ارزیابی تجسم های وابستگی پروژه از طریق تصمیم گیری آزمایش سناریو
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|22045||2013||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9705 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Project Management, Volume 31, Issue 6, August 2013, Pages 804–816
The interdependence between projects in complex portfolios sharpens the challenge of project portfolio decision making. Methods that assist with the evaluation of data can address decision challenges such as information overload and time pressure. A decision simulation in a controlled experiment explored the use of visual representations of project interdependency data to support project portfolio decision making. Dependency matrices and network mapping were compared with non-graphical lists of dependency data. The findings show that the type of tool used may influence the quality of the resulting decision. Using visual tools, particularly network mapping displays, is correlated with the best results. The research provides a practical example of experimentation in project and portfolio management research and illustrates how such studies can complement organization-based research. Findings of interest to management include the importance of ensuring adequate time for decision processes and the potential benefits from using visual representations of project interdependence.
Project portfolio management (PPM) is of growing importance in an increasingly complex project landscape (Cicmil et al., 2006, Jonas, 2010 and Levine, 2005). By managing projects from a portfolio level and evaluating all projects and their interrelationships, PPM aims to improve the performance of the project portfolio as a whole. Project portfolio decisions require managers to analyze a variety of information in limited time. These portfolio-level decisions affect the success of the portfolio by ensuring resource adequacy, dynamic agility, and strategic alignment using a portfolio-level rather than a project-level perspective (Floricel and Ibanescu, 2008 and Petit, 2011). PPM processes are designed to assist such decision making by providing a holistic view of the project portfolio, ensuring that data are available and offering tools and methods to collate and analyze project data (Cooper et al., 2001, Reyck et al., 2005 and Kester et al., 2011). Portfolios of complex and interdependent projects are particularly challenging for decision makers and there is an identified need for better tools to understand and manage project interdependencies. New processes, tools, and techniques are regularly proposed and evaluated in PPM literature and research (Archer and Ghasemzadeh, 1999, Dawidson, 2006, Dickinson et al., 2001 and Kester et al., 2009). Case studies and action research are commonly used to test the application of new tools or methods for project management or PPM. However, measuring the effect of a new tool or method is difficult because each organizational environment is different and there are many uncontrollable factors that influence project performance. Organizational research settings do not provide a reliable and static environment where it is possible to generalize findings by testing the effects of changes in a systematic method in an experimental fashion. This paper outlines the use of controlled experimentation in a classroom setting to test the ability of visual data representations of project interdependencies to support PPM decision making. The ultimate aim of the research is to develop understanding of the relevant factors and tools to improve decision quality. The research reported in this paper also provides an example of the use of experimental decision simulations for PPM research and explores what can be learned from such experimental studies.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The findings support most of the hypotheses and indicate that visual tools, VPM in particular, are correlated with higher decision quality and may have the potential to improve the quality of PPM decision making for complex project portfolios. The importance of reducing time pressure in decision making is highlighted by the strong correlation between adequacy of time and improved decision quality, however more research is required to determine whether visual tools can alleviate the time pressure by taking advantage of human cognitive capabilities in processing visual information. The findings indicate that visual tools may contribute to higher levels of engagement with decision-making tasks and result in better decisions. In addition, the research suggests that the use of VPM makes the strongest contribution to the understanding of project interdependencies and the flow-on effects of project decisions across the portfolio, and may contribute to higher decision quality. The levels of support for the hypotheses are summarized in Table 4. While many of the findings are as hypothesized, other findings raise questions and suggest a need for further testing. The degree to which the decision task caused the participants to think is the only measure that was not correlated with decision quality or tool type. On the whole, the participants reported that a fairly high level of thinking was required by the task; this may be explained by the fact that the task was designed to be difficult and to require cognitive effort regardless of tool type. The findings on the degree to which the interdependency information was used to influence the decision are counter-intuitive, suggesting further testing for clarification or verification. The findings that tabular lists offered the lowest level of assistance in understanding interdependencies and the impact of decisions on other projects, and that the weak interdependency information was most likely to influence the decisions for users of tabular lists, may illustrate an example of bounded rationality and explain the poor decision quality among that group. This research complements research conducted in organizational settings that suggests that VPM displays can provide support for strategic decision making and are useful as a communications tool (Killen and Kjaer, 2012). The earlier organizational research also highlights the role of the organizational culture in promoting information sharing and communication to support decision-making processes and tools. The organization-based study provides real-life experience and feedback on the use of VPM; however, due to the complexity of organizational environments such research is not able to establish the significance of the influence of VPM or to directly compare it with other methods. The research reported in this paper compensates for these limitations by using a controlled experimental setting where only one variable is adjusted (the type of data representation) and by analyzing and comparing the resulting decisions. The findings from the experimentation reinforce the findings from the organizational research; the triangulation improves the level of confidence in the findings. The findings of this research provide implications for management. Increased use of visual displays of project interdependencies, VPM in particular, is indicated as these tools are associated with higher levels of engagement in decision making, better understanding of project interdependencies in complex project portfolios, and higher-quality decisions. In addition, the strong relationship between perceptions of time adequacy and improved decision quality suggests that efforts to reduce time pressure will provide benefits. Managers should bear in mind that these results are based on a simulated decision task in a classroom setting that does not represent the full complexity of an organizational decision. This study also has implications for future research. Experimentation is shown to be useful, especially as a complement to organization-based research. The study's limitations include potential bias due to the design of the decision scenario, and further studies with different scenarios should be conducted. There are also limitations inherent in controlled experimentation, for example the results may be biased due to the fact that the use of students may not represent managerial decision-making. In addition, the simplification of the scenario may skew the results and it is not known whether the inclusion of additional factors such as multiple types or strengths of dependencies would affect the findings. Future experiment-based research should consider alternate experiment design options and aim to triangulate findings with organization-based research for improved validity and reliability. In conclusion, this classroom-based decision experiment highlighted the importance of ensuring adequate time and the benefits of using visual tools to support PPM decision-making. The study supports earlier organization-based research and provides a practical example of experimentation in project and portfolio management research. The findings indicate that visual tools, network mapping tools in particular, have the potential to improve the quality of project portfolio decisions.