محرک هایی برای یک نگرش انعطاف پذیر در مدیریت پروژه خدمات مالی بریتانیا
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|3180||2007||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Project Management, Volume 25, Issue 5, July 2007, Pages 446–456
Hyper-competition, the presence of unpredictability, increased complexity and a rapid pace of change are some of the reasons why the UK financial sector has been labelled as a “turbulent field” [e Cunha MP, da Cunha JV, Kamoche K. Organizational improvisation: what, when, how and why. Int J Manage Rev 1999; 1: 299–341]. It is becoming increasingly common to manage these organizations, and in particular strategic change, through projects and programmes. However, there is evidence that in the financial sector it is not always possible to follow a tight approach to project management. The issues relevant to this study are related to the hypothesis that in certain circumstances project managers seek a flexible approach to project management, and within this approach the use of improvisational behaviours is commonly accepted: a number of circumstances (“triggers”) which might generate such behaviours have been selected and analysed.
Events at the beginning of this century, such as the internet bubble and consequent stock market slow down, September the 11th and others, accelerated a change that began in the late nineties and continues today to shape the financial industry. Financial markets have become more volatile in the last three years, reflecting the increasing volatility of the “internal environment of organizations and the external environment in which they operate” . A metamorphosis is taking place in the marketplace, linked to a transformation in the areas of technology progress, globalisation and regulation . Current challenges to the sector include risk management, capital requirements, collapsing equity markets, non-traditional entrants, new channels, aging population and product innovation. A period of major consolidation is also underway . The UK financial sector is now a field where a high degree of uncertainty influences the decision process: the pressure of competition does affect the timing aspect of the decision process itself, and it often is not possible to wait acting until the uncertainty is resolved. According to Deloitte Consulting [5, pp. 1–5], the presence of turbulence and unpredictability calls for flexibility. In the case of the UK’s financial sector this means resource flexibility, structural flexibility and a need to acquire improvisational capabilities. It is also becoming common in the UK’s financial sector to manage the organization, and in particular strategic change, through projects or project portfolios. According to Steyn , this has the advantage of integrating “and coordinating current chaotic strategic business and operational dimensions … focusing on … improving the product, services and processes of the organization, and creating a learning organization that stimulates human creativity”. There is, however, a paradox here given that project management methodologies have been conceived to gain control of complex but still reasonably predictable future events, and are typically used in environments where a particular outcome is very probable given a corresponding particular action. The remaining part of this paper is concerned about the complex relations that exist between the need for control and flexibility; it lists the existing definitions for the concepts of Improvisation and flexibility, and states the results of a field research carried out in three large UK companies operating in the financial sector: an investment company, a bank, and an insurance company. The aim of the research is to identify the elements (environmental or internal) which have an impact on the possibility of applying flexible project management procedures. Those elements have been listed under the name of “triggers to a flexible approach”; the ten triggers identified are listed in the section “Comparative findings”.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
A major finding of this research is that a need for flexibility is perceived by project managers when the project is very close to the strategic objectives of the firm. This is perhaps not surprising since the study has also underlined how the UK financial sector is a turbulent field; it therefore follows that the strategic objectives of these firms should adapt to such a fast-moving environment. The need for flexibility perceived during the implementation phase of the strategic planning process might simply be a consequence of this. Traditional project management doctrine explains that more control is required when the risk is higher. This study shows an apparent contradiction to what is stated in the PMI’s PMBOK: project managers seem to be willing to take more risk, and use a flexible approach to project management procedures when the project is implemented in a commercial, external, and customer facing environment. A project closer to the core activity of the firm, hence more important (or perceived as more important by the members of the financial institution) to the strategic planning process, is more likely to be implemented using an approach that can leave the highest number of options open, an approach that can allow a quick change of direction as required by the fast-changing environment and customers’ demands, i.e. a flexible approach. This study has shown that the way information is treated in a company might affect the degree of flexibility of the company itself; a positive relation between the possibility of undertaking a flexible approach to project management, and the degree and the effectiveness of knowledge-sharing activities is one of the outcomes of this paper. Once again, this should be tested with a larger research study, but from the data collected in this study, it seems that the quantity of information (available and effectively shared, which involves effective communication procedures as well) is a key element to the companies when it comes to the type of approach they are willing to take in strategically relevant projects. In fact, in SafeCo the need for a better knowledge-sharing practice is expressed by a senior manager who outlines how, in the framework provided by a new change management system to be adopted, the main role of the managers will be removing the organizational obstacles. Another interesting point of discussion has been whether the element of creativity lies in the scoping phase of the project life-cycle, as supported by a manager in SafeCo, or if it lies through the whole project life-cycle, as stated by BankCo. The small amount of literature available appears to support both these views and does not provide a clear answer. Even in BankCo, where the presence of creativity is possible in a well structured and planned environment, the degree and the parameters of flexibility are the major issue. In other words, there is a need for designing and implementing a control system that could help to define those parameters. The usefulness of such a mechanism has been highlighted by Leybourne . It remains interesting to examine the factors, both internal and external to a financial institution, that lead to a flexible approach to project management. The results of this research are consistent with the view that “organizations seem to need some structure even in highly volatile environments” [1, p. 333]. Further research is needed to study the control systems and mechanisms that could allow financial organisations to control (and keep aligned with the strategy of the firm) even for those projects that, for many reasons, need to be managed in a flexible way. Given the limited amount of literature available and the perceived needs of the companies in this field, it is suggested that continued research in this area might lead to findings which would benefit the financial sector as a whole.