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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Project Management, Volume 24, Issue 3, April 2006, Pages 216–225
The aim of the study is to investigate the effectiveness of project management in terms of organizational structures, technical competency, leadership ability and the characteristics of an effective project manager. The subjects of this survey study were modern project-oriented business companies. The results indicate that organizational design is associated with project management effectiveness. For example, they indicate that project matrix and project team-based organizations are the most effective. Moreover, respondents are reasonably satisfied with the currently available selection of project management tools, yet a need was stated for multi-project management tool. The characteristics of an effective project manager were measured by means of leadership behavior in 14 managerial practices. The results suggest that planning/organizing, networking and informing are the most significant managerial practices in the leadership behavior of project managers. This study provides empirical evidence on project management effectiveness with the intent of contributing to a better understanding and improvement of project management practices.
Companies are increasingly using projects in their daily work to achieve company goals. There is a growing need for the management of projects in business organizations. In recent years, researchers have become increasingly interested in factors that may have an impact on project management effectiveness. Prior research in the area has examined different ways of organizing project management , , , ,  and . Projects carried out in a multi-project context have been studied  and . In addition, issues relating to technical competency, i.e. tools and methods in project management practices have been considered  and . In particular, final cost methods  and earned value ,  and  have been studied. Critical success and failure factors in project management , ,  and  point out the need for empirical studies of how project management tools and methods could be used to improve the quality of project management. In addition, there is an increased need for knowledge about how these tools are used in actual project management practices within organizations. A human resource management (HRM) study in project management has indicated that HRM practices are little researched . It has been concluded ,  and  that project management effectiveness requires project managers to combine technical competency, i.e. tools, with the ability to develop and display leadership. However, there is little research that shows how technical competency and the process of leadership in project management are combined ,  and . This paper aims to partly fulfill this gap by presenting results from a survey made on organizations in modern project-oriented business companies. The subject companies are project-oriented in the sense that their main mode of operation builds on developing and selling large-scale business-to-business products and services (for example, engineering and construction projects) tailored to fit customer needs. The survey, carried out between December 2002 and February 2003, focused on the perspective of the project client/owner/sponsor, and included projects carried out for the company’s own purposes. More specifically, this study investigates the effectiveness of project management in terms of: (1) organizational structures, (2) technical competency, i.e. project management tools and methods, (3) leadership ability, and (4) the characteristics of an effective project manager within the context of organizations which are managing projects for their various own particular purposes. This paper is organized as follows. First, a literature review and the purpose of this paper are presented. Then, the key results of the survey are presented and discussed. These results are also compared with previous results presented in the literature review. Finally, the paper concludes with a brief summary of the main findings and some of their implications. 1.1. Literature review The research addressing project management effectiveness in project-oriented business organizations includes the following themes: (1) organizational structures, (2) technical competency, i.e. project management tools and methods, (3) leadership ability, and (4) the characteristics of an effective project manager. The following review of previous research on these aspects indicates the current state of knowledge and the gaps in knowledge concerning project management effectiveness in different organizational conditions. Organizational structures ranging from the classic purely functional organization to the opposite end of the spectrum, the projectized organization, have been presented (PMBOK ). In projectized organizations (or project teams) most of the organizational resources are involved in the project work. Matrix organizations are a blend of functional and projectized organizations. Matrix organizations are defined by Gobeli and Larson  as functional, balanced and project matrix organizations. PMBOK has named these matrix types as weak, balanced and strong matrices. Most modern organizations include all of these structures at various levels. Even a fundamentally functional organization may create a special project team to handle a critical project. Project managers interact continuously with upper-level management, perhaps more than with functional managers. Kerzner  has presented the effectiveness of dealing with upper-level management. Within organizations, companies have organized project offices which specialize in managing projects more effectively . The project office is an organization developed to support the project manager in carrying out his duties. The project team is a combination of the project office and functional employees. In larger projects and even with some smaller investments it is often impossible to achieve project success without permanently assigning personnel from inside and outside the company. Project management effectiveness refers to the success of the project. Both the success of the project and the career path of the project manager can depend upon the working relationships and expectations established with upper-level management . The project matrix and team organization structures were rated according to their effectiveness in a sample of European and Japanese firms. Project managers of multinational projects should be aware of the differences in structures and their relative effectiveness so that they can agree on the approach that will best meet project objectives . It has been observed that efficiencies provided by the matrix structure may be negated by a lack of job satisfaction experienced by the functional manager . The matrix form was seen to be the most dominant , and research was concluded with the note that further research is needed on the human and social issues. Technical competency means the competency to use project management tools and methods to carry out projects. Technical competency has been researched by Fox and Spence , and Pollack-Johnson and Liberatore . A survey of project management institute (PMI) members in the USA shows that most project management professionals rely a great deal on project management software . Another survey confirms that there are literally dozens of project management tools on the market . However, the majority of project managers tend to use only a small subset of these tools, the most widely used being Microsoft Project . In general, project managers seem to be satisfied with the tools available even if they are not using tool to their intended capacity. Payne  concluded in his paper that it is estimated that up to 90%, by value, of all projects are carried out in the multi-project context. In that environment, one needs a project management tool that is capable of dealing with time and capacity simultaneously. De Boer  states that we may conclude that the project management theory does not provide sufficient support for the management of (semi-) project-driven organizations. De Boer has developed a decision support system to assist the management of resource-constrained (semi-) project-driven organizations in planning and scheduling decisions. To test the system, a prototype was developed in cooperation with the Royal Netherlands Navy Dockyards. The literature  offers several methods of forecasting final project cost, based on the actual cost performance at intermediate points in time. The Zwikael et al.  study was the first empirical study to carry out a numerical comparison. Earned value  is a quantitative approach to evaluate the true performance of a project both in terms of cost deviation and schedule deviation. It also provides a quantitative basis for estimating actual completion time and actual cost at completion. Earned value is a very powerful project management tool. If an organization can effectively integrate this tool into their procurement, timekeeping, and executive information system, then it is probably the single best method for measuring and reporting true project performance and estimating time and cost to complete . However, the effective use of this important technique is relatively rare outside of the US government and its contractors. Earned value is one of the underused cost management tools available to project managers ,  and . The respondents in the previous study of Zimmerer and Yasin  were asked via open-ended questions about the factors contributing to an effective project manager. It was found that positive leadership contributed almost 76% to the success of projects. Negative or poor leadership contributed 67% to the failure of projects. In interviews with five vice presidents of major engineering consulting firms, it was found that, of 1000 large and small projects, the executives could recount only 10 failures that were due to lack of technical competence. All the evidence of recent research supports the idea that successful projects are led by individuals who possess not only a blend of technical and management knowledge, but also leadership skills that are internally compatible with the motivation of the project team ,  and  and externally compatible with client focus strategies. Posner , Thanhaim and Wilemon  and  have studied conflict management styles and issues that cause conflict. Leadership can be defined in many ways , , , ,  and . Leadership is a process of influencing others so that they understand and agree about what needs to be done and how it can be done effectively, and a process of facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish shared objectives . The most commonly used measure of leadership effectiveness is the extent to which a leader’s organizational unit performs its task successfully and attains its goals. Most researchers evaluate leadership effectiveness in organizations in terms of the consequences of the leader’s actions for followers and other organization stakeholders, but the choice of outcome variables has differed considerably from researcher to researcher . Yukl  states that in most leadership definitions it is assumed that leadership involves a social influence process whereby intentional influence is exerted by one person over other people in an attempt to structure the activities and relationships in groups or organizations. Project management literature is mostly based on team literature . The knowledge developed by the social science in the 1960s and 1970s on the dynamics of small groups is rarely used, if at all . Leadership behaviors are sometimes measured with a questionnaire called the Managerial Practices Survey (MPS) ,  and . The taxonomy has 14 behavior categories, or “managerial practices”, with Yukl  providing a definition for each one. MPS measures categories of managerial behavior that are relevant to managerial effectiveness and applicable to all types of managers. The 14 behaviors can also be related to the four general types of activities : making decisions, influencing people, building relationships and giving-seeking information. Kim and Yukl  have studied the relationships of managerial effectiveness and advancement to self-reported and subordinate-reported leadership. They have also presented a rating scale by using a nine-response choice. In conclusion, a review of previous literature suggests that there is not enough knowledge on project management in organizations where projects are used for other own particular purposes. There are a few empirical studies of project management in business organizations and only a few studies of the effectiveness of project management in these kinds of organization. There is an evident need to analyze the status of technical competence and leadership ability in project management. This paper aims to partly fill this gap by providing empirical evidence of project management effectiveness in the context of business organizations. The focus of the paper is on issues relating to organizational arrangements, technical competency such as project management tools and methods, leadership ability and the characteristics of an effective project manager.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The results of this study show that the organizational types most commonly used by the respondents were the functional matrix, the project matrix and the project team. Respondents were on average satisfied with the communication in the projects. Consistent with prior studies , this paper documents that the project team and the project matrix are rated as the most effective organizational forms of project management. The shift towards competitive global markets demands faster change and response from the subject organizations. Under these circumstances, the traditional functional organization is not the best structure. Traditional functional organizations have frequently had to form project teams to respond to rapidly changing market conditions. Consistent with prior literature, the results concerning technical competency suggest that project management tools are widely used . In this survey, project management tools were used in 75% of projects, i.e. slightly less than what had been found previously. This may at least partly be explained by the smaller average company size in this study. The Microsoft Project software was found to be the most popular tool in this survey and in some prior studies  and . According to the respondents, project managers are reasonably satisfied with the currently available selection of project management tools according to this and the previous study . According to this study and previous studies  and  people were dissatisfied because a good tool for the management of multi-projects was not available. The reasons given for final project cost models not being used or only partly used were that the method was not known, or the projects were too small. This applies to the low use of the earned value method as well. According to prior studies , the earned value method is not so critical for the success of a project. Instead, the traditional methods of cost, time and recourse management are more important. According to this study, it seems that planning/organizing, networking and informing are the most significant managerial practices in the leadership behavior of project managers. The overall findings of this paper imply that technical project management tools and methods are so developed and widely used that now it is time to turn the focus on developing leadership skills. The survey respondents in this study ranked the characteristics of an effective project manager as follows: (s)he must be able to communicate and inspire people to become motivated, and in addition (s)he must be decisive enough. These results support the previous results  that social science and small group research could be creditable for project management. In conclusion, this paper provides a balance between theory and research and actual project management practices. The survey findings concerning the relative importance of project management tools and leadership requirements should be relevant to companies that are increasingly using projects in their daily work to achieve their goals. These findings can be used in further studies and also in practice to improve the effectiveness of project management. Further studies could corroborate the results of this study for example in less project-oriented organizations, with more extensive data, and with different experience and knowledge levels of project managers.