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2021 | Book

Research on Project, Programme and Portfolio Management

Integrating Sustainability into Project Management

Editors: Prof. Roxana Cuevas, Prof. Constanta-Nicoleta Bodea, Prof. Dr. Pablo Torres-Lima

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

Book Series : Lecture Notes in Management and Industrial Engineering


About this book

This book collects recent work presented at the 31st IPMA Congress, which was held in Merida, Mexico, from September 30th to October 2nd, 2019. It covers a range of project, programme and portfolio management contexts, with the general aim of integrating sustainability into project management.
The book is structured into three parts. The first part covers concepts and approaches related to the integration of sustainability in project management. The second part presents research on integrating sustainability into project management in different industries and regions. The final part takes specific perspectives on integrating sustainability into project management related to learning and continuing competence development.
The book offers a valuable resource for all researchers interested in studying the emerging trends in incorporating sustainability in project, programme and portfolio management.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction
This brief introduction provides an overview of the book structure and content. The chapter discusses the concepts, research methods and results which the contributors present in their chapters. The diversity of addressed topics, the wide geographical and sector coverage lead to a wide range of book audiences. The book is useful to researchers, practitioners, educators and trainers in project management domain as well to postgraduate students, in general for all those interested to better understand how the sustainability can be integrated into project management.
Roxana Cuevas, Constanta-Nicoleta Bodea, Pablo Torres-Lima

Concepts and Models of Integrating Sustainability into Project Management

Chapter 2. Towards a Target System to Incorporate Sustainability in Multi-project Management in Factories
Shortened life cycles and increasing customer-specific mass production confront factories. The professional use of project management is necessary for a permanent adaptation under unstable conditions to retain objective attainment of the factory. Multi-project management is a proven approach to cope with the resulting complex project portfolios. Supported by a literature review, the necessity for a comprehensive and differentiated target system becomes evident, enabling factory management to deliberately position themselves and make decisions in the numerous conflicts of objectives. A predominant contradiction exists between prioritizing projects with short-term profitability while ensuring portfolio sustainability. This challenge of portfolio balancing requires an overarching target system providing guidance. In order to develop this target system, we first developed a hierarchy framework according to which suitable existing approaches are refined and implemented. Furthermore, we illustrate performance indicators to enhance this target system and make it applicable, which we conclusively demonstrate in a case study.
Lars Nielsen, Philipp Klausing, Peter Nyhuis
Chapter 3. Factors Affecting the Integration of Sustainability in the Early Project Phases in an Integrated Project Management Model
This study investigates the factors affecting the integration of sustainability into the project management of infrastructure projects, specifically highway projects during early phases. The research was drawn upon previous studies in order to develop a sustainability framework for measuring the project success in three aspects of sustainability: People, Planet, and Prosperity (triple bottom line). Next, Critical Success Factor (CSF) framework in the construction sector was extracted through a comprehensive literature review. A qualitative cross-case analysis was conducted on three sustainability-oriented highways projects in the Netherlands. Data were collected through document review and twelve in-depth interviews with different roles of Integrated Project Management (IPM) model. The findings suggest that each IPM role is inclined towards specific sustainability dimension which affects the application of sustainability CSFs. The results reveal that among the sixteen identified CSFs promoting the integration of sustainability, following factors were acknowledged by all the IPM roles: awareness of project external factors, clearly defined scope, clearly defined goals/ambitions. Further, the paper conceptualizes a model for integrating key roles involved in the project management of infrastructure projects. The model is based on the triple bottom line of sustainability bringing all the roles involved in the project management of infrastructure projects together.
Maedeh Molaei, Marcel J. C. M. Hertogh, Marian G. C. Bosch-Rekveldt, Robin Tamak
Chapter 4. An Alternative Risk Assessment Routine for Decision Making; Towards a VUCA Meter to Assess the Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity of Complex Projects
Decisions in today’s world face increasingly faster rates of change in complex environments. A prevalent framework for understanding the challenges of complexity in the modern business environment is VUCA. VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. Research has shown that the unique terms in the VUCA acronym call for different mitigating approaches. In order to mitigate the impact of a VUCA environment on complex projects, organizations and project leaders need to know the type and severity of challenges they are dealing with in each unique project. This research project explores the existing literature and limitations for assessing projects from a VUCA perspective. It aims to draft an accessible diagnostic tool to assess the VUCA dimensions a project is facing, so that project managers can effectively allocate their limited resources. The tool is tested on five complex projects in the manufacturing industry, and its effectiveness is discussed.
Thordur Vikingur Fridgeirsson, Bara Hlin Kristjansdottir, Helgi Thor Ingason
Chapter 5. Sustainable Project-Oriented Careers: A Conceptual Model
An area of interest for project participants is career management. Some active network to find their next consulting engagement, upskill or prepare for major life changes (e.g. marriage or promotion). We find in the literature improved results for those who pursue a sustainable career path. We examine sustainable project-oriented careers and offer error messages that indicate career turbulence such as infrequent upskilling. The sustainable project-oriented career model is reviewed within the context of the Gig Economy where significant turbulence exists (e.g. COVID-19 pandemic) with the mediating role of training and continuing education. We conclude with an overview of innovations in post secondary education that facilitate a sustainable project-oriented career. We bring together evolving career sustainability concepts within the project environment and provide guidance for developing a sustainable project-oriented career, especially important in our current tempestuous times.
Gregory J. Skulmoski, Craig Langston, Alan Patching, Amir Ghanbaripour
Chapter 6. Environmental Project Management: Contextual Enablers and Boundaries
This paper aims to identify the factors that are contributing to or limiting project management application in the field of environment protection at the national and local levels. Based on those factors, the paper aims to define key enablers and important actions to integrate project management in environmental projects. The project management theory in the context of environmental protection suggests that the strategy for implementing project management should be adjusted to local needs in terms of the economic, political, social and administrative system. Based on the literature review, empirical research has been conducted, supported with interviews with environmental officials from local government units in the Republic of Serbia. The primary conclusion finds collaboration with relevant local and national institutions, support from local government and the presence of the relevant strategic documents at the local level as the main influencing factors. The paper tends to define the current state of project management in this field and defines important actions to support the capacity building of local governments in the area of environmental project management.
Vladimir Obradović, Marija Todorović, Milica Jovanović

Research on Integrating Sustainability into Project Management in Different Industries and Regions

Chapter 7. Integrative Intelligence: A Great Deal for Sustainable Rural Development
Possibilities of human development in rural represent a complex research topic that shouldn’t be broken; neither theoretical-explicative perspective nor pragmatic one. Today more than ever, interconnectedness and depth of human problems forces even serious and empowered entities to venture new approaches; radical ones that, until recently, would have seemed almost extravagant addressing questions like “How could sustainable development… have any chance of even starting and of consolidating in the long term, unless it was based on ‘sustainable thinking’, a ‘sustainable ethic’ and ‘sustainable cultures”. According to this mentality, only by asking the right questions can we identify appropriate solutions, if there is one, before it is too late. According to long-range or long-term vision, the future is not written in the nature of things, but takes shape through the sum of human acts. In view of the current hegemony of the short term, and which submits to the tyranny of the urgent at the expense of what is important—as usually happens in the world of finance, the media and politics we can only have foundations reasonable for hope if we begin to rehabilitate the idea of “duration”, the concept of long-term project in another word “sustainability”.
Jesus Martinez Almela, Jorge Flores, Jorge J. Peart Mijangos
Chapter 8. Navigating Sustainability Challenges in Africa: The Ogun State Racetrack, Motor Sports and Autopark Project
Integrating sustainability into major or even smaller projects and the business operations of organizations is increasingly de rigueur. However, delivering sustainability in process, product and benefits raises differing challenges dependent on context, extent of alignment with pre-existing strategic objectives and definition. Multiple frameworks to review sustainability within projects also exist. This study utilizes a hybrid framework to review the delivery of sustainability in practice within the early stages of a motorsports tourism project in Africa and concludes with some recommendations for project management practice and further research.
Teri Vivienne Okoro
Chapter 9. The Role of Projects in the Process of Transforming Automotive Industry
The automotive industry is one of the most important industries worldwide. Since its beginnings at the end of the nineteenth century, it has been undergoing a transformation that essentially goes through four phases. Projects play a specific role for the process of transformation. The chapter explains the role of projects in each of these four phases and also looks at future developments. Projects are increasingly at the core of organizing innovation, product development, manufacturing and service delivery. This development, also known as “projectification“, has strong repercussions on the organization itself. Organizational structures, processes and above all mindset and culture adapt to the requirements of project work. People are more clearly in the focus than before. Because companies can only be successful if they can respond flexibly to the new challenges coming from outside, i.e. from the market, competition and society. But that is precisely what distinguishes the automotive industry, after all, that it has been very adaptable and thus sustainably successful up to now.
Reinhard Wagner
Chapter 10. Walking the Talk? Sustainability in New Product Development Projects in the Icelandic Seafood Industry
The purpose of this research was to investigate new product development projects in the Icelandic seafood industry regarding three sustainability dimensions, namely, environmental, economic and social. Iceland is ranked among the most sustainable countries in the world. Furthermore, the seafood industry in Iceland, with its start-ups, has been referred to as a role model in the use of fish waste to develop new products. Using survey methodology, we investigate how the sustainability dimensions are represented in each phase of new product development projects in the seafood sector. The research contextualizes sustainability in new product development projects in regard to a company’s strategy. The main findings demonstrate that the different stages of product development do not differ in aspect to sustainability. The case is particularly interesting from the perspective of sustainability in new product development projects, providing insights that can be applicable for other industries.
Inga Minelgaite, Bjarnveig Birta Bjarnadottir, Kari Kristinsson
Chapter 11. Inter-Organizational Co-Creation: An Approach to Support Energy Transition Projects
Societal challenges such as climate change and inefficiency of energy systems more and more crave for a sustainable environment. Research proved that restructuring energy systems into more sustainable forms, called “Energy Transition”, has faced challenges. How to deal with these challenges requires the co-creation between various actors with multiple disciplines, expertise, and perspectives from different organizations. The research question to be answered here is whether co-creation helps the interaction between different actors in an inter-organizational project for the sake of better project results. By doing case study research in the Netherlands, an example of co-creation project in its front-end phase was investigated regarding the interaction among different actors involved in the project. The research revealed that in the case of a co-creation project the multiple actors collaborate across organizational boundaries in order to unite. This leads to a better solution-finding approach. Openness, trust and respect are valued more in co-creation. Moreover, the project team is better integrated to work towards a shared interest which are social benefits. The co-creation facilitated the data-sharing among the key actors in the project which traditionally is influenced highly by the mother-organizations’ culture. Further research will investigate the transition in organizations to support the co-creation approach.
Afshin Jalali Sohi, Maryam R. Nezami, Hans Bakker, Marcel Hertogh
Chapter 12. Sustainability for Construction Projects
Construction projects normally last some years. Their results, buildings and infrastructures, are used and operated during many decades. Meeting the needs of current and future generations is asked for. To deal with the uncertainty of a long-time future and to convince people of sustainable investments is not easy. In this paper, first a basic model and a conceptual background for construction projects is presented. Then the sustainability evidence is extracted from six large, medium size and small construction projects of the past decades. Observations concerning capture, society, economy, environment and resilience are described for each case. The conclusions contain general criteria for the sustainability of a construction project design and resilience as well as suggestions for further research.
Hans Knoepfel
Chapter 13. Segway Model for the Assessment of Megaproject Excellence: Project Excellence Baseline Approach to the Korea’s Pilot Smart City Projects (Sejong 5-1 Life Zone and Busan Eco Delta Smart City)
The fourth industrial revolution and technological advances have been accumulated into the development of smart cities, which has been influencing the shape and value of human life. South Korea has implemented the national project of building a model smart city that is futuristic and innovative. Two megaprojects are underway the Sejong Administrative City (Sejong 5-1 Life Zone) and the Busan Eco Delta City (Busan Eco Delta Smart City) and have been designated as the national model cities. This study aims to develop a model for assessing the excellence of megaprojects. For this purpose, we analysed the case of smart city cases of National pilot smart city. International Project Management Association (IPMA) has provided Project Excellence Model (PEM) for assessment of project excellence. However, megaprojects like smart cities have a completely different character compared to general projects that have existed. It is necessary to develop a new model that is appropriate for assessment of megaprojects. We propose the Segway model to evaluate megaprojects. The Segway model can provide a meaningful contribution for “the assessment“ of megaproject excellence by analysing the connectivity of the megaproject success factors and PEM.
Jaehyun Lee, Unho Lee, Eunsang Yoon, Changwoo Park
Chapter 14. Public-Private-People Partnership (PPPP) for Infrastructure Development in Indonesia
There is a continuous increase in the investment gap between government financing and infrastructure development. Therefore, to reduce this gap, the government used the services of the private sector to participate in infrastructure development under the public-private partnership (PPP). However, this scheme tends to often overlook the involvement of the surrounding communities around a project development area, with the ability to jeopardize the sustainability of the project. This research, therefore, proposes a new concept referred to as public-private-people partnership (PPPP). Questionnaires were used to collect data from a survey of 46 respondents. The result showed that the PPPP concept has the ability to benefit and support the livelihood of people living around the project area, thereby ensuring its sustainability.
Lukas Beladi Sihombing, Achmad Jaka Santos, Andreas Wibowo
Chapter 15. Practice Competences in Project Management Decision Process: A Regional Study
The chapter focuses the decision-making process in project management from the perspective of the competence area “Practice”, following IPMA ICB4., so as a behavioural pattern which is the foundation that project managers use while making decisions. There is no doubt about the importance of the practice competence elements like components of decision process. Therefore, an important research question is understanding the relation between practice competences, like defined by ICB4, and decision process in project management. The chapter brings preliminary results from a study conducted in three European countries: Croatia, Slovenia and Slovakia which share similar business environments, country characteristics, and cultural values (despite some differences). It highlights three main findings formed in the questions of traditional assumptions of decision-making. The main efforts of the study are oriented to the following: (1) the challenges of decision-making, (2) shifting the logic of the project management process to creative leadership, (3) the process of sustainable decision-making: advancing business and serving to the society. The chapter concludes with the main findings about the relevance of the competence elements from the aspect of competence area “Practice” according to IPMA ICB4 and specifically for the above-mentioned market, mostly on tied to certain differnces of infrastructure projects.
Sandra Matuhina, Mladen Radujković, Maja-Marija Nahod
Chapter 16. From Social Responsibility to Sustainability: Are Excellence Awarded Companies in Iceland Socially Responsible?
Excellence is a managerial virtue that is sought after within the world of commerce, and in many countries excellence awards in management are celebrated. Iceland is a country that is internationally recognized as being in the forefront in terms of social responsibility, equality and sustainable development. What are the best Icelandic companies doing with regard to sustainability in their portfolio, project and programme management? Icelanders can claim/boast two management excellence awards, Outstanding Companies Award and Exemplary Company Award. Although the awards’ names may sound comprehensive, each award only looks at a limited aspect of the organization that is being scrutinized. This paper examines four international business excellence models with a view to illustrating how a company’s excellence can be measured. All these excellence models emphasize social responsibility and sustainability and claim that an organization cannot truly be excellent without being up to date with regard to the urgent developmental issues we face. Based on this, it is surprising that when recipients of the above-mentioned awards are asked, it emerges that the excellence awards focus on stakeholders and do not challenge organizations to show excellence with regard to social responsibility and sustainability, or at best only to a very limited degree.
Asa Bjork Jonsdottir, Haukur Ingi Jonasson, Helgi Thor Ingason, Agnes Holm Gunnarsdottir

Perspectives of Integrating Sustainability into Project Management: Learning and Continuing Competences Development

Chapter 17. Chatbot-Based Training for Project Management: Another Way of Corporate Training or a Must-Have Tool for Sustainable Education?
Chatbots or virtual conversational agents are computer programs that use natural language processing techniques to understand and communicate with people via a chat interface, which is usually textual or auditory. There are a lot of successful use cases of chatbots nowadays, having a wide area of applications, from e-commerce, customer relationship management, media, healthcare, project management and education. We claim that chatbots are very useful in corporate training, as they support professional development and knowledge sharing in day-to-day business practices, they reinforce learning and help professionals to find quickly the required information, thus contributing to a sustainable education. In this paper, we propose a pattern-based chatbot, useful for corporate training for competence enhancement. The solution was successfully deployed in a professional association and integrated in its digital platform.
Constanta-Nicoleta Bodea, Maria-Iuliana Dascalu, Alexandru Hang
Chapter 18. Somebody Has to Teach Them, But What? Moving Towards Sustainable Teaching of Project Management
Teaching of project management is not without critique. Research in designing curricula for project management shows that the standard approach to competence research can easily produce the wrong competences. Comparing commercial and higher education offerings of project management shows that these target the same inexperienced group with the same approach to teaching, testing and contents. Critical competences show promise of defining the profession, but also show a high context dependability. There is a striking similarity between average junior and senior critical competences. Critical processes seem to be less context dependent. To get to sustainable teaching of project management, a focus on teaching processes is suggested.
Steven A. Nijhuis
Chapter 19. Do Educators Need to Develop Project Management Competencies for a Rapid and Sustainable Development of New Academic Development Programs?
Crashing projects to target ambitious dates is commonplace in highly competitive industries. To face these challenges, teams are trained in project management methods and competencies. In education environments like schools or universities these demanding conditions do not appear to be the case. Educators normally develop academic projects in small teams where the pace is comparatively slower. This paper presents a real case where a group of educators worked in a team to develop an on-line course in half the usual time. The team was composed of educators (including the author), web designers, programmers and marketing people and applied a project-accelerating method to face the challenge. Through participant observation, the author narrates the experience and suggests that educators’ skills might be nurtured with project management competencies for a rapid and sustainable development of new academic programs.
Adán López Miranda
Chapter 20. Sustainability in the IPMA 4LC Certification Process in Spain (2014–2019)
The inclusion of concepts and sustainability principles in the standards of project management is part of the materialization of the integration of sustainability in this discipline. The objective of this research is analyzing if any of the factors evaluated in order to certificate a project manager, according to the International Project Management Association (IPMA), contain sustainability or sustainable development aspects. Moreover, an assessment of how these factors are considered and their relationship with the rest of the factors taken into account is developed.
Ángela Paneque de la Torre, Vanesa G. Lo Iacono Ferreira, María José Bastante-Ceca, Salvador F. Capuz-Rizo
Chapter 21. Project Management Competences and the Sustainability of Non-profit Organisations
The proposed paper addresses the need project management competences of non-for profit organisations in order to be sustainable in the longer run. The contribution of non-profit organisations (NPOs) to the economy is widely acknowledged among researchers. To manage projects in order to pursue their missions, NPOs need to remain sustainable. In this context, the paper addresses the importance of project management competences and their importance for the sustainability of NPOs, i.e. to exist and develop in the longer run. The empirical investigation undertaken in form of qualitative research offers an adequate approach to transition from literature review to some findings based on two case studies discussed in this paper. The first case concerns a medium-sized international fundamental research NPO based in Grenoble (France) that produces neutrons for science. The second case concerns a small national NPO which advocates the interests of large companies from the logistics sector based in Bonn (Germany). The discussion of the findings will conclude with suggestions for further research directions linked to the topic.
Amin Saidoun
Research on Project, Programme and Portfolio Management
Prof. Roxana Cuevas
Prof. Constanta-Nicoleta Bodea
Prof. Dr. Pablo Torres-Lima
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