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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|2718||2007||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||8160 کلمه|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Project Management, Volume 25, Issue 7, October 2007, Pages 702–713
In dynamic business environments, product development projects rarely proceed according to the original plan. It is likely that some changes must be made and plans or goals be redefined to adapt to changes in the business environment. Which changes should the project approve and implement, which ones to reject, and why? Earlier product development literature has largely covered planned decisions and go/no-go decision criteria in line with a phased product development process. Project management literature, in turn, suggests change management processes and practices during the project. Earlier research has not sufficiently covered criteria for change decisions that are needed between product development gates, nor a holistic approach for making such decisions in complex product development projects. This paper explores decision criteria and change management in complex product development projects. In a qualitative, multiple-case setting we characterize change management practices, decision criteria, and managers’ experiences with change management in seven complex product development projects within one firm. The results report multiple parallel change management approaches differing in terms of business context maturity, type of change, and IT system use. Operative criteria dominated in the change decisions of the case projects, as opposed to more long-term oriented strategic criteria. The paper concludes with propositions concerning more holistic change management frameworks that would account for contextual contingencies.
Projects today seek much wider business benefits than just the reaching of immediate project goals . In product development, this means extending the view from product functionality and project goals to business performance, customer satisfaction, and project portfolio benefits. Typically, such benefits are considered before the project and reconsidered at the decision points – gates or milestones – of the product development process . Various strategy-related decision criteria are being used, to ensure the right focus for projects, and to increase probability for business benefits. Traditional product development decision-making literature largely focuses on phase (gate) related decision making  and neglects decision making on changes between the gates. Continuous, non-gate-specific change decision schemes are important, as they suggest flexibility in projects as a response to dynamic business environment. While the traditional view on project management has considered changes as a negative issue, in an uncertain environment changes are not only unavoidable but they might be prerequisites for successful results. Projects need to be managed flexibly  and . While gate-related decisions may keep the project focused, changes between the gates help the project to adapt to uncertainty in the business environment . There are also other lines of research that – instead of gate-specific decisions – covers changes made continuously upon specific needs throughout product development and other types of projects , , , , ,  and . Change management, or integrated change control, has an important position in projects’ integration management . Decisions are made both at gates and upon need concerning occasional changes between the gates. Change decisions require that the change need is identified and its relevance and impacts are properly assessed (e.g. ). Different decision criteria have been researched for decisions at gates, but such research is missing for between-the-gates change decisions. Research has not provided solutions as to whether flexibility-oriented change management in a dynamic business environment can be carried out in a robust, controlled manner. The purpose of this study is to explore the use of decision criteria for change requests of product development projects, to identify decision-making approaches and change management systems, and analyze their relevance to managers’ perceptions of the robustness of such change management. We first report a literature review on the decisions and decision criteria in product development, and changes and change decisions in projects. Secondly, we introduce the case study setting, research questions, data collection approach, and analysis methods for the empirical study in a complex product development environment. Thirdly, the results of the empirical study are presented. Finally, we discuss the findings in light of earlier literature, and conclude key contributions and ideas for further research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The results of this study raise three issues as main contributions of this study. First and foremost, throughout the discussion section we have identified a distinction between operative and strategic change management. These two levels of analysis were apparent in how changes were managed, decision-making criteria, and way of making decisions in the complex product development projects of this multiple-case study. Our data indicated that the more strategic decisions somehow “by-passed” the formal change management system, which may be an inherent characteristic of a dynamic, complex product development environment. Rather than abide by such a by-pass route, we anticipate that strategic changes would require somewhat different a system, possibly a more informal one, than the smaller-scale operative changes. Therefore, we see an evident connection between change management research and strategic decision-making research. They could be combined and empirically explored in future studies. Second, the results suggest that the context in which changes take place seems to have an impact on how changes are and should be managed. In particular, our results raised the maturity of the surrounding business as a relevant contextual factor which was related to the thoroughness of the change management system, use of IT support as part of the system, and also the decision-making approach. Therefore, we are inclined to suggest a contingency view to change management instead of or as part of company or industry-wide standards. On the other hand, the product line, business or company-level system of change management could actually be characterized as a repertory of alternative change management tools and tactics, each designed for different types of change events. Third, the alternative patterns of decision making that were identified in this study add understanding about the tactical steps in making change decisions. The role of a screening team was highlighted, especially when the number of change requests is significant. A participatory approach to assessing changes and their impacts was experienced as positive by the interviewees, thereby promoting the use of such involving tactics of change management. The position of a screening team in comparison to the project team or the product line management board was not examined in this study purposefully. Due to the perceived importance of such a screening team, according to the interviewees, further study is suggested in the different project roles concerning change management. These findings contribute to change management and product development decision-making research by a proposition to develop more holistic frameworks for change management. Such a framework should cover different changes not only in terms of their source but also in terms of their business context, strategic vs. operative nature, scope, and alternative tactics for their management. Furthermore, we conclude that change management processes may not be as simple and straightforward as indicated in the models presented in earlier literature.