استاندارد های مدیریت پروژه - اشاعه و کاربرد آن در آلمان و سوییس
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|3264||2009||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6141 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Project Management, Volume 27, Issue 3, April 2009, Pages 292–303
This paper comprises the results of an empirical study on the use of project management standards in German and Swiss enterprises. This research points out the expectations, the realized benefits and – more importantly – the major differences between them. For this purpose, it compares ex-ante expectations of their respective users and compares them in turn with ex-post realised benefits. The results of the study are based on the statements made by 234 participants in an online survey conducted in 2006. Generally, standards are only rarely used in project management in Germany and Switzerland. And if standards are indeed used, they are rarely used “as is”; in fact they are usually modified or adapted before application. Moreover, it can be observed that most participants expect consistent communication in the projects and better process quality to be the primary benefits of standards. However, it is often impossible to realize expected benefits. Benefits are offset by deficiencies, such as the lack of acceptance, administrational overheads and associated costs. Based on the results of this study, recommendations for standard-giving organizations and standard-applying organizations are put forward.
Project management standards are increasingly regarded as an important building block in modern organizations. Among other benefits, they are expected to help harmonize divergent terminology and different understandings of processes and methods. As a result, stakeholders expect corresponding frictions to be overcome or at least reduced. A wide range of standards is currently available for project management, issued by diverse organizational bodies, such as the large national and international official standard-giving organizations (e.g. ISO, ANSI), project management associations all over the world and other associations that promote industry-specific standards. Due to this diversity, the selection and application of PM standards is a complex problem for organizations. The challenge is to identify a standard that • is widely used among project partners and stakeholders so that a consensus can be established, • is applicable for this type of organization and the type of projects so that it can be implemented efficiently and • unfolds real benefits for the organization so that it is effective. Up to now, little research has been carried out into the actual diffusion of project management standards in contemporary organizations . The purpose of this paper is to analyze the extent to which project management standards are used in Germany and Switzerland, whether standards meet the expectations of their respective users and which major differences exist between the expectations and benefits gained from the application of standards. The results are used to derive recommendations for standard-giving organizations (SGO) and standard-applying organizations (SAO). The paper is structured as follows: Section 2 contains a more precise definition of the term ‘standard’. It also presents a classification of such standards, elucidating the scope of this article. Section 3 contains the hypothesis underlying this paper, whereas Section 4 describes the overall research process by outlining the research setting and the methodology. Section 5 covers the design of the questionnaire and the corresponding operationalization of variables. Section 6 presents the major findings of the survey, and Section 7 draws conclusions from these findings. At the end of this article, limitations and need for further research are outlined.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
7.1. Summary of the results The survey showed that standards are generally accepted and are regarded as an appropriate instrument to improve project management practice in general. However, it is often impossible to realize expected benefits [26, p. 1]. Major problems when implementing standards are that they lead to administrational overheads and too high costs, and lack acceptance among project management practitioners. SAOs should be aware that application of project management standards alone does not automatically lead to better project management. The fact that standards are experienced as useful regarding the harmonization of terminology shows that many organizations still have a low degree of project management maturity and are not at the stage of being fully able to exploit the benefits of project management. The results of the study have several implications for both SGOs and SAOs. 7.2. Implications for standard-giving organizations SGOs typically hope that their work is disseminated widely . Three recommendations may be concluded from our research: 1. Development of configurable or project-type specific standards: During standard development two maxims have to be weighed up against each other: on the one hand, standards need to be precise and generally applicable. This leads to rather abstract and theoretical standard definitions. On the other hand, users expect standards to considerably help improve process quality, accelerate the introduction of new processes and provide best practices. This is an impetus for more concrete industry-specific or project-specific standards. This conflict needs to be managed by any standard-giving organization. Two conclusions may be drawn from the results of this survey: (1) standards should be developed for a certain type of industry or type of project right from the very beginning – or – (2) standards should be made “configurable” in the sense that they contain information about which elements are relevant to which industry or project type. Modern reference modelling theory provides advice on how this can be accomplished . 2. Support for the standard adoption: Obviously, many organisations have significant problems with implementing project management standards as they do not succeed in realising the expected benefits. SGO’s should better support standards implementation by providing guidance for implementation projects (e.g. by a process model and general recommendations). Moreover, complementary training programmes could further increase the probability of implementation success. 3. Analysis and documentation of economic consequences of the standard adoption: Many SAOs have problems in understanding and estimating the consequences of the application of PM standards. As a matter of fact, even research has not yet succeeded in proving that standards significantly increase the probability of project success [23, p. 494], ,  . Consequently, analytical and empirical research regarding the impacts of standards adoption would be useful [23, pp. 510–511]. The results of this research could be incorporated into the standard development so that it becomes clear what can actually be expected in terms of economic benefits when PM standards are applied. In its ideal form, standards would not only contain a description of their elements but also a specification of necessary preconditions for the implementation of the element and a declaration of economic consequences based on empirical research. That way, each SAO can decide which elements of a standard are worthwhile being implemented based on a clear business case. At the same time, it would be clear which maturity level is needed in order to really benefit from a standard element. 4. Involvement of target groups and practitioners in the development of standards: If an SGO decides to develop or promote a general project management standard, it has to accept that companies adopting this standard will have to make a large number of implementation decisions that may lead to a project management system that has little in common with what the inventors of the standard had in mind. Ultimately, only terminology may be used consistently. To prevent standards from being considered useless in practice, SGOs should ensure that their target groups are sufficiently represented in the working groups that develop the standards. A wide spectrum of practitioners should at least be involved in the definition of standards’ objectives, the identification of “best practices” and the evaluation of standards after their construction. From our point of view, such evaluation is an indispensable measure to guarantee the quality of standards and to avoid the problem of too high administrational overheads. 7.3. Implications for standard-applying organizations The following recommendations for SAOs may be concluded from our research: 1. Careful standard selection: SAOs should carefully analyze which standard is most appropriate for their specific situation. It seems particularly reasonable to investigate industry-specific or project type-specific standards that are frequently more easily applicable and contain more specific best practices. Besides this, wide-spread standards are more likely to lead to synergies when executing interorganizational projects. They also justify higher investments, since they will probably retain their relevance to project management and are more likely to be further developed. 1. Development of a concise business case for all relevant parts of the standard: Since the application of standards does not automatically pay off, it is reasonable to carefully analyze which parts of a standard are useful to a specific organization. A company should be clear about the benefits it is expecting from different elements of project management and should document, approve and control these benefits. For instance, a complex resource management including resource assignment processes, resource levelling and time recording will not be appropriate in every circumstance. 2. Understand standard application as only one part of an improved project management: Research on project management success factors shows that streamlined methods, processes and organizations are important but by far not the most important element of the successful execution of a project. The adoption of project management standards should therefore be accompanied by several other initiatives covering training, cultural change and management awareness. 7.4. Limitations and need for further research The study described in this article is characterized by a number of limitations: 1. First, the sample only allows conclusions to be drawn for Germany and Switzerland. Results cannot be transferred easily to other countries. 2. Although the respondents’ industry affiliation and their type of department were recorded and analyzed, we are unable to identify industry-specific ways of using standards. Due to the broad spectrum of industries mentioned, the individual sample size is insufficient. However, the data on hand is evidence of the hypothesis that there are great differences in terms of which, and how, standards are applied in different industries. Our paper raises a number of additional questions that are of interest for further research. This paper did not analyze the causal interrelationships between internal and external environmental factors, such as socio-cultural and political factors, that may have an impact on the diffusion and application of project management standards. We are currently developing a more comprehensive causal model that is capable of predicting and explaining the relationship (directional and significance) between independent and dependent variables (factors). In this context, the technique of structural equation modelling as a more powerful alternative to path analysis or factor analysis may be applied effectively. Our results also need to be examined in other kinds of organizational units, such as non-profit organizations or in countries other than Germany and Switzerland to see if they are still valid in those types of organizations and/or countries. The research results have to be examined with regard to the application of standards, since the paper does not deal with the issues of how generic project management procedures and specific project management applications can be usefully combined. Future studies on the diffusion and adoption of project management standards may also use a longitudinal approach in collecting data to directly investigate the temporal interrelationships of factors that influence several standardization efforts in project management.