توانمند سازی مدیران پرتفولیو پروژه: چگونه عملکرد مدیریت اسناد پروژه اثرات دخالت مدیریت
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|21917||2010||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Project Management, Volume 28, Issue 8, December 2010, Pages 818–831
Along with the increasing diffusion of project portfolio management a new managerial role evolves: the project portfolio manager. This new role is supposed to be pivotal in planning and controlling complex project landscapes more effectively and more efficiently, in implementing project portfolio management practices as a management innovation, and in coping with traditional conflicts between line and project managers in matrix organizations. However, by empowering project portfolio managers and giving their role more clarity and significance, the complex power balance between senior managers, line managers, and project managers also has to change. These changes are assumed to lead to new tensions between traditional key players and the new role which will reduce the overall project portfolio performance. This paper uses the new role of the project portfolio manager and its interplay with line and senior management to explain how management involvement can positively and negatively impact project portfolio success at the same time. It therefore offers practitioners an initial point for designing organizational governance structures and job descriptions to increase the portfolio management performance while implementing or reconfiguring the formal role definition of involved managers. For scholars this article paves the way for an empirical study on the impact of power re-distribution in project (portfolio) management.
With a strongly increasing share of companies' spending for project-organized undertakings, the generally expected advantage in controllability for single projects comes along with a loss of transparency and hence effectiveness of the overall project landscape (Elonen and Artto, 2003). Thus, a structured and proactive management of the project landscape gets increasingly important. Good project portfolio management (PPM) is becoming a key competence for companies handling numerous projects simultaneously (Killen et al., 2008 and Martinsuo and Lehtonen, 2007). A project portfolio is seen as a group of projects that compete for scarce resources and are conducted under the sponsorship or management of a particular organization (Archer and Ghasemzadeh, 1999 and Dye and Pennypacker, 2002). Existing approaches focus on describing what project portfolio management comprises, or should comprise. They address the processes, tasks, tools and instruments of PPM. This is of course a necessary clarification, but is by far not sufficient. Without analyzing who is responsible for the newly arising issues and how the key actors should cooperate and cope with their tensions, project portfolio management can neither be understood nor be implemented successfully. The present article focuses on the roles that are employed in project portfolio management. In doing so, it focuses on the new role of the project portfolio manager and how this new role changes existing ones, and how the new actor cooperates with the traditional roles. This leads to the following research questions: How does the new role of the project portfolio manager have to look like? With whom do portfolio managers have to collaborate? And how should the interplay between these participating management roles look like for a most effective and efficient portfolio management? As promising and as necessary these new developments are, they will not remain without tensions between the actors (Arvidsson, 2009). A similar situation presented itself decades ago, when the gaining importance of the project manager led to new role conflicts in organizations. At that time, there was a mismatch between a project manager's (high) accountability and his (low) authority. But instead of just claiming for more influence and power for the project leader, one must rather analyze how this might affect the other management roles towards a sustainable increase of the overall management system performance. Hence, only if the overall system performance benefits from it, is it also worth to empower the project portfolio manager. I therefore see the role of the project portfolio manager in the interplay with its associated management roles and the aim of this study will be to think this scenario through to its logical conclusions. Thus, I aim for theory-based propositions to explain the impact of the interplay among the most important management roles in project portfolio management on the overall management system success. In the following second section I conceptualize a success framework that is capable to capture project portfolio management performance as a whole. In contrast to earlier studies it uses a system of well-specified success criteria that are related to each other in a causal chain relationship. Ideally, the measures should therefore be taken at different points in time. I conceptualize the overall system success as consisting of the three dimensions: process effectiveness, portfolio success and portfolio-related corporate success. I further conceptually separate managerial tasks (What to do?) from the characteristics of the involved management roles (Who is doing it?) ( Ritter and Gemuenden, 2003). This allows me to analyze the change of the distribution of influence and the appearance of role conflicts within the portfolio management system more precisely. In the third section I introduce a process-based understanding of project portfolio managerial tasks (What to do?) with four phases, which consist of those tasks that are related to portfolio structuring, resource management, portfolio steering, and organizational learning and portfolio exploitation ( Blichfeldt and Eskerod, 2008a). These tasks are seen as directly value-creating and I hence argue that the portfolio management system success will be positively influenced by the extent to which these project portfolio management tasks are executed in an organization ( Blomquist and Müller, 2006). This derived scheme will be used as the basis for the job specifications of the project portfolio management associated management roles. This becomes necessary as the implementation of the portfolio manager alone might be insufficient if it is not specified which particular managerial tasks the implementation aims for. The model furthermore provides a basis for clarity regarding the portfolio manager's work specifications, as there is still much diversity in terms of central coordination units for projects such as PMOs ( Aubry et al., 2007, Aubry et al., 2008 and Aubry et al., 2009). In the fourth section, derived from role theory ( Biddle, 1986, Guirguis and Chewning, 2005 and Noble and Mokwa, 1999), I use the attributes role significance and role clarity for the project portfolio manager's role to make assumptions about their impact on the extent of task execution and success (Who is doing it?). The characteristics of a role will influence which tasks are executed and to which extent and quality these tasks will be performed. Thus, there will be a direct effect of the portfolio manager's role on task execution and therefore an indirect effect on performance. But as the portfolio manager's role should rather be considered in its management system context than isolatedly, in the fifth section I widen the perspective to include those management roles that I assume to have the greatest potential of being changed, causing conflicts, and influencing the management system: senior management and line management (Who else is doing it?). Furthermore, as their kind of involvement is fundamental for system success and to demonstrate their impact on the system, in section six I additionally define management involvement by three different types of activities: empowerment, intervention, and encouragement. Following upper echelons research ( Carpenter et al., 2004 and Gallén, 2009), I argue that senior management involvement in general can have positive and negative influence simultaneously (value-creating and value-destroying events). On the one hand, a strong, highly empowered portfolio manager is assumed to have positive influence on the extent of task execution. On the other hand, in critical situations, for example, ‘power promotors’ ( Gemünden, 1985, Hauschildt and Kirchmann, 2001, Rost et al., 2007 and Witte, 1977) can be helpful, but senior managers also tend to delay or prevent the abortion of a project they have initiated or strongly supported, even if there are clear indications that a continuation of the project induces more damage than value creation ( Bonner et al., 2002, Ernst, 2002 and Markham, 2000). Following this and derived from perceived procedural justice theory ( Kang, 2007, Li et al., 2007 and Zapata-Phelan et al., 2009), I assume that when managers bypass established rules and processes, this will lead to distrust and poor cooperation. These undesired relationship-based role conflicts ( Jehn, 1997 and Jehn and Mannix, 2001) are of a long-term nature and blamed for inflicting negative impact that is stronger and of higher longevity than the positive short-term effects from the spontaneous intervention. I separately conceptualize encouragement by top management also as a kind of management involvement to demonstrate and underline its importance for the system. The overall underlying framework of this article is depicted in Fig. 1. Despite a number of direct effects demonstrated in empirical research (Belout and Gauvreau, 2004, Bonner et al., 2002, Swink, 2000 and Swink, 2003), I assume the explanatory power of the model being maximized by conceptualizing indirect and moderating effects of management's role definitions and their involvement on the portfolio management system success, which will be derived in the following sections.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The key question I address in this study is how the interplay between portfolio managers and the associated line and senior managers in project portfolio management impact the overall system success. Undoubtedly, success is influenced by these three management roles, but depending on their kind of involvement, they are proposed to have either a positive or negative impact. The negative impacts are theoretically based on the unintentional enhancement of undesired relationship-based conflicts. But a strong project portfolio manager is positively related to success as well. Thus, not getting involved might also be a bad strategy, because inactivity in terms of being not supportive is also another kind of involvement that will not remain without effect. Instead, it is decisive to balance the portfolio manager's empowerment and the necessity of interventions into the process, which in turn comes at the expense of the project portfolio manager's authority. Conflicts of interests and lacking cooperation among the involved management roles are thereby seen as symptoms of a wrong management involvement (Laslo and Goldberg, 2008), which additionally is supposed to be contextual dependent. The direction and strength of influence depends on (1) the role that is involved, on (2) how the concrete involvement looks like, and on (3) the success perspective that is addressed (Richard et al., 2009). Regarding this underlying question, this study makes three major conceptual contributions to the understanding of the project portfolio management system and its management role's interplay. First, by splitting up management involvement into its three disjunctive kinds: empowerment, intervention and encouragement, it provides a more precise understanding of the impact of management involvement in general and specifically provides a reason for the manifold contrary results of senior management support provided by earlier studies, even beyond project portfolio management literature. Second, I consider the managerial tasks of portfolio management as a whole conceptualized by a four phased process-based framework for the multifaceted formal tasks of portfolio structuring, resource management, portfolio steering, and related organizational learning. Hence, this study closes a current research gap in terms of the definition of work specifications for the project portfolio management actors. Third, this study contributes to the literature on project portfolio management by explicitly considering the temporal perspective of success criteria and conceptualizing a dynamic multidimensional model for project portfolio management system success, based on research on teams that introduce ‘process criteria of effectiveness’ ( Hackman, 1987, Hoegl and Gemünden, 2001 and Hoegl et al., 2004). I therefore distinguish between the process effectiveness, portfolio success, and portfolio-related corporate success, which will be consecutively affected by changes made in the project portfolio management system. Summing up, scholars can use this conceptual model in future studies to empirically test performance effects of management involvement; first, with a more differentiated consideration of the discriminative effects of empowerment, intervention and encouragement, second by considering the managerial tasks of portfolio management as one whole process and, third, with a more holistic consideration of undesired side-effects by using dedicated control variables when testing the influence of management involvement on different success dimensions. Regarding project portfolio management in practice, the main contribution is to make aware of the neutralizing effects by mixing different kinds of management involvement such as micro and macro involvement. Hence, one guiding principle for senior managers is not only to define reasonable, transparent rules and processes, but also to commit themselves to these rules. Decision makers have to take full responsibility for prioritizations and decisions made. It is furthermore essential how decision makers manage to relate decisions to corporate strategy and make their decisions credible and comprehensible to the line managers ( Christiansen and Varnes, 2008). Assuming confirmed propositions on management involvement, for better PPM performance both top management and line management should empower and must not intervene in the project portfolio manager's work on a micro management level. This study finally offers practitioners a starting point for rethinking organizational structure and job descriptions to increase the management performance while implementing or reconfiguring the formal role definition of involved managers. This study has some limitations that need to be considered when interpreting this concept. First, using the three roles of top management, line management and project portfolio manager to represent the key players in project portfolio management means to necessarily neglect several other roles that are also part of the management system. First and foremost, it is the project manager, whose role remains unattended due to complexity reasons although literature indicates that senior management interventions can strongly affect the project manager autonomy as well (Anthony and McKay, 1992). Second, conflicts might be stronger and might arise more often in a traditional matrix environment. Even though the majority of industrial organizations might be in a matrix structure organization, the conflict potential is presumably determined by the degree of projectification of the firm (Arvidsson, 2009). Conflicts appear due to the change from a ‘line supported by projects’ towards a ‘projects supported by line’ organization, which can be seen as management innovation. To overcome those barriers I suggest using literature on promotors in innovation management research as one starting point for further analysis (Gemünden, 1985, Hauschildt and Kirchmann, 2001, Rost et al., 2007 and Witte, 1977). Furthermore, the strength of the impact might also vary for different types of portfolios or regarding the degree of complexity (Verma and Sinha, 2002). Hence, future analysis should take contextual factors, such as industries, type of portfolio, and the organizations project portfolio management maturity into a more detailed consideration. This study further does not address conflicts of goals as a possible source of the sensible balance among the actors of PPM. Although the overall objectives might be shared among the three roles discussed, imbalance might also be the result of goal discrepancy, missing goal clarity or less well shared goals among the participating roles, which could explain the kind of involvement chosen in different situations. Additionally, there is a plurality of management roles that make the system infinitely more complex and should be taken into consideration when interpreting the concept. Each role can be embraced by many managers and each manager can embrace many roles at the same time. The addressed clarity is the most promising role attribute to reduce this complexity, but obviously clarity means not singularity and the organizational performance may increase by the plurality of a certain role as well. Finally, the discussion about portfolio management competencies is limited in this study. Beyond the role of the portfolio manager, especially the PPM competencies that are required by the other players in the management system have to be brought into the focus of future studies. Effective encouragement, for example, requires certain knowledge and competencies about PPM on the part of senior management. Thus, the impact of task execution and management involvement on performance might be moderated by the (different) skills possessed by the actors. Then, it might not only be the extent of task execution and the management involvement, but the quality of managers involved that gives their activities a different impact. Hence, enhancing my conceptual framework by including the construct of competencies might be interesting for future studies. Altogether, the conceptual model theoretically derived in this study advances the understanding of project portfolio management from a management role point of view, which implies several changes in power distribution within the system which do not remain without conflict potential. It might pave the way for future research in this field, although the challenging issue for a quantitative study might lay in implying a longitudinal design for analysis with multiple informants that is required to assess the influence of management involvement in the model proposed.