted in combination with organization-based research.

Practical implications

The findings of this study suggest that visual data displays, particularly network mapping displays, can provide benefits and improve project portfolio decision quality. Managers may draw upon this study to design ways to include visual data representations in their project portfolio management decision processes.

Originality/value

This study uses experimentation to complement organization-based studies to better understand the influence of different methods of visualizing data and managing interdependencies between projects. This research provides an important contribution to meet the acknowledged need for better tools to understand and manage project interdependencies.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 May 2021

Bronte van der Hoorn and Catherine P. Killen

To prepare project managers for the human aspects of project work using a new classroom-based approach to foster abilities in collective sensemaking.

Abstract

Purpose

To prepare project managers for the human aspects of project work using a new classroom-based approach to foster abilities in collective sensemaking.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors developed an approach for fostering collective sensemaking abilities through three class sessions inspired by Merrill's First Principles of Instruction. The authors implemented the sessions in two cohorts of students, with a total of 57 participants, and evaluated its impact through a series of surveys.

Findings

Findings demonstrated how each component of the educational approach contributed to an increase in students' sensemaking understanding and ability. Through explanation, demonstration and application components, students reported increasing levels of confidence in their ability to facilitate collective sensemaking in practice.

Research limitations/implications

The authors’ findings are based on a sample of 57 students in one university setting. Further studies are required to evaluate the educational approach; such studies could use larger numbers of students or other education settings. Triangulating students' reported understanding and abilities would increase confidence in the effectiveness of this approach.

Practical implications

By explaining the authors’ approach to sensemaking education and providing initial evidence of its success, they provide educators with an example of how to foster collective sensemaking through classroom-based project management education. The approach has potential for teaching other interpersonal skills.

Originality/value

This research provides a novel classroom-based approach to foster sensemaking awareness and skills, and for dispersing contemporary project management thinking and tools to practitioners.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 14 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 December 2018

Miia Maarit Martinsuo, Lauri Vuorinen and Catherine Killen

Infrastructure projects are expected to deliver value to their stakeholders long after completion. Project value is multi-dimensional and subjective and evolves over the…

Abstract

Purpose

Infrastructure projects are expected to deliver value to their stakeholders long after completion. Project value is multi-dimensional and subjective and evolves over the project lifecycle. How stakeholders frame the expected value is central to the public debate about proposed infrastructure projects and influences the financing decisions; however, this framing is inadequately understood. The purpose of this paper is to develop new knowledge for shaping infrastructure projects by identifying the ways in which stakeholders frame project value at the project front end.

Design/methodology/approach

Three transport infrastructure projects are compared in a qualitative, document-based study. The authors map the dimensions of value at the project front end and identify stakeholders’ approaches to lifecycle-oriented framing of value.

Findings

Financial, social and comparative values are dominant in the project front end. The authors frame value into positive and negative dimensions and identify four themes in the lifecycle-oriented framing of value, including uncertainties, timing of cost and benefit realization, project relations and external sponsorship.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited through the focus on transport infrastructure projects and project front end only, the selection of cases from a single country and the use of document-based data. The systematic analysis approach has yielded novel analytical frameworks that will be useful for further research.

Practical implications

This study identifies value dimensions that are specific to transport infrastructure projects and proposes a framework to assist stakeholders and project managers to better assess and negotiate value when designing their projects.

Originality/value

Regional and comparative values are revealed as novel aspects of value specific to infrastructure projects. The alternative lifecycle-oriented frames offer a new way to understand and structure the co-creation of value and shape negotiation for investment decisions in the project. A portfolio perspective to investment decision making is proposed.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 November 2018

Markus Laursen and Catherine P. Killen

The purpose of this paper is to holistically explore value creation approaches in a program of cultural projects to inform the practices of project/program management in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to holistically explore value creation approaches in a program of cultural projects to inform the practices of project/program management in both public and private sectors.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper brings together the literature on project, program and portfolio value creation to inform a case study conducted with engaged scholarship research methods.

Findings

Three themes of value creation are revealed: managing collaboration, coordination and perception. Effectuation and causation are both observed, demonstrating that a combination of logics underpin decision making in projects.

Research limitations/implications

The results are based on a single case in a cultural context. Further research is needed to determine whether the observed value creation themes apply more generally, and to explore more deeply the use of logics associated with entrepreneurship in project decision making.

Practical implications

The study reveals several non-commercial aspects of value creation that may play a role across a range of project environments. Practitioners may be able to recognize a wider range of value creation and to better nurture these previously unacknowledged types of value.

Originality/value

The study provides new insights on value and decision logic through in-depth analysis of value creation in a program of culture projects.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 January 2008

Catherine P. Killen, Robert A. Hunt and Elko J. Kleinschmidt

The purpose of this paper is to create a benchmark and identify best practices for Project Portfolio Management (PPM) for both tangible product‐based and service…

8544

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to create a benchmark and identify best practices for Project Portfolio Management (PPM) for both tangible product‐based and service product‐based development project portfolios.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was developed to gather data to compare the PPM methods used, PPM performance, PPM challenges, and resulting new product success measures in 60 Australian organisations in a diverse range of service and manufacturing industries.

Findings

The paper finds that PPM practices are shown to be very similar for service product development project portfolios and tangible product development project portfolios. New product success rates show strong correlation with measures of PPM performance and the use of some PPM methods is correlated with specific PPM performance outcomes.

Research limitations/implications

The findings in this paper are based on a survey of a diverse sample of 60 Australian organisations. The results are strengthened by comparisons with similar North American research; however, they may not be representative of all environments. Research in other regions would further qualify the findings. As each organisation's PPM process is unique, case study methods are recommended for future studies to capture more of the complexity in the environment.

Practical implications

The paper shows that PPM practitioners and executives who make decisions about the development of tangible products and/or service products will benefit from the findings.

Originality/value

This paper extends the existing understanding of PPM practices to include service development project portfolios as well as tangible product development project portfolios and strengthens the links between PPM practices and outcomes.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 2005

Catherine P. Killen, Mike Walker and Robert A. Hunt

This paper outlines the use of quality function deployment (QFD) for strategic planning. QFD provides a comprehensive process for defining the issues facing an…

8537

Abstract

Purpose

This paper outlines the use of quality function deployment (QFD) for strategic planning. QFD provides a comprehensive process for defining the issues facing an organisation in terms of customer and stakeholder outcomes, natural segments and key strategic opportunities.

Design/methodology/approach

An explanation and overview of the two core stages of strategic planning using QFD are followed by three case examples.

Findings

Strategic QFD avoids complex matrix analysis and instead moves directly to concept generation and evaluation. One of the main benefits of strategic QFD is the level of commitment and support for the resulting strategy throughout the organisation. This paper also shows how strategic QFD can be used to identify and optimise internal capabilities and to find and address specific customer opportunities.

Practical implications

Strategic planners will find that QFD‐based philosophy and methods are useful tools for the creation of a customer‐driven strategy.

Originality/value

This paper provides insight for practitioners and academics into how strategic QFD systematically translates vision into action, targeting opportunities and creating innovative strategies that are stable even in fast‐changing environments.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 January 2010

Catherine P. Killen and Robert A. Hunt

The purpose of this paper is to summarise a recent doctoral thesis on the relationship between project portfolio management (PPM) and competitive advantage in service and…

2551

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to summarise a recent doctoral thesis on the relationship between project portfolio management (PPM) and competitive advantage in service and manufacturing organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

This two‐phase mixed method study comprises a quantitative questionnaire‐based survey and a qualitative multiple‐case study to address the “what” and the “how” of the research questions.

Findings

This paper adopts a “dynamic capabilities” perspective, drawing on organisational learning theory to explain the path‐dependent nature of PPM capability development and how PPM capabilities work with the resource base to enhance competitive advantage. Findings support prior PPM studies and suggest a positive relationship between structured PPM capabilities and improved outcomes. The research compares service and manufacturing environments; future challenges are likely to result from the increasing blurring of the boundaries between service and manufacturing industries.

Practical implications

The research has four main practical outcomes: development of a model representing the overall PPM capability; a benchmark for and guidance on specific PPM processes and methods; guidance on the types of organisational learning investments that enhance the establishment and evolution of PPM capabilities; and the initial development of an outcomes and learning‐based maturity model for PPM capabilities.

Originality/value

This paper produces the first benchmark of innovation PPM capabilities in Australia, and is the first to include service product‐focused portfolios. It is the first study that identifies PPM capabilities as dynamic capability, allowing existing research to be viewed through the dynamic capability lens and, more importantly, providing a theoretical underpinning that may influence future research and practice.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 11 January 2008

Robert A. Hunt and Catherine P. Killen

2800

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Article
Publication date: 18 January 2013

Catherine P. Killen and Robert A. Hunt

The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding of project portfolio management (PPM) capability evolution, in order to guide the implementation and ongoing…

3651

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding of project portfolio management (PPM) capability evolution, in order to guide the implementation and ongoing development of robust capabilities.

Design/methodology/approach

This research adopts a dynamic capabilities perspective and draws on organizational learning theory to investigate the path‐dependent nature of PPM implementation and development. It employs a multiple‐case study of six organizations.

Findings

Each of the case organizations reported a high level of evolution and change within their PPM capabilities, both purposeful and unintended. Potential “fragilities” are identified, such as the emergence of a “success trap” that inhibits explorative innovation and difficulties in stopping poor projects to reallocate resources. Based on findings from the literature and the multiple‐case study, a capability maturity model is proposed to assist in the development of robust PPM capabilities that will continue to evolve and stay relevant in dynamic environments.

Research limitations/implications

The research is based on six organizations and may not be representative of all environments. The proposed maturity model has only been used in initial trials to evaluate capability maturity, and its use in guiding capability development has not been studied. Further research is required to test and evolve the maturity model.

Practical implications

The maturity model will be of interest to managers as a tool to analyze PPM maturity and identify areas for further development or to guide new PPM implementations.

Originality/value

The proposed maturity model extends existing maturity models by incorporating organizational learning capabilities, by recognizing antecedents for maturity stages that build upon other capabilities, and by including steps to recognize and avoid potential “fragilities” and to ensure robust PPM performance over time.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

1 – 10 of 31