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2022 | Book

Research on Project, Programme and Portfolio Management

Projects as an Arena for Self-Organizing

Editors: Prof. Ronggui Ding, Reinhard Wagner, Prof. Constanta-Nicoleta Bodea

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

Book Series : Lecture Notes in Management and Industrial Engineering


About this book

This volume brings together selected and extended papers representative of work presented at the 8th IPMA Research Conference, which was held online between 9th and 11th September 2020. It explores the topics of project, programme and portfolio management, and self-organizing in and through projects.

Offering international and multidisciplinary perspectives, this book answers questions such as:

What is the impact of self-organization on organizational structures, processes, cultures and leadership?How can we define the transformative power of self-organization?What is the motivation of individuals to perform activities, to engage with others and organizations in order to get things done?Which kinds of leadership best support self-organizing in projects?What have disciplines like natural science, psychology, philosophy, sociology and management to offer in this respect?What are the cultural limitations and potentials regarding self-organization in projects and how do we deal with them?

Research on Project, Programme and Portfolio Management is a valuable resource for all researchers and project management professionals interested in autonomous working and self-organizing.

Table of Contents


Setting the Stage of Self-Organizing

Chapter 1. Unleashing Hidden Potential by Enabling Self-Organization in Projects
Organizations today are facing a complex environment that challenges them in many ways. This causes organizations to consider new approaches of organizing and of the way people collaborate, in general and particularly in projects. Concepts of self-organization are often used unconsciously, e.g., in the context of agile project management approaches. This chapter therefore prepares the topic fundamentally, points out essential backgrounds, drivers, and approaches of self-organization in projects with their impact on individuals, project teams, and the ambient organization. The effects of more self-organization in projects are promising according to the pertinent literature. For example, individuals can develop passion in what they do through more freedom for self-actualization. Diversified project teams can achieve peak performance through emergence as well, helping organizations become more adaptable and resilient to the ever-changing context they are operating in. However, this requires a departure from the traditional principles of an organization, including moving away from the principle of hierarchy and empowering employees to work voluntarily and self-determined.
Reinhard Wagner
Chapter 2. The Whole—More than the Sum of Its Parts! Self-Organization—The Universal Principle!
The term self-organization has been successfully used for years in management literature, driven by agile organizational concepts in which self-organization plays an outstanding role. Here, self-organization sometimes stands for autonomous teams, time management, agile forms of organization, or new work, to name just a few. Only in the rarest of cases the statement “The whole is more than the sum of its parts” is in the foreground. And this is exactly how we want to understand self-organization. We use the term self-organization as it has been increasingly used in the natural and social sciences since about the mid-1970s. We regard self-organization as a universal principle that creates something new in evolutionary terms and whose basic concepts are applied in nature, in the psychological and social realms, and in technology. Thus, we have a common basic concept that can be applied to individual human beings, teams, organizations, societies, and even to technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics and their interaction with humans. It helps us to understand, shape, and lead the development and transformation of individuals, teams, organizations, and societies. We outline the characteristics of a project as a teal temporary organization.
Alfred Oswald
Chapter 3. A Systemic Approach to Agile Management and Self-Organization for a Sustainable Transformation of Organizations
The understanding of agility and its necessity as a key factor for business success has never been more urgent than today. Many companies are not able to implement truly agile organizations. Why is this so? What are the driving forces behind a sustainable transformation? A holistic approach for the entire company, starting with the management mindset and the governance structure of self-organization, is the way forward for a consistently agile approach. The professional group “Agile Management (AM)” of the GPM developed the Agile Management 4.0 approach, which takes into account various scientific concepts to create a solid foundation for practical relevance in everyday management. AM 4.0 follows a systemic approach based on the theory of synergetics developed by Haken (Synergetics, an introduction: nonequilibrium phase transitions and self-organization in physics, chemistry, and biology. Springer, New York, 1983) and the model of self-organization according to Haken and Schiepeck (Synergetik in der Psychologie. Selbstorganisation verstehen und gestalten. Hogrefe, Göttingen, 2010). We explain Agile Mindset with the help of the neurological layers of the Dilts Pyramid (Dilts in A brief history of logical levels (2014), http://​www.​nlpu.​com/​Articles/​LevelsSummary.​htm), a model frequently used in psychology. Management cybernetics describes the system dynamics of stability and adaptation of organizations. Stafford Beer’s Viable System Model (VSM) (Beer in J Oper Res Soc 35(1):7–25, 1984) is applied as a reference for the conditions of self-regulating systems. Finally, we address agile techniques and framework in the context of meta-competencies of a learning organization.
Hubertus C. Tuczek, Agnetha Flore, Helge F. R. Nuhn, Norbert Schaffitzel
Chapter 4. Value-Orientated Decision-Making in Agile Project Portfolios
A key characteristic of agile projects is autonomy coupled with self-organization. However, agile practices and decisions do not operate in isolation for projects in a portfolio. Decisions involve different stakeholders at various levels in an organization with different constructs, interpretations, and expectations of value. This chapter explores the role of value in decision-making for agile project portfolios. In consideration of projects as arena for self-organizing, we investigate how agile portfolios function, particularly in decision-making involving multiple stakeholders to maximize value for the portfolio. We present an in-depth single case study of an organization that adopted agile practices in Project Portfolio Management (PPM). The research case is distinct as portfolio decisions and initiatives in the case are driven by considerations of value. The theoretical framework applied in this study draws upon a value spectrum framework that is reinforced by sensemaking principles to explain the agile sequences and decision-making to maximize value in the portfolio. This study traces how an agile portfolio of projects underpinned by value is managed through short iterative cycles. The sequences of the agile cycles and decision-making events could contribute to supporting organizations in considering how value can be embedded in project and portfolio management practices.
Karyne C. S. Ang, Lars Kristian Hansen, Per Svejvig
Chapter 5. New Work—Flexible, Mobile, Project-Driven: Can Increasing Self-Organization Contribute to a New Design of Work?
The notion “new work” frequently turns up in current debates about the future of work. New Work is described as a fascinating idea in books and papers. Manuals and websites provide instructions on how to do it. However, the origins and meanings of the term remain rather hazy. Essentially, it stands for new forms of work associated with an important change in the governance and culture of work. Self-organization in work, which is increasingly demanded by companies and requested by employees, is regarded as a major trend in this context. Although the New Work discourse addresses many topics in the development of work that has been subject to extensive research and debate in the sociology of work, those two threads of discussion have been running rather separate up to now. The paper tries to establish connections between them by looking at important topics of the New Work discourse from a sociology-of-work perspective: flexible work in terms of space and time, new spaces of work, (agile) project work and self-organization. The focus is set on the respective potentials, limits, and approaches for the design of our present world of work.
Eckhard Heidling, Nick Kratzer

Self-Organizing in Projects and the People Competences

Chapter 6. Self-Awareness, Assessment, and Organization with Personal Agility
In this paper, the question we ask is—“can personal agility be a path to self-organization in projects”? We elaborate the path to self-organization in projects through a Personal Agility Lighthouse Model (PALH™) model that Raji Sivaraman and Michal Raczka have created. This model consists of seven different agilities that are essential for the same. The seven agilities in this model are education agility, change agility, emotional agility, political agility, cerebral agility, learning agility, and outcomes agility. We draw the connections that question whether personal agility is necessary for organizational agility. The synthesis of the diverse concepts within the literature on project management which includes agility and the relationship, based on our PALH™ framework, is used in achieving success with self-organization in projects. Starting from self-awareness, the path then leads to maturity, which will mean honing your Personal Agility. We review ideas and experiences at the nexus of self-assessment through individual observation, how they lead to the view of this dynamism towards the well-being of self-organized teams in projects. Creation of impressions will change the probabilities of the success of projects and teams. Delving deep into oneself enhances self-knowledge, furthering it to departments and ultimately the whole organization.
Raji Sivaraman, Michal Raczka
Chapter 7. Client Experience on Projects
The topic of customer experience is receiving interest in marketing. It is believed vendors who manage customer experience achieve better results than those that do not. Work to date has been done in retail. We consider client experience on projects. Nobody has previously researched this topic, but several authors have written on issues relevant to it. We review that literature. We interviewed several clients, who have experience of interacting with contractors through the project life cycle. We report the results of our interviews. We find clients on projects have similar experiences to customers in retail. But on projects the client controls the interactions whereas in retail it is the vendor who controls the interactions. We suggest on projects we should also consider contractor experience. On projects, maintaining interaction between the client and contractors leads to better performance.
J. R. Turner

Self-Organizing and the New Technologies

Chapter 8. Projects Organization and Intelligent Technologies
Projects are social-technical systems, as networks of interconnected elements comprising groups of people and technologies which are executing together processes for achieving specific objectives. In the actual digital era, the digital transformation of organizations and projects represents an example of how information and communication technologies adoption and usage can change the business. Self-organizing in projects is directly related to the technologies applied in projects. The objective of this chapter is to discuss the potential of some intelligent technologies in transforming the projects towards a self-organizing arena.
Ronggui Ding, Constanta-Nicoleta Bodea
Chapter 9. Identifying Organizational Issue for Digital Transformation by an Analysis Based on Kaizen
Digital transformation requires utilizing information technology (IT) system as well as collaboration between IT vendor and IT user. However, we have been observing disputes between the users and the vendors to compensate for individual loss due to failures of IT projects (IT disputes), which waste tremendous resources and opportunities. Nevertheless, not only root causes of IT disputes, but also why they failed to avoid the disputes, are not clear in most cases. The business risk caused by such IT disputes has been difficult to be visualized sufficiently enough to avoid the same dispute in the future. This paper tries to make it possible for them to manage the business risk of the IT disputes by visualizing the risk. By applying a new method based on Kaizen to analyze IT dispute cases of actual IT projects, where recent technologies of package software and agile are introduced for quick response to individual new challenge, we specify individual root cause and visualize a business risk, whose threat has not been understood by organizations. Furthermore, we also discuss development of improved management to cope with the threat of the visualized business risk, from the aspect of organization.
Hiroshi Ohtaka, Motomu Koumura, Masahiro Isokawa
Chapter 10. Identification of Governance Structures for Private–Public Partnership (PPP) Project Through Social Network Analysis
The governance risks, defined as the likelihood, impact, and manageability of stakeholders’ uncertain behavior, vary in different Private—Public Partnership (PPP) projects. While previous research focuses on project management risks in PPP project, such as quality risks, safety risks, cost risks, etc., only few addressed the governance risks that derived from the stakeholders and their governance relationships. The purpose of this study is to find the basic units that constitute the governance risks associated with PPP projects. The paper categorized the project stakeholders into four basic roles and established four basic project governance structures through different role combination. The project governance risks were identified by analyzing the project governance structure through Social Network Analysis (SNA), and this model was validated through a case study of a PPP project in China. This research provides a framework to support the decision-making process for PPP stakeholders by identifying the governance risks and providing guidance on how to mitigate these risks.
Zhixue Liu, Xinyi Song, Lei Wang, Rui Song, Itai Lishner
Chapter 11. Revisiting Shenhar and Dvir’s Diamond Model: Do We Need an Upgrade?
In 2017, Shenhar and Dvir released their Diamond Model as a typology for project categorization with the following dimensions: novelty, technology, complexity, and pace. The Diamond Model is useful for uncovering the project type at hand with a view to selecting a suitable management style. The objective of the model is to be universal and context-free to capture a broad spectrum of projects. However, the model was built on military and commercial market product projects primarily in the United States and Israel, calling into question the validity of the model in other settings. This study addresses this problem and seeks to evaluate the Diamond Model in different settings. The study uses a mixed-methods approach and evaluates data from 62 projects in 16 project-based organizations. The study points to several ways to upgrade the model, such as splitting the pace dimension into two dimensions: pace (time) and impact. The study contributes to a broader discussion of the categorization of projects.
Anne-Sofie Hansen, Per Svejvig, Lars K. Hansen

Self-Organizing in Different Types of Projects

Chapter 12. A New Model of a Project, Program, and Portfolio Recovery to Tackle COVID-19 in Construction Projects
The outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)—which started to spread in Indonesia at the beginning of March 2020, has affected Indonesia’s economy and business sectors. The construction industry is no exception. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to develop a new disaster recovery model that can be used in situations such as COVID-19 pandemic in the construction industry. The data collected through survey was analysed using frequency analysis. The results of the first survey revealed that the impact during and post-COVID-19 have greatly influenced the construction phase. Although a risk mitigation plan has been implemented, less than 50% of the respondent companies were found to use it. In the second survey, we observed that the presence of COVID-19 has not resulted in any force majeure claims to project owners. The results show that there are high expectations that projects can still be carried out with the established health protocols, and that the government will provide stimulus assistance. Also, there is a rather significant desire for a recovery disaster plan to be enacted, especially for the prioritized business functions. We also found that there is a great need for artificial intelligence (AI) applications to be applied in construction projects. The results of this study will help project owners, contractors, and the government to devise policies.
Lukas Beladi Sihombing, Jiwat Ram
Chapter 13. Let Us Integrate Self-Organization and Stakeholders into the Development of Infrastructure Projects, Because We Need More Creativity and Satisfying Solutions
Developing public infrastructure projects is a crucial but challenging process, as these projects face various, sometimes conflicting, stakeholder expectations. In order to find good solutions in this challenging environment, we argue, that on the one hand, stakeholders should be involved in the development of public infrastructure projects for increasing the likelihood of good solutions and stakeholder satisfaction. On the other hand, we need a lot of creativity for creating, shaping, and negotiating good solutions. By drawing upon our initial understanding of self-organization and upon the relevance of self-organization, e.g., regarding agile project management, we discussed whether it is worth examining the integration of self-organization in the development of public infrastructure projects with stakeholders. Based on factors that increase the likelihood of creative and good solutions as well as on definitions of self-organization, we concluded that self-organization can support the required creativity. Based on literature concerning self-organization and governance and coordination of self-organization, we discussed how to integrate self-organization into the development of public infrastructure projects, outlined two possible applications and shared suggestions for further research.
Pia Herrmann, Reiner Singer, Philipp Kaufmann, Konrad Spang
Chapter 14. Self-Organization, Dynamic Meta-governance, and Value Creation in Megaprojects
The universal low performance of megaprojects forces us to think about its inherent complexity and the incompatibility of traditional project management methodology that emphasizes “control”. Megaprojects are strongly influenced by goals or strategies; face unprecedented challenges in the long-term implementation process; lack experience to refer; are dominated by different key organizations at different stages of the project-life cycle; require flexible and efficient cooperation and innovation to cope with unanticipated and complex challenges that continue to emerge; and therefore, a complex dynamic behavior system. We need to re-examine this complex system and propose new governance strategies. Based on this perspective, in this chapter, we analyze the organizational behavior and self-organization phenomenon in megaprojects under the context of complexity, develop a megaproject governance portfolio strategy for self-organization and heterorganizations, propose a new path and direction towards more sustainable value creation in megaprojects to address the current and future megaproject challenges.
Y. Li, Y. Han
Chapter 15. Evaluation of Managerial Flexibilities in Critical Path Method-Based Construction Schedules
Scheduling of a construction project can be done by using the Critical Path Method (CPM) in case the project is composed of interrelated activities that can be combined through a network. Given uncertainties nowadays and the related need for project schedule adaptations, the question is raised whether and how “traditional” CPM-based schedules allow for flexibility in project planning and management. In order to give an answer to this question, first, the managerial flexibilities provided by CPM were evaluated at three levels, i.e., activity, path, and project. Afterwards, the CPM schedules of two different projects were examined. Finally, the first conclusion arrived was that, in spite of its criticized deterministic features, CPM contains various flexible aspects from a managerial viewpoint. Second, potential flexibilities in CPM are mainly associated with resource leveling, noncritical activities, noncritical paths, activity float times, and activity float types. Third, CPM contains complete flexibility through independent floats and resource leveling capability. Investigating the flexible features of CPM in its traditional form, this study aims to open the way to develop a more flexible schedule management approach based on CPM and its extensions, which future self-organizing teams can adjust or apply.
Önder Ökmen, Marian Bosch-Rekveldt, Hans Bakker
Chapter 16. How Construction Projects Can Be Agile
There is currently the growing interest of business in the problem of shorten the total length of the construction project life cycle. At the same time, the number of dispersed teams increased. The level of technology development, including BIM, allows AEC teams to collaborate effectively. Due to environment turbulence and uncertainty, developers (customers) need to have an opportunity to react on market tendencies during the project execution and implement changes in the project. The group of adaptive PM approaches (agile, hybrid) may help to solve this problem. The paper presents the comparison of typical construction project design phase and new product development. The system hybrid project management approach with mix of agile and waterfall project management is proposed.
Irina Nechaeva
Chapter 17. Open Innovation in Practice—Challenges and Results in Telecommunications
The aim of this paper is to analyze the performance of open innovation in practice. The focus is on utilizing open business models in telecommunication sector. Mobile operators are challenged both in technical field (due to constant data increase) and customer experience and are struggling to assure their position as content providers. In order to achieve this they need to have strong strategic focus to increase productivity, innovate, and make changes in their business model. Paper gives general overview of management practises on open innovation. It identifies challenges that occur in practice during open business model implementation. It highlights the relationship between strategy and open innovation in telecommunication sector. Case study was conducted in a telecommunication company to analyze the bond between open innovation activities, self-organization, strategic orientation, and innovation performances in practice.
Jovana Mihailovic, Marija Todorovic, Vladimir Obradovic
Research on Project, Programme and Portfolio Management
Prof. Ronggui Ding
Reinhard Wagner
Prof. Constanta-Nicoleta Bodea
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