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Organizational Project Management

Theory and Implementation

Ralf Müller, Nathalie Drouin and Shankar Sankaran

This concise text introduces an integrated view of all project management-related activities in an organization, called Organizational Project Management (OPM). Practical cases from several organizations, as well as popular theories such as the Resource-Based Theory and Institutional Theory provide for an insightful yet realistic understanding of OPM as an integrative tool for organizations to improve their efficiency and effectiveness.
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Ralf Müller, Nathalie Drouin and Shankar Sankaran

This chapter introduces the concept of organizational project management (OPM) as the integration of all project and project management-related activities in an organization. This ranges from its interaction with the market, its strategy, project portfolios, programmes, projects and their governance. It sets the context for the book by discussing the need for OPM in today’s ‘projectified society’. Following that, the development of a model for OPM is described, which links and integrates 22 elements of OPM into the seven layers of the onion-like model. These layers are: organizational philosophy, the OPM approach, OPM governance, business integration, organizational integration, project governance, and project management. The model enables an understanding and identification of the particular contributions of elements and layers to an efficient and effective OPM operation.

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Ralf Müller, Nathalie Drouin and Shankar Sankaran

This chapter describes the philosophical foundation of organizations using their way of interacting in the market. Its philosophy indicates the organization’s understanding of its business or purpose and how it is going to legitimize its interaction in the marketplace or community and interact with its partners, suppliers, customers and society. Three distinct philosophies are presented: 1) project-based organizations (PBOs), where all work is carried out as projects; 2) project-oriented organizations (POOs), where work is carried out in projects, even though it could be done as a process; and 3) process-oriented organizations (ProcOOs), where all work is done in a production or service process. The implications of each of these philosophies for the strategies of organizations and organizational design, especially that for organizational project management (OPM), are discussed.

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Ralf Müller, Nathalie Drouin and Shankar Sankaran

This chapter describes the strategic choices that guide the operations of the project-based part of an organization. These include the type of multi-project approach (i.e. the strategy for selecting projects), the decision on an organization-wide project management office (OPMO), and the level of projectification of the organization (i.e. the extent to which an organization uses projects and their management as an underlying principle to conduct its work). Each of these three concepts are discussed in detail. The strategic choices at this layer interact with the philosophical choices described in the previous chapter, but also influence the OPM governance layer (described in the following chapter), which extends these strategic choices into the particular governance approach of groups or all projects in the organization.

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Ralf Müller, Nathalie Drouin and Shankar Sankaran

This chapter extends the strategic approach chosen for the project-based part of the organization into the realm of governing this part. It describes the means for the governance of groups of projects, such as programmes and/or portfolios of projects, or the entirety of all projects in an organization. Thus, it addresses governance of projects, that is, the governance-related commonalities across projects in a group or all projects in the organization. OPM governance as described for this layer of the OPM model consists of the different project governance paradigms, the differences in governance models, the role of governmentality in the implementation of governance structures, and the governance of project management as a service within the organization. Contingencies and constraints from the organizational strategy are discussed, as well as implications of OPM governance on the other parts of the OPM system.

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Ralf Müller, Nathalie Drouin and Shankar Sankaran

This chapter addresses the management of the business side of OPM. It deals with the management of groups of projects, predominantly portfolios, to facilitate their effective management. Here, decisions on the selection of business opportunities are made. The chapter therefore includes the traditional elements of portfolio strategy, portfolio management and portfolio optimization. It also addresses benefits realization management, an often neglected but important function for successful business management of projects. Collectively, these elements have a direct influence on the mix of projects, programmes or megaprojects in organizations. Implications for business integration stemming from constraints provided by OPM governance as well implications from business integration for the other project-related parts of the business are discussed.

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Ralf Müller, Nathalie Drouin and Shankar Sankaran

This chapter addresses the form of organizational integration of project management-related activities as either individual projects, programmes or megaprojects. We take an organization theory perspective and describe: a) the type, such as the specific implications of doing work in the form of projects, programmes and megaprojects; and b) the integration, which ensures adequate coordination between the activities to create value. In OPM this addresses the ways the most beneficial business opportunities are integrated in the form of temporary organizations in the workflow of the organization. It could lead to one-time endeavours in the form of a singular project, a programme which has goals that cannot be accomplished with just one project, or in the form of a megaproject where the investment is very large and perhaps shared by multiple firms and the public sector.

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Ralf Müller, Nathalie Drouin and Shankar Sankaran

This chapter addresses project governance in an OPM context. The OPM model elements addressed here are roles and institutions, such as steering groups or tactical project management offices (PMOs), policies that govern the execution of project management in organizations, relations, such as contracts and other agreements, as well as project management methodologies. This is set in the context of popular governance theories, such as agency theory, stewardship theory and transaction cost economics theory. Implications stemming from constraints imposed from higher management levels are discussed, as are the impacts of decisions in project governance on projects and their management.

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Ralf Müller, Nathalie Drouin and Shankar Sankaran

This chapter addresses the innermost layer of the OPM model, that is, project management. Here, selected opportunities are transformed into tangible products and valuable services that provide benefits to individuals, organizations, governments and/or societies. With this chapter we complete the description of the OPM model, hence it is the capstone chapter of the book. We start with a brief history of project management, then discuss the different life-cycles of projects, such as traditional sequential, iterative and agile. Then we discuss planning and scheduling, as well as implementation and control approaches for projects, followed by risk and change management. This section ends with a look at newer developments and alternative approaches to traditional project management. This is followed by a discussion about the concept of project success. Finally, we discuss leadership in terms of vertical, horizontal, shared, distributed and balanced leadership and how it unfolds in projects.

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Ralf Müller, Nathalie Drouin and Shankar Sankaran

In this chapter we propose to link and explore the relationships between OPM and resource-based theory (RBV) for firms to achieve a sustained competitive advantage. RBV suggests that organizations possessing resources that are valuable, rare, or difficult to imitate or substitute can achieve sustained competitive advantage. Valuable resources provide economic value to firms and rare resources are unique and difficult to copy. The chapter starts with the foundations and history of RBV and then continues to apply this to OPM, its resources and activities. Subsequently, OPM is discussed from an RBV perspective as a resource in itself but also as a means to orchestrate resources. This provides an opportunity to understand the mechanisms through which OPM delivers competitive advantage.