ادغام افکار و مدیریت پرتفولیو پروژه - یک عامل کلیدی برای موفقیت پایدار
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|21980||2012||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||10370 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Project Management, Volume 30, Issue 5, July 2012, Pages 582–595
Effective management of single projects is no longer sufficient. In today's business market, proactive management of the whole project portfolio has become increasingly important for achieving long-term success and competitive advantage. At the front end of projects, opportunities are discovered, ideas are created, and the foundation for later project, portfolio, and, eventually, corporate success is laid. This paper contributes to the project management body of knowledge by combining the front end view on projects with the holistic view of managing project portfolio landscapes. It focuses on establishing a framework for conceptualization of the relationship between ideation and project portfolio management in product development environment by relating ideation portfolio management, front end success, and project portfolio success, and lays the groundwork for further empirical research. The overarching topic I address is the conceptualization of how ideation can facilitate and sustainably improve portfolio success in the product development environment in the long-term.
The share of activities and budgets in project-organized undertakings has significantly increased over the last several years. As a result of this development, the project landscape of companies has become increasingly complex. A consequence of this increasing complexity is that it is no longer sufficient to manage single projects effectively and efficiently to be successful (Dammer and Gemünden, 2006, Dammer et al., 2006 and Elonen and Artto, 2003). Hence, a proactive and structured management of the project landscape as a whole that takes a holistic view of the multitude of projects becomes a major topic for companies striving for a competitive advantage (Dammer, 2008 and Patanakul and Milosevic, 2009). However, sustainable success is more likely to be achieved if portfolio opportunities are recognized and then actively managed and exploited. Potential current and future gaps in the portfolio must be identified early on. Given that portfolio development and eventually corporate success are influenced by various factors, one of the major sources for success is a company's innovation competence. Thus, it is not surprising that an analysis of the Boston Consulting Group reveals that 72% of their interviewed companies considered innovation to be one of the top three priorities (Andrew et al., 2010). A major lever to trigger innovation and opportunities lies within the front end of a company's project portfolios (Khurana and Rosenthal, 1998, Reinertsen, 1999 and Zhang and Doll, 2001). Nevertheless, the majority of contributions examining the “fuzzy front end” – a term that was introduced in the innovation management literature 25 years ago by Reinertsen (1985) and that was made popular by Smith and Reinertsen's work (1991) – still posit that this is a single project management task and not a project portfolio management challenge. Thus, the proponents of fuzzy front end typically argue that innovation projects should comprise the earlier stages, that the early stages should be executed much more intensively, that technology- and market-related homework should be conducted with great care, and that the approaches should be professional and of high-quality. This is because in these early stages not only are the target costs of new products defined, but the benefits and the total cost of usage that future users of a new product have to bear are also defined ( Cooper and Edgett, 2008 and Zhang and Doll, 2001). However, the proponents ignore that there are thousands of interesting ideas that may lead to hundreds of very interesting concepts that can be further developed into many project proposals. Only a very small fraction of these ideas, concepts, and project proposals can and should be selected, because resources are limited and choices have to be made. It makes sense to invest more money, time, and intelligence into the earlier stages of innovation projects ( Reid and de Brentani, 2004 and Verworn et al., 2008), but this cannot be done for each and every innovative venture. Therefore, not only the execution stages of new products and service innovations but also the early and evolutionary stages, where new opportunities are discovered and new options are developed, require a professional portfolio management system. The decisions as to which ideas should be further developed into concepts and then into project proposals and which of these proposals should then become projects should be decided from a project portfolio management perspective. I call this type of portfolio management ideation portfolio management. The task of ideation portfolio management is to feed the subsequent project portfolio management with a sufficient flow of project proposals that generate high value and that support the implementation of developed strategic goals, which includes the support of desired changes in strategic goals that appear to be implementable within the targeted time and with accepted risk. Attracting, selecting, and developing ideas into project candidates are important management tasks that suffer from several misunderstandings. For example, contributions from engineering management often state that the target cost of a new product is defined in the early stages, but the high budgets are spent in the later stages. Furthermore, senior management, often with a background in business administration, does not become involved until it is often too difficult and very costly to change design decisions (Creese and Moore, 1990, Herstatt and Verworn, 2003, Specht et al., 2002 and Wheelwright and Clark, 1992). This claim is further supported by marketing researchers such as Robert Cooper, Elko Kleinschmidt and co-authors who repeatedly found that market-related research must be conducted at an early stage to define target groups and critical needs of key customers in this target group (Cooper and Edgett, 2003, Cooper and Kleinschmidt, 1993 and Cooper et al., 2004b). This is necessary to define real product advantages that cannot be imitated easily and to elaborate and validate such unique selling propositions throughout the product development process. Again, if the early fundamentals of this proposition are weak and if they are not challenged to detect errors early, then high investments in advertising and sales will also fail and brand values will suffer. Empirical findings indicate that senior management involvement does start earlier than suggested in the literature and that in successful firms, it is much greater during early stages than it is in low-performing firms (Dammer, 2008, de Brentani and Kleinschmidt, 2004 and Unger et al., in press). Senior management, however, cannot and should not get involved in too many single projects as it has a limited management capacity. Moreover, there is a danger in senior management supporting “pet projects” that may potentially prevent or delay termination of problematic projects (Balachandra, 1984, Bonner et al., 2002, Cooper, 2008 and Ernst, 2002). Professional portfolio management allows senior management to obtain more transparency about the landscape of ideas, concepts, and project proposals as well as to assess the value of the pipeline (Jonas, 2010). Thus, professional ideation portfolio management is a good means of bringing innovation management back to the boardroom and fostering the exchange between experts and hierarchical power holders. A systematic portfolio management approach is also needed for the ideation and concept definition stage, which ensures that appropriate ideas and concepts are selected and supported. If performed properly, support should be much higher, leading to better funding of valuable ideas, concepts, and project proposals. Finally, if the ideation portfolio is well integrated with the project portfolio management, projects can, thus, be implemented much faster. However, integrated workflows and processes between these two worlds at the front end, on one side, and project portfolio management (PPM), on the other, are, for the most part, absent (Khurana and Rosenthal, 1997). For practitioners and academia alike, it is important to know how one can apply the ideation vacuum cleaner to suck and pull the relevant ideas into the project portfolios (Terwiesch and Ulrich, 2008). Consequently, this paper takes a new approach on investigating project portfolios and focuses on the integration of ideation at the front end into PPM and develops a conceptual framework for analyzing the impact of ideation portfolio management on project portfolio success. The overarching question that I want to address with this paper is how ideation and, thus, ideation portfolio management can facilitate and sustainably improve portfolio success in the product development environment in the long run. There are three aspects to this question: (1) What is ideation portfolio management (IPM)? a. What are the dimensions of IPM and by which constructs can it be described? b. How can success of IPM (i.e., front end success) be conceptualized? (2) How can we conceptualize the influence of the configuration and design of IPM on PPM? (3) How do the IPM constructs effect PPM metrics and respectively project portfolio success? The motivation for the first research question is quite simple. As previously mentioned, scholars examine ideation through a single project lens rather than from a portfolio vantage point (Dammer, 2008, Ernst, 2002 and Gerwin and Barrowman, 2002). That is, authors investigate the front end and its processes in general (Kim and Wilemon, 2002, Koen et al., 2001, Langerak et al., 2004, Moenaert et al., 1994, Montoya-Weiss and O'Driscoll, 2000, Reid and de Brentani, 2004, Schulze and Hoegl, 2008 and Verworn et al., 2008) or they assess the factors in the early phases that make a project or a product a success (Poskela, 2009) and then establish processes to repeat this success for other projects or developments (Cooper, 2008). However, to cope with the multitude of ideas and concepts at the front end in a portfolio manner, it is necessary to understand the dimensions that constitute the ideation setting and, therefore, ideation portfolio management as well as to understand how these ideas and concepts could be conceptualized. Moreover, a connection between ideation and the front end with PPM is rarely in the scope of research contributions in academic literature, albeit the potential that such a connection may hold for future company success. Khurana and Rosenthal (1997) posit that there often is a discontinuity between front end processes and portfolio management. Thus, my second research question addresses this point by conceptualizing the influence of IPM design on PPM. Finally, my third research question addresses whether IPM can actually foster and improve project portfolio success. Such a question has neither been asked yet nor answered, but it is the logical consequence of the previous two research questions. In posting these research questions, I follow Schulze and Hoegl's call for more attention of the academia to the “under-researched field” (Schulze and Hoegl, 2008, p. 1743) of the pre-project phase of ideation. This call is in line with Kahn et al. (2003) who still see the front end as an important issue in future research on product development management. To answer my research questions, I use the following approach in this paper: On the basis of a literature study, I develop a framework for conceptualizing the relationship between ideation portfolio management and the fruits of PPM: project portfolio success. I suggest project portfolio success as a dependent construct and ideation portfolio management as its antecedent. Front end success serves as a mediator between these two. The constructs of this conceptual framework will be described in greater depth in the subsequent chapters. A preliminary validation of this framework has been conducted by an interview series with practitioners from various industries. Finally, I discuss the conceptual implications of this framework and how they may pave the way for further research into this field. This article aims at adding new findings to close the identified gap in recent scientific research. Here, ideation and the front end of projects are assessed from a portfolio management perspective. This innovative concept ensures a consequent and thorough recognition and exploitation of opportunities at the front end aimed at fostering project portfolio success.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Project portfolio management and ideation are not new research fields. Nevertheless, the majority of contributions that consider the front end still perceive it as a single project management task rather than a project portfolio management challenge. Only a small fraction of the thousands of interesting ideas, concepts, and project proposals of a company can and should be selected, since resources are limited and choices have to be made. It is wise to invest more money, time, and intelligence in the earlier stages of innovation projects ( Reid and de Brentani, 2004 and Verworn et al., 2008), but this cannot be implemented for every innovative venture. Therefore, not only the execution stages of new products and service innovations but also the early and evolutionary stages, where new opportunities are discovered and new options are developed, require a professional portfolio management system. I call this the ideation portfolio management. We face a discontinuity between ideation and project portfolio management as there is a lack of integration between these two phases ( Khurana and Rosenthal, 1997). With this paper, I contribute to the existing body of project management literature by investigating and conceptualizing the linkage between these two concepts in the project portfolio environment. This paper focuses on the meaning that ideation has for project portfolio management. This focus is accomplished by integrating, for the first time, the two streams of research in the literature: ideation and project portfolio management. Many scholars focus on resources and their allocation when analyzing project portfolio management issues and project portfolio success (Cooper et al., 1999, Engwall and Jerbrant, 2003 and Payne, 1995). However, the integration of new ideas into the project portfolio seems to be underexposed (Khurana and Rosenthal, 1997 and Khurana and Rosenthal, 1998). This, in turn, means that we must place more emphasis on the early phases of the front end of projects and their integration into project portfolio management. The contribution of this paper aims at integrating the loose ends into a testable framework and identifying the relevant adjustment levers. For academia, this conceptual paper paves the way for further structured research on this topic. Following the call for further research in this field by Kahn et al. (2003) and Schulze and Hoegl (2008), this paper and the herein developed conceptual framework can be considered a basis for further quantitative and quantitative studies. I have identified first constructs, validated the framework in a preliminarily practice check by a series of interviews with practitioners from various industries, and posited various propositions. These should be tested empirically in a next step. Because of the conceptualization the framework allows for a dual informant design of a large scale quantitative questionnaire-based empirical study among companies who engage in product development PPM. Questions on portfolio success can be addressed by respondents from top management and decision makers in hierarchies, as these persons more likely have a balanced and knowledgeable view of front end and portfolio performance (Poskela and Martinsuo, 2009). Project portfolio coordinators, on the other hand, could serve as respondents for the more operative questions on ideation portfolio management as they are closer to the more operative levels in the company. Moreover, the two dimensions, stakeholder management and ideation culture, could well be addressed in a qualitative interview study focusing on the ideation phase. Thus, this paper can add significant knowledge for building a holistic academic view on PPM. Furthermore, this study addresses Söderlund's (2004) call for extended research in the field of portfolio management to better understand modern firms. For practitioners, the implications of this paper are also interesting. It underlines the need for managers of project portfolios to pay attention to the front end. It may be beneficial for portfolio managers to adopt a holistic view and include the front end activities in their managerial consideration. Managers should examine the ideation phase through a portfolio lens and introduce ideation portfolio management. This paper suggests the areas on which to focus on in the front end: the strategic setting of ideation, the formalization and institutionalization of the ideation process, integration mechanisms, stakeholder management, and ideation culture. Nevertheless, there are limitations to this paper that have to be considered. Although I develop a set of constructs within the conceptual framework presented here, a conceptual approach, by its very nature, cannot prove significant effects. While I conducted practice verification by interviewing practitioners of various industries to validate face validity and the relevance of constructs, a confirmation of the significance of the effects must be conducted by a separate empirical study. However, this study can well be based on the constructs developed herein. Furthermore, this study was not targeted at scale development. Its goal was to contribute a framework and constructs for the assessment of effects of ideation portfolio management on project portfolio success. Actual scales must be developed within the scope of a separate study. These limitations, however, are a good starting point for further research. To address Montoya-Weiss and Calantone's (1994) call for more longitudinal research in this field, this study could serve as the starting point of a recurring longitudinal research endeavor.