Editorial Board of “Holistic Marketing Management” (A refereed journal published four times annually by the School of Management-Marketing of the Romanian-American University)
Editor-in-Chief Theodor Valentin PURCĂREA
John L. STANTON Léon F. WEGNEZ
William PERTTULA Levent ALTINAY Dana ZADRAZILOVA
Managing Director EuroHandels Institute Retail, Germany; President of EuCVoT; President of European Retail Academy; Member of the Astana Economic Scientists Club; Chairman of the Advisory Board of EuroShop; Chairman of the Board of the Orgainvent; Trustee of EHI Retail Institute at GLOBALG.A.P. Association of Management and International Association of Management, USA; Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship, the Faculty of Business and Enterprise, Swinburne University of Technology; Member of France’s National Academy of Scientific Research (CNRS) Professor of Food Marketing, Erivan K. Haub School of Business, Saint Joseph’s University Philadelphia, USA; Director, Institute of Food Products Marketing, Editor, Journal of Food Products Marketing Secretary General, International Association of the Distributive Trade, AIDA Brussels; Member of France’s Academy of Commercial Sciences Internet Marketing Professor, College of Business, San Francisco State University, USA Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Research Area Leader, Oxford School of Hospitality Management, Faculty of Business, Oxford Brookes University, UK Dean of Faculty of International Economic Relations, University
of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic Riccardo BELTRAMO University of Turin, Italy Sinisa ZARIC University of Belgrade, Yugoslavia Gabriela SABĂU Memorial University, Grenfell Campus, Corner Brook, Canada Hélène NIKOLOPOULOU University of Lille 3, France Vasa LÁSZLÓ Szent Istvan University, Hungary Peter STARCHON Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia John MURRAY Faculty of Business, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland Kamil PÍCHA Irena JINDRICHOVSKA Norbert HAYDAM
Faculty of Economics,University of South Bohemia in Ceske Budejovice Deputy Head of Department of Business Economics, University of Economics and Management, Prague, Czech Republic Faculty of Business, Marketing Department, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa
President of Romanian Scientific Society of Management- SSMAR
Technische Universität München, TUM School of Management
Dumitru MIRON Valeriu IOAN-FRANC Iacob CĂTOIU Virgil BALAURE Gheorghe ORZAN
Luigi DUMITRESCU Marius D. POP Petru FILIP Ion VOICU SUCALA Virgil POPA Alexandru NEDELEA Ana-Maria PREDA Ileana PONORAN Ovidiu FOLCUȚ Doinița CIOCÎRLAN Marius Dan DALOTĂ Mihai PAPUC Gheorghe ILIESCU Alexandru IONESCU Olga POTECEA Oana PREDA Nicoleta DUMITRU Monica Paula RAȚIU Costel NEGRICEA
Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest National Institute for Economic Research, Romanian Academy; Romanian Marketing Association; Romanian Distribution Committee Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest
Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca Dimitrie Cantemir University, Bucharest Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Management and Economic Engineering Department; University of Glasgow, UK, College of Social Sciences, School of Social & Political Sciences; Managing Editor, Review of Management and Economic Engineering Valahia University of Târgovişte Ştefan cel Mare University of Suceava Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University Romanian-American University
Associate Editors Irina PURCĂREA Dan SMEDESCU
Art Designer Director Alexandru BEJAN
“Holistic Marketing Management” (A refereed journal published four times annually by the School of Management-Marketing of the Romanian-American University) Volume 3, Issue 2, Year 2013
Theodor Valentin Purcărea – Editorial: Re-imagining the Innovative “Holistic Marketing Management” Project Management Process
Hannah FINLAY - Integrating Change Management into Projects: Potential Implications and Benefits
Bénédicte HEYSCH DE LA BORDE - The Impact of Culture on Project Management Success
Jennifer WALTERFANG - Managing Growing Complexity in Project Management. Theories, Complexity Models & Implications
Ines DÖRSING - Is There a Possibility to Create a Perfect Project Risk Management?
Marie THUAU - Key Characteristics and Current Challenge of an Effective Communication in a Project
The responsibility for the content of the scientific and the authenticity of the published materials and opinions expressed rests with the author.
Editorial: Re-imagining the Innovative “Holistic Marketing Management” Project Management Process
A study conducted this year1 found that many of the issues faced by project managers are common, and that their biggest challenges were capturing and allocating time and costs against projects, accessing to real-time information, and feeding project management information. As we all know, human aspect is key to project success, and central to successful projects is of course effective team working so as to identify stakeholders (project manager, customer, performing organization, team, end user, society, citizens), to determine their needs and expectations, and to manage and influence those expectations. And if the project management is the proper way of managing change by adequately controlling the introduction of the desired change, a clever project needs to be supported by listening and true collaboration between all these identified stakeholders. As we have seen on other occasions, making change (organizational, operational, commercial) happen is not an easy matter because it depends on how receptive the organizational environment is to this idea of change as a two-way process, considering the degree to which forces in the task and general environments change and evolve over time, and the organization develops the skills and knowledge necessary to deal with these environmental changes while: - competing and cooperating according to the tone of the organizational culture (organizational structure, employment relationship, characteristics of organizational members, organizational ethics), and - re-imaging and re-innovating on the basis of the managerial actions impact, knowing that the best transformation is only through an improved understanding of how people interpret their environment and choose to act, bridging the gap between top management and the hole organization by building hope and conviction.
Continuing being at the heart of this innovative “Holistic Marketing Management” story process, and engaging the imagination of people connected to this “Project” by storytelling, bridging the gap of the timeline and the urgency and allowing to envision new possibilities, encouraging emergence of youngsters’ contribution, by stimulating the quality of the network in initiating partnerships, so as to adequately managing the probability to capitalize on the opportunity to satisfy the “Holistic Marketing Management” customers and transforming them in team members. 1 Highlights from our 2013 Project Management Challenges survey, 19 September 2013, www.theaccessgroup.com/2013/9/19/highlights-from-our-2013-project-management-challenges-survey.aspx
There is no doubt that we really need a common language to explore key ideas and concepts in this project management process, by assuming that critical intellectual inquiry presupposes having a clear picture of the conception of knowledge, total learning experience (to see things from different perspectives and connected, acquiring core intellectual skills and upholding core values), understanding dialectics of knowing and doing, communication and collaboration, intercultural understanding and global citizenship.
Theodor Valentin PURCÄ‚REA Editor-in-Chief
INTEGRATING CHANGE MANAGEMENT INTO PROJECTS: POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS AND BENEFITS Hannah FINLAY ESC RENNES SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
ABSTRACT Today, projects are used more and more frequently. The iron triangle of project management, which is cost, time scope and quality, is used to help project managers help plan their projects. However, changes within projects, as in other aspects of life, are often inevitable. Failure to handle change well can be disastrous for a company and might lead to failure of a project. There has been much research into the theory of change management which has offered guidance to the project manager on how to deal with periods of change, and the resistance which is often associated with it. The human being is naturally averse to change. This paper will examine some change management theories, and further look at how these change management theories can be integrated into projects. The possible benefits and implications that follow as a result will also be analysed. Key words: Integrating change management; Project Management JEL Classification: M12
Introduction As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus stated: ‘Change is the only constant’ (Levin, 2012). Today’s norms such as mobile and virtual communication were perhaps unthinkable a century ago, and even unpredictable events that could take place twenty four hours into the future could change history, such as the terrorist attacks of 9/11, or a natural disaster that could wipe out thousands. These are of course drastic examples of change, even devastation. However, change can come in many forms. In a domestic setting, change can be something like starting a new job or having a child. In a business setting this could be simply implementing a new IT system, which is the most frequent type of change amongst organisations (Crawford & Nahmias, 2010), or even acquiring an entire foreign subsidiary (Raineri, 2011:266). Overall, change affects all aspects of life, and as humans are often averse to it, this leads to many kinds of anxiety and diminished efficiency (Levin, 2012). As Machiavelli (1515, in Kotter & Schlesinger, 1979:2) in his book the The Prince said: ‘It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things’. Therefore it has been a topic of interest for many researchers to analyse how best to cope with change and prepare to ease smooth transitions from one state of normality to another (Raineri, 2011:266). Particularly in a Project Management context, change is something that a Project Manager must be able to adapt to quickly and efficiently and act as kind of ‘change agent’ (Levin, 2012:4). This document aims to analyse how change management can be integrated within projects. This will be done by firstly revising the concept of
change management and change management theories. Secondly change management and project management will be compared, as well as the role of the project manager and the change manager. The iron triangle of project management as a tool will be briefly introduced. Furthermore, the potential benefits and implications of change management will be examined, and then analysed in the context of a project and how projects can thus implement change management theories to adapt more fluidly to volatile environments. Perspectives on averseness to change Kotter (2011) describes change management as a well-known concept that is used to regulate fluctuations and reduce the impact of negative results of change, such as disturbance. Some authors believe that every kind of management is concerned with how to manage change, and that it is now done using a ‘holistic approach’, which not only covers more tangible and governable ‘hard’ factors like finance, but also ‘soft’ factors which entail the forces within a group, and human behaviour which impact change (Lies, 2012:256). In terms of Project Management, Change Management means being able to regulate adaptations within a project to continue efficiently with the project (PMHUT, 2007). Firstly, it seems important to analyse why it is important to have such a concept, and why one can be averse to change (Levin, 2012). There can be several reasons why people are unhappy with change. Kotter and Schlesinger (1979) offer several causes behind resistance. Firstly, selfishness, which means that people are concerned they will miss something that is important to them, and will concentrate upon what is better for themselves rather than the organisation as a whole. This can turn some employees against each other. Following this, the next reason Kotter and Schlesinger (1979) give is when confidence or trust does not exist between the change makers and those experiencing it, and when the latter also misunderstand what is happening. Unfortuantely there are not many companies whose employees have complete faith in their employers, and therefore it is difficult to reassure people that a change is good if they have any doubts. It is thus important for managers to quickly illuminate any issues or queries their employees might have, in order to avoid increasing any kind of mistrust (Kotter & Schlesinger, 1979). An alternate reason for conflict is that people can have different views to the change than those of their superiors, such as seeing more downsides than upsides on a personal and also a corporate level (Kotter & Schlesinger, 1979). It is common misconception managers have that everyone is equally aware of a situation, however information can change along the way like chinese whispers, and particularly within different areas of a company, different facts can be interpreted differently (Kotter & Schlesinger, 1979). Not only this, if the conclusion reached by the employees that their interpretation of the change is more precise than what their managers have declared, employees may believe that resisting to the change is better for the company overall (Kotter & Schlesinger, 1979), however it is more likely for managers to believe that any fight against the impending change is negative and consequently try to counteract it (Lawrence, 1969). The final cause offered is that people naturally have an aversion to change and will not wish to tolerate it, which can be due to anxiety that they will not cope with what will be expected of them once the change in place, and perhaps that their current skills will not suffice and will therefore make those who have lower levels adability anyway be even more likely to be disinclined to the change. The prospective change could be that an employee will receive a promotion which could please one person, yet it can also be the case that a promotion could scare a person and possibly make them think feel inept, as well as possibly losing something that they currently value, and having to face new contacts and interactions which can
all be daunting (Kotter & Schlesinger, 1979). Yimaz and Kìlìçoglu (2013) support Kotter and Schlesinger’s (1979) arguments and supplement them with the idea that reluctance to change may stem from feeling like a person’s position or contributions within a company is unimportant. For this reason negative feelings about the future can arise concerning matters such as potential redundancies, lack of control over one’s own work and fear about a different work environment (Mullis, 2005, in Yilmaz & Kìlìçoglu, 2013). As already mentioned, changes may be being introduced with good intentions as a reaction to unstable external forces, but if employee uncertainty, tension and anxiery is caused as a result of trying to implement change, this will certainly inhibit it (Boohene & Williams, 2012, in Yilmaz & Kìlìçoglu, 2013) (Armenakis & Bedeian, 1999). Strategies for Dealing with Resistance to Change Kotter and Schlesinger (1979) also offer six steps on how to manage resistance as a result of change. The first step is to educate and communicate so that the reasoning behind the change is clear, avoiding resistance resulting from ignorance. Advantages of this approach are that having convinced the people, they are likely to assist in realising the change. The disadvantages are that it takes a long time the more people that need to be informed. The next step is to encourage active ‘participation and involvement’ which involves allowing employees to offer their own ideas and advise management on how they think the changes should be carried out. This step is particularly good when top management might not have all the information they require to initiate a change, and third parties can supply this information, but also represent a powerful threat of resistance. Advantages of this is that the higher the participation, the higher level of commitment, however it can be disadavantageous if an idea is brought forward which is couterproductive. As a next step, it is important to offer sufficient ‘faciliation and support’ to those who are struggling to adapt to the changes, and may be experiencing a very ‘emotional’ reponse. This could mean offering counselling services, or simply offering more flexibility in working hours earlier on to try and ease workers into it. This is a very successful tactic, however it can cost a lot of time and money. A further tactic is being able to negotiate and reach agreements with employees. This involves an enticement, such as a wage increase or increased dividends. It is a suitable option when not everyone is going to win from the change, but also when these people have a strong influence over resistance, and it can be a quick solution. However, the possible side effect of this is that managers can leave themselves vulnerable to extortion. Another way to deal with resistance is through ‘manipulation and co-optation’. This can be done through being very ‘selective’ when providing information, and through ‘the conscious structuring of events’. Alternatively, a position can be giving to a particular resisting employee within the change design process, however it is not necessarily the input of this ‘co-opted’ employee that the managers are interested in, simply their agreement. This solution is also quite inexpensive and speedy, yet can be dangerous in the future if employees feel like they have indeed been used. The final option the authors offer is ‘explicit and implicit coercion’. This is fundamentally making people consent to a change through threats of unemployment or not being promoted, or even moving them to a different department if they do not cooperate. Obviously, this is a very quick solution to a problem but can be very hazard-
ous to the company if it results in hostility from the staff. (Kotter and Schlesinger, 1979, in Yilmaz & Kìlìçoglu, 2013:19). See Figure 1 in the Appendix for an overview of these steps, plus the relative advantages and disadvantages. Judson (1991, in Armenakis & Bedeian, 1999:301) offers similar methods, on how to execute change. They begin with first ‘analysing and planning the change’ and then move on to make sure that the change has been well conversed across the company. Further, they write about how it is important to be able to obtain approval of ‘new behaviors’ which is essential for quick adaptability of the change (Judson, 1991, in Armenakis & Bedeian, 1999:301). After this, the next step is to transform the current state to the envisaged one and then be able to ‘consolidate and initialise’ this new position (Judson, 1991, in Armenakis & Bedeian, 1999:301). An alternative method offered to deal with resistance is through value stream mapping, which should be done before the project even begins. If one understands exactly how the project is going to work, and each step that will occur, it easier to predict where problems or resistance may occur. The parties and stakeholders should be analysed within the project, and how the information will flow throughout it, as well as any documentation or equipment that will be required. Through this it should become more obvious who is going to be affected and at what point (Creech, 2011). Value stream mapping will help show where extra materials or resources are not being utilised, to creater a much leaner project flow, as well as help visualise all the participants and stages within the project. See Figures 2 and 3 in the appendix for examples of value stream mapping, in the form of a current and future value map, based on the previous current map (Microsoft, 2013a). One may also finally say that managing change is a matter of attitude. Entering a project with an offensive mind-set, assuming that all change is going to be rejected, may brush up the workforce the wrong way from the beginning, and it could be more advisable to enter with the attitude of not necessarily having to ‘overcome resistance’, but more that resistance is an indicator that something is wrong, and that the cause should be found before it is attempted to be quashed (Lawrence 1969:56). Lawrence (1969) provides a rather suitable analogy of the body, in that when we feel pain or feel sick, it is because something is wrong within our bodies, and trying to deal with resistance without previously diagnosing the cause is like dosing ourselves up with pain killers without identifying the cause of the problem. It is a temporary fix but does not get to the root of the problem. Application of Change Management within Projects Firstly, it is often the case that Project Managers and Change Managers are in competition with each other as to who ought to be responsible for handling change (Crawford & Nahmias, 2010). Change Managers have a different approach to that of a Project Manager, who is said to have a ‘focus on planning and control’, whereas the Change Manager is more trained in developing an organisation and has a greater knowledge regarding behaviour and psychology of their employees (Crawford & Nahmias, 2010:406). However, a Project Manager has to be aware that in their project they will have to monitor and guide change, and act as a kind of ‘change agent’, therefore the roles of both these leaders do intertwine (Levin, 2012:4). It is their role to monitor and evaluating emerging changes, and how they are going to affect their plans as far as the ‘iron triangle’ is concerned. The iron triangle of project management is a commonly used concept amongst projects and consists of scope, money and time, with quality as a central feature of the triangle as result of the three points (see Figure 4
in the Appendix) (Microsoft, 2013b). As a general rule, project managers are advised to pick two points of the triangle and focus on them, such as the budget and the scope of the project but have more flexibility where time is concerned (Microsoft, 2013b). Not only this, but it will also be important to be able to analyse the triangle when problems or changes start to arise, as it may have to be adjusted throughout the project by looking for which parts of the triangle are constrained and which are not, such as the cost or the time which are often the most common constraints (Microsoft, 2013b). The iron triangle can also be used in the following examples to see how change management theories are be used in projects, supported by use of appropriate literature and cases. Change management is greatly used within construction projects and has become a very important feature, as any disruptions can lead to late delivery and very unhappy clients and workers alike (Motawa, et al., 2007). Changes can greatly affect a project life cycle, and Motawa et al (2007) describe how construction projects can implement change management systems, and the general processes they can use. Their paper illustrates a ‘generic change management model’(see Figure 5 in the appendix) which is an amalagmation of change management processes from literature they they reviewed, and this model shows how changes to a construction project are carried out and the constant integration of change management (Motawa, et al., 2007). The model consists of four main stages: ‘Start-up’, ‘Identify and Evaluate’, ‘Approval and Propagation’ and ‘Post Change’ (Motawa, et al., 2007:370-372). At the start up stage, all processes of change management are defined to enable quick responses at later stages of the project including contigency methods, before the next stage of actually identifying the type of change that is occurring and deciding how to tackle the issue (Motawa, et al., 2007). The next stage of the model is getting the changes approved by the client, and for the client to decide upon what exactly the alternative should look like, before communicating it back to the change intiators, .i.e. the construction companies in this case (Motawa, et al., 2007). Following these stages, the ‘post change’ stage consists of resolving any existing conflicts, where necessary, and analysing the initial causes of the change to be better prepared for future projects (Motawa, et al., 2007). The stages in this model used can be compared to the change management process offered by Kotter and Schlesinger (1979), as there are certainly similar components such as including the client in the reconfiguration of the project when changes arise in the iron triangle. This could possibly be a change in the scope of the project if certain materials are no longer available, or perhaps the government has intervened and refused planning permission. Alternatively, the budget of the project may have been underestimated. In these cases, the client and project manager must renegotiate the terms and reanalyse the iron triangle of the project to see where they can be flexible, and where not. As a general rule, it is advisable to aim to fulfil only two points of the triangle, and have one that is flexible, e.g. have a construction project on time and within budget but be flexible with how it is supposed to look (Microsoft, 2013b). The fact the time is taken to communicate and renegotiate with the client shows the incorporation of Kotter and Schlesinger’s (1979) theories. Another example of where change management has greatly benefited construction projects can be seen in the paper by Hwang and Low (2012), where they analyse construction projects within Singapore and how change management has reduced the side effects associated with change upon their projects.Their paper analysed 384 projects from 32 companies and the extent to which change management executed at different stages and hierarchical ranks of a project affected the project, and whether or not, based on the information gathered, it would be
wise to continue to administer change management within the company (Hwang & Low, 2012). Additionally, the companies looked at how well the company achieved after the concept of change management had been introduced by analysing the end budget, duration and overall quality of the project (Hwang & Low, 2012). According to their paper, change in projects can stem from various factors from within and outside of the company, such as changes in hierarchy or organisaitonal structure which can lead to miscommunication, unpredictable external sources like a natural disaster, and even external stakeholders such as the government who wish to intervene in the project (Hwang & Low, 2012). Ibbs et al. (2001, in Hwang & Low, 2012:818) describe how change can have both good and bad effects upon a project and the iron triangle of budget, scope and time, and further describes these as ‘benefical changes’ and ‘detrimental changes’. For example, ‘value management’ is a type of change which will benefit a company, even though it might impact the cost of a project, where as any changes which might be damaging to a project are not advisable, and it is vital for the project manager to be able to foresee these impacts and be able to promptly react to them accordingly. Negative side effects include lower labour efficiency, higher costs, decreased quality, project delay and lower saftey levels, which is particularly important to this paper as it deals with the changes in construction projects and how to handle them (Ibbs et al. 2001, in Hwang & Low, 2012:818). Following a survey, Hwang and Low (2012:822) discovered that construction projects in Singapore implement very little change management (more than 66%) which could be due to the concept being relatively new in the country, however barriers to implementing change management to these construction projects were identified as follows (Hwang & Low, 2012). A staggering 81% of projects claimed to be content with current processes and were reluctant to employ new ideas, following this the ‘small scale of projects’ (48%) and the cost and time of implementing change management (38%) were further reasons why companies were averse to change (Hwang & Low, 2012). Kotter and Schlesinger’s (1979) theory can be applied here, in that by educating and communicating the benefits of the impending change, or the importance of it to the project, this can help the project members understand the reasoning behind them and be more willing to adapt new ideas. Furthermore, those who see the size of the projects they are working on irrelevant in terms of change management may be more inclined to take on new ideas, if they are more participative and involved in the changes, and even tempted by incentives like promotions or wage increases (Lawrence, 1969; Kotter & Schlesinger, 1979). In such construction projects where the concepts of change management are relatively new, it seems more appropriate to invest more in educating their staff to help them with their aversion towards changes. Here, it is ultimately a case of using change management to help implement change management in these projects in Singapore, however according to the final results in Hwang and Low’s (2012) paper it is seen overall that the majority of projects that did implement change management regularly into their projects had a higher success rate than those that did not. Conclusion As can be seen from the given examples, change management has become an integral part of project
management. Particularly in construction projects, where the deliverable is a very tangible one, any changes to the project could either change the outcome incrementally or drastically depending on the amount of change management enforced. There are several change management theories available for project managers to consider in times of change. Depending on the type of change that is being implemented, there are many options available. The task of the project manager, who has effectively become a change manager, is to analyse the change and its stakeholders, and choose the appropriate method to handle it. It might be more advantageous to spend more on facilitation and support than using speedier methods which could disrupt the culture of the company, such as explicit or implicit coercion. It might be more expensive in the long run, but it could have its beneficial advantages, like through value management and avoid losing treasured employees to competitors. In some countries, the concept of change management is still a very foreign one, like in Singapore, for example, and therefore the benefits of it are possibly still unknown. However, the results can be seen in many cases that many companies have seen success after implementing change management. The change management theories that this paper has examined have also offered methods how to tackle resistance, as it is a natural reaction to resist change and many employees automatically assume change is going to have negative implications. However, if one views managing change with the mind-set that there will most definitely be resistance, it would be like preparing for battle without even analysing the causes. Or, as previously mentioned, trying to quash pain or illness without understanding the root of the problem. It may work temporarily, but the underlying cause may fester if left untreated. Therefore it is better to take a less offensive approach, and treat causes behind averseness to change with care. Ultimately, it seems sensible to certainly incorporate change management into project management as much as possible, however not to anticipate only negative reactions to change. One should be willing and prepared to delve deeper behind reactions to change, rather than immediately attempt to battle with resistance. In the long term, understanding the causes for resistance should help prevent disruption in the future. References
Armenakis, A. & Bedeian, A., 1999. Organizational Change: A Review of Theory and Research in the 1990s. Journal of Management, 25(3). Crawford, L. & Nahmias, A., 2010. Competencies for managing change. International Journal of Project Management, Volume 28, pp. 405-412. Creech, D., 2011. Project Management: Overcoming Resistance to Change. [Online] Available at: http://expertaccess.cincom.com/2011/03/project-management-overcoming-resistance-to-change/ [Accessed 29 November 2013]. Armenakis, A. & Bedeian, A., 1999. Organizational Change: A Review of Theory and Research in the 1990s. Journal of Management, 25(3). Crawford, L. & Nahmias, A., 2010. Competencies for managing change. International Journal of Project Management, Volume 28, pp. 405-412. Creech, D., 2011. Project Management: Overcoming Resistance to Change. [Online] Available at: http://expertaccess.cincom.com/2011/03/project-management-overcoming-resistance-to-change/
[Accessed 29 November 2013]. Hwang, B. & Low, L., 2012. Construction project change management in Singapore: Status, importance and impact. International Journal of Project Management, Volume 30, pp. 817-826. Kotter, J., 2011. Change Management vs Change Leadership -- What’s the difference?. [Online] Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkotter/2011/07/12/change-management-vs-change-leadership-whats-the-difference/ [Accessed 12 October 2013]. Kotter, J. & Schlesinger, L., 1979. Choosing strategies for change. Harvard Business Review, 57(2), pp. 106-114. Lawrence, P. J., 1969. How to Deal With Resistance to Change. Harvard Business Review, January- February.pp. 4-13. Levin, G., 2012. Embrace and Exploit Change as a Program Manager: Guidelines for Success. [Online] Available at: http://www.pmi.org/~/media/PDF/Knowledge-Shelf/EmbraceExploitChange_Levin.ashx [Accessed 12 October 2013]. Lies, J., 2012. Internal communications as power management in change processes: Study on the possibilities and the reality of change communications. Public Relations Review, Volume 38, pp. 255-261. Microsoft, 2013a. Create a value stream map. [Online] Available at: http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/visio-help/create-a-value-stream-map-HA010113024.aspx [Accessed 29 November 2013]. Microsoft, 2013b. The Project Triangle. [Online] Available at: http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/project-help/the-project-triangle-HA010351692.aspxf [Accessed 24 10 2013]. Motawa, I., Anumba, C., Lee, S. & Peña-Mora, F., 2007. An integrated system for change management in construction. Automation in Construction, Volume 16, pp. 368-377. PMHUT, 2007. PMO and Project Management Dictionary. [Online] Available at: http://www.pmhut.com/pmo-and-project-management-dictionary [Accessed 12 October 2013]. Raineri, A., 2011. Change management practices: Impact on perceived change results. Journal of Business Research, Volume 64, pp. 266-272. Yilmaz, D. & Kìlìçoglu, G., 2013. Resistance to change and ways of reducing resistance in educational organizations. European Journal of Research on Education, 1(1), pp. 14-21
APPENDIX Approach Education and communication
Participation and involvement
Commonly used in situations Where there is a lack of information or inaccurate information and analysis Where the initiators do not have all the information they need to design the change, and where others have considerate power to resist
Once persuaded, people will often help with the implementation of the change People who participate will be committed to implementing change, and any relevant information they have will be integrated into the change plan
Can be very time-consuming if lots of people are involved Can be very time-consuming if participators design an inappropriate change
Where people are No other approach resisting because of works as well with adjustment problems adjustment problems Where someone or some group will Sometimes it is a clearly lose out in a relatively easy way to change, and where avoid major resisthat group has tance considerable power to resist
Facilitation and support
Negotiation and agreement
Where other tactics will not work, or are too expensive
Manipulation and co-optation
Explicit and implicit coercion
It can be a relatively quick and inexpensive solutions to resistance problems
Can be time-consuming, expensive, and still fail Can be too expensive in many cases if it alerts others to negotiate for compliance
Can lead to future problems if people feel manipulated
Where speed is essential, and the It is speedy, and can Can be risky if it change initiators overcome any kind of leaves people mad at possess considerable resistance the initiators power
Figure 1: Methods to Dealing with resistance to Change Source: Kotter
& Schlesinger, 1979:7
Figure 2: A Current Value Stream Map Source: Microsoft, 2013a
Figure 5: A generic change process model Source: Motawa, et al., 2007:371
THE IMPACT OF CULTURE ON PROJECT MANAGEMENT SUCCESS BĂŠnĂŠdicte HEYSCH DE LA BORDE ESC RENNES SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
Abstract The purpose of this paper is to provide an argumentation about leadership difficulties a western project manager can experience when being expatriated in China and managing people from a different culture. Actually, the leadership is an important dimension for a project manager as it has an impact on the success of a project. Nevertheless, the leadership notion and practices are influenced by cultural differences. The paper reviews the numerous cultural differences between the western and project management culture, which is initially a western style, and the Chinese culture. While, those cultural differences do exist and have an impact on leadership styles and can affect the effectiveness of a project team, it should also be considered that in practice, things could be different and currently evolving. Project management is not anymore a totally new management style in China. In a world going global, some management styles are also going global. Project managers are aware of culture matters, have some solutions to adapt their practices and Chinese local people are getting more used to western management style. Key words: Project management, Leadership, Cultural dimensions, China JEL Classification: F23, M12, M16 Introduction With a world going global, many companies have turned global and have been developing some activities abroad sending away some professionals, including project managers. Lately, China has been and still is a very attractive country for many businesses. Nevertheless, leading activities in another country means understanding the hosting country and being able of adaptation. This is not always an easy task, especially when western project managers are faced to manage teams composed of local people. And as said by Low and Shi (2001), cultural difference is very important to consider, as it is a major factor affecting success or failure of projects1. This paper has been written in order to expose the differences between the Chinese and the western cultures, and to explain the influence of those differences on the leadership style of both cultures, which then implies impacts on the project success. Many researches (Low &Shi 2001) about cultural dimensions and about their effects on project management have been directed. There is also a big literature about the leadership role on project management. This study has been drawn to link all those notions and focuses on project teams composed
of local people and whose project manager is coming from a western country. This paper fits with current issues some international companies could face in China. The first part of this paper is dedicated to define what is a successful project and to explain how leadership influences success. Through a literature review, cultural differences between Chinese and western people are then exposed in order to show how they influence leadership styles. Despite those differences, cultural differences can be source of positive effects on project teams. Moreover, evolution of the western project management style in China understanding as to be considered. That is what is discussed in the last section of this paper. The role of leadership on projects success Before analyzing the impact of the project manager’s leadership on a project success, it is important to focus on defining a successful project. A project is a group activity which aim is to create a unique result (this result can be a product, a service or another result). Projects always are singular and temporary. Hence, the creation of temporary management structures for the project that are disbanded after the end of the project (Walker, 2008). Geoghegan and Dulewicz (2008) reviewed the literature defining a project success. According to them, measuring the success of a project today is not anymore only about time, cost, functionality improvement measurement but also about stakeholder satisfaction, product success, business and organization benefit as well as the team development. Consequently, Jugdev and Müller (2005) consider four factors that are necessary for success (cited in Geoghegan and Dulewicz work, 2008): success criteria should be agreed with stakeholders before and during the project; owner/sponsor and manager should work with a collaborative working relationship; project manager should be empowered for more flexibility when unforeseen circumstances occur; the project owner/sponsors should take an interest in the performance of the project. As a result, the project manager has a major role in a project success as he “lies at the center of action by coordinating and managing the project team’s activities” (Walker, 2008). According to Pinto and Trailer (1998), there are different characteristics a project manager should have to be an effective project manager: credibility, creative problem solving, tolerance for ambiguity, flexibility, communication characteristics, but also technical, administrative and leadership skills. Actually, the success of a project is strongly linked to the leadership of the management. (Geoghegan and Dulewicz, 2008; Müller and Turner, 2010; Yang et al., 2011; Anantatmula, 2010). Leadership, that can be defined as the “combination of skills and knowledge, such as empowerment and achievement, with personal characteristics, such as intuitiveness” (Geoghegan and Dulewicz, 2008), is an important competency. Geoghegan and Dulewicz (2008) found eight leadership dimensions demonstrating a
positive relationship with certain project success variables. These dimensions are: managing resources, empowering, developing, motivation, critical analysis, influencing, self-awareness, and sensitivity. Müller and Turner (2010) even determine fifteen leadership competencies composing three different styles of leadership: the intellectual style (which dimensions are critical analysis and judgment, vision and imagination, strategic perspective); the managerial style (engaging communication, managing resources, empowering, developing, achieving), the emotional one (based on self-awareness, emotional resilience, motivation, sensitivity, influence, intuitiveness, conscientiousness). Those competences are part of the profile of successful project managers. Leadership has a role to play on different levels and there are several explanations to this. First, leadership is significant in motivating people as well as in generating a good working environment (Anantamula, 2010). Moreover, depending on the level of leadership, relationships among team members are more or less strong and team communication, collaboration and cohesiveness also vary. Actually, relationships, communication, collaboration and cohesiveness are positively linked to the project performance in terms on cost, schedule, cost and quality performance as well as the stakeholder satisfaction (Yang et al. 2011). To summarize, the project manager role is important to be considered for a project success and one of the competencies to understand is his leadership. One dimension that has not been mentioned yet is culture. First of all, the leadership notion differs across cultures (Dickson, 2012). And secondly, cultural differences in a team are a major factor of success or failure of a project (Zeng, 2009). Understanding why it can be difficult for a western expatriates to handle a project in China (either in a team composed of Chinese people or in a multicultural teams with both Chinese and western people) is the purpose of the following part. How cultural differences impact leadership style Many researchers have been working on differences between Westerners and Chinese culture. Culture is said as being a “collective phenomenon” as people from a same social environment learn it (Hofstede, 1991). Trompenaars (1993), on the other hands, specify that culture is based on “languages, economy, religion, policies, social institutions, class, values, status, attitudes, manners, customs, material items, aesthetics and education”. As a consequence, culture influences the managerial values (cited by Zeng, S et al 2009). Those cultural differences are undeniable as already proven in many studies. Hofstede (2001) determines several cultural dimensions (cited by Dickson et al., 2012). The first one is individualism vs. collectivism: individualist societies where people first look after their interests and collectivist ones in which people first consider the interests of the collective instead of their own. The second is the uncertainty avoidance, which determines to which
extent risks and uncertainty is avoided by a society. The third Hofstede’s dimension is power distance that describes how members of an organization perceive unequal distribution of the power. The fourth one describes masculine vs. feminine cultures. Finally, Diskson et al. (2012) add the short-term vs. long-term orientation to the first four dimensions previously presented. This dimension measures the degree to which people respect their social obligations and traditions as well as if they try to protect their face or not. Trompernaars’ works also lead to seven cultural dimensions (cited by Diskson et al., 2012): universalism vs. particularism: in universalist cultures, people have a preference for rules while in universalists ones they trust more relationship; individualism vs. collectivism: it is about the same definition than Hofstede’s one; affective vs. neutral is about if feelings are openly showed and expressed or not; diffuse vs. specific: in specific cultures, people their don’t mix personal and professional lives and consider relationships have little impact on professional objectives. But in diffuse cultures, task-relationships are not segregated from other matters. There are three more dimensions founded by Trompenaar: achievement (people are evaluated according to their achievements) versus ascription (status have been ascribed to people according to their age, class, gender, education, etc.); different approach to time according to the society: either people are more sequential (schedule is important and events have to be displayed in a specific order) or synchronic (what is important is the notions of past, present and future). Finally, they have different attitudes to environment: people believe they have control on nature or not (in this case man is part of the nature and have no power on it). If Trompenaar’s and Hofstede’s dimensions are very often mentioned, many other authors and institutions have worked on cultural differences: Hall’s define high and low context dimensions. In low-context cultures communication is more direct while high-context cultures rely more on non-verbal communication (cited by Jonasson and Lauring, 2012), Another example, GLOBE determines nine important dimensions in communication matters: performance orientation, future orientation, assertiveness, power distance, humane orientation, institutional collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, and gender egalitarianism (Diskson et al., 2012). Thus, there are a lot of cultural dimensions to consider when comparing two cultures, as defined before. Those cultural differences are visible in the business field between Chinese and Western countries and especially in management and project management. Wong et al. (2007) remind that Chinese are more people-oriented than westerners. Chinese are also more high-context power relationship-oriented than westerners who prefer the low-context one. As a result, Chinese managers are more implicit and slower in their communication (Jonasson and Lauring, 2012; Chinta, R., Capar, N., 2007). Jonasson and Lauring (2012) also underline that the group-oriented Confucian values present in China can affect the communication of Westerners with Chinese. Actually, as defined by Zeng et al. (2009), there are five factors that are significantly different for a western manager working with Chinese people and that have to be
considered: “you could accept your manager criticizing your mistake in public; you avoid any conflict with your manager; objective of the project is the target for the whole project group; you do not mind the methods for your performance evaluation”; and “you pay greater attention to improve “relationship” among colleagues”. To all those cultural differences, it is not to be forgotten that the project management approach is originally coming from western countries and is basically different from a Chinese approach. As a result, there are some gaps to consider between the project management culture and the Chinese culture. Wang and Liu (2007) define four cultural barriers that could explain why it is more difficult for a Chinese company to use a project management approach than for a western one. The first one is the “Integration Management” vs. “Doctrine of the Mean”: the project management approach is an integration management because different disciplines, processes, units and even organizations are integrated which implies some conflicts, risks but which also encourage different opinions to be discussed. While in a Doctrine of the Mean, people should be in harmony with others and with their environment. The second difference is about a Horizontal Management implying a low power distance vs. a Strong Hierarchy, which is important in the Chinese culture. The third one is the “Team Consciousness” which characterizes project management vs. the “Family Consciousness”. Last but not leas, “Task Orientated” culture where people should be motivated by the accomplishment of their tasks vs. “Boss Orientation” where the first objective is to satisfy the boss (important in China). Regarding all those cultural differences between Chinese culture and project management and western cultures, the first thing coming to mind is about difficulties and barriers that could affect the effectiveness and the success of a project where a western manager deals with Chinese employees or manage a multicultural team that also comports some disadvantages such as language barrier and of believes, opinions expressions and communication matters, etc (Miller et al., 2000) and that could result to unsuccessful projects. Current context and evolution to be considered about western vs. Chinese cultures Despite all those differences, some researches findings have a moderating view concerning project management in China, and this should be considered very carefully. Actually, Wong et al. (2007) investigated the leadership style of expatriate and Chinese managers and their conclusions are quite surprising considering the differences discussed previously: Chinese and western expatriates project managers dealing together in an intercultural workplace, have leadership perceptions and power relationships that does not vary so much. What is important for all of them is performance. There is an “intercultural adjustment” and an adaptation (Wong et al., 2007) between the two managers groups. From this assumption, this “intercultural adjustment” and adaptation notion can be expanded to manager-employees relations: western project managers, as they are aware of the
importance of culture in their situation and of their cultural differences with their project teams, can adjust their way of making decision and of managing (Burshell and Gilden, 2008). Members of a project do not always realize this potential of adjustment and adaptability that they have. As an example, expatriates sometimes ignored the potential of their communication flexibility (Jonasson et Lauring, 2012). Of course, the managers should have some knowledge about the culture they are dealing with but they should take into consideration their ability of being flexible. Cultural differences should not always be blamed. This could lead to a better cohesion of the team and a better success of a project. In addition, Pheng et al (1997) determine some similarities between the western management approach and Chinese philosophies from military strategy to lead to a successful project. The similarities between a project manager, a project management and the application of strategies are the following: “strong leadership, planning and the ability to work as a team”. In addition, “resolving conflicts and open communication” are important criteria for an effective project management team. To the links that can be done between the two cultures, and considering a team of local people with a western manager as a cross-cultural team, the benefits of multicultural teams for a project as to be added. Miller et al. (2000) defend that diversity in a group or team leads to innovation and creativity as well as come up with different problem solutions alternatives as people have different experiences. Moreover, a heterogeneous group is more flexible and more able to adapt to change than a homogeneous one. Thus, a project manager has to be able to adapt is leadership style to the diversity of his team. Some researches have conducted some studies to develop how to improve the chance of success of a project relatively to the western project manager working with local Chinese people. In an international environment and with people of a different culture, such a manager should recognize and understand the Chinese culture (Zeng 2009) and work value in order to know how to manage the team and to motivate its members (Jackson et al. 1998). Once again, leadership has an important role in project success and that is why the trainings should also focus on this notion as well as technical and management skills (Müller and Turner, 2010). Müller and Turner (2010) define five steps to improve leadership competencies. The first one is to recognize what kind of projects the organization needs and define the appropriate leadership style for those projects. Then, the project managers should be evaluated to assess their leadership style. The third step is to develop the leadership areas according to the profiles (through training or experience) and then projects should be well coordinated and project managers chosen according to the project types. The last step is about valuing the project managers. The current trend concerning the difficulties of western project managers working with local Chinese and issues for western companies is evolving. The notion of “global leadership” used by Miller et al. (2000) is the proof that there are some changes in the practices and conceptualization of the notion. Leadership is becoming global and differences are disappearing little by little due to the globalization and adaptation of
companies and employees. Also, multinational companies realize how important it is to have cohesion in a project management team and that westerners are not the only one being able to manage a project teams. Actually, as Chinese people are also developing their understanding in the western project management style, more and more Chinese people are able to handle and manage a team in a western way. Consequently, this could help resolving the problems companies are facing concerning the seeking of “talents” (Hartmann et al. 2010). Conclusion This paper starts by showing the role of leadership on projects success. An examination of the literature about Chinese and western cultural dimensions is then proposed in order to explain how they influence leadership style and project management. The findings of this paper are that the project manager leadership style is important for a project success and leadership style is influenced by culture. Moreover, there are many cultural differences between the Chinese culture and the western culture and even between the Chinese culture and the project management culture. Not understanding all the previously point mentioned can negatively impact a project success and make difficult to manage a project. Nevertheless, it should not be forgotten that it is possible to take advantage from such situation: multicultural teams have many benefits and the evolution of the business trend, especially through the process of globalization, tends to slowly modify perception of leadership and practices for a better adaptation of both project managers and their team. References Ng, C., Walker, D., 2008, A study of project management leadership styles across life cycle stages of an IT project in Hong Kong, International Journal of Managing Projects in Business Vol. 1 No. 3, pp. 404-427 Wong, J., Wong, P., Heng, L., 2007, An investigation of leadership styles and relationship cultures of Chinese and expatriate managers in multinational construction companies in Hong Kong, Construction Management and Economics N.25, pp.95–106 Chen, P., Partington, D., Qiang, M., 2009, Cross-cultural understanding of construction project managers’ conceptions of their work, Journal Of Construction Engineering And Management, pp.477-487 Zeng, S., Xie, X., Tam, C., Sun, P., 2009, Identifying cultural difference in R&D project for performance improvement: a field study, Journal of Business Economics and Management, Vol. 10, Issue 1, pp. 61–70 Jonasson, C., Lauring, J., 2012, Cultural differences in use: the power to essentialize communication styles, Journal of Communication Management Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 405-419
Wang, J., Liu, L., 2007, Cultural Barriers to the Use of Western Project Management in Chinese Enterprises: Some Empirica Evidence from Yunnan Province, Project Management Journal, Vol. 38, No. 3, 61-73 Pheng, L., Lee, B., 1997, East meets West: leadership development for construction project management, Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 12, No 6, pp.383-400 Burchell, R., Gilden, A., 2008, Measuring cultural perceptions of western project managers operating in the Asian region, Management Decision Vol. 46 No. 7, pp. 1052-1065 Lloyd-Walker, B., Walker, D., 2011, Authentic leadership for 21st century project delivery International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 29, pp.383–395 Geoghegan, L., Dulewicz, V., (2008), Do Project Managers’ Leadership Competencies Contribute to Project Success?, Project Management Journal, Vol. 39, No. 4, 58–67 Muller, R., Turner, R., 2010, Leadership competency profiles of successful project managers, International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 28, pp.437–448 Yang, L., Huang, C., Wu, K., 2011, The association among project manager’s leadership style, teamwork and project success, International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 29, pp.258–267 Anantatmula V., 2010, Project Manager Leadership Role in Improving Project Performance, Engineering Management Journal, Vol 22, No1 Chinta, R., Capar, N., 2007, Comparative analysis of managerial values in the USA and China, Journal of Technology Management in China Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 212-224 Dickson, M., Castano, N., Magomaeva, A., Den Hartog, D., 2012, Conceptualizing leadership across cultures, Journal of World Business, Vol. 47, pp.483–492 Jackson, T., Mette Bak, M., 1998, Foreign companies and Chinese workers: employee motivation in the People’s Republic of China, Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp.282-300 Miller, M., Fields, R., Kumar, A., Ortiz, R., 2000, Leadership and Organizational Vision In Managing a Multiethnic and Multicultural Project team, Journal of management in engineering. Hartmann, E., Feisel, E., Schober, H., 2010, Talent management of western MNCs in China: Balancing global integration and local responsiveness, Journal of World Business, Vol 45, pp.169–178
MANAGING GROWING COMPLEXITY IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT. THEORIES, COMPLEXITY MODELS & IMPLICATIONS Jennifer Melissa WALTERFANG ESC RENNES SCHOOL OF BUSINESS ABSTRACT This paper defines the complexity of projects and describes different theories and models within the field of complex project management. Since complexity itself is an emergent concept that is hard to pin down, the focus lies on the measurement of different key factors, dimensions and areas in different types of projects. Particularly, uncertainty, non-linearity, interdependency, differentiation, ambiguity, technology, management and interaction are associated with project complexity. Measurement models such as the ’The Helsmann Project Success Triangle’, ‘The Stacey Matrix’, ‘The Goals & Methods Matrix’, the U-process by Kahane and the ‘Complexity Theory’ by Weaver are proposed to understand the contributors to complexity and to help project managers to avoid project failure, to identify sources of complexity and to execute projects successfully. Moreover, the transition from traditional, technical Project Management skills and competences to new influence and leadership skills and competences are explored in order to manage highly complex projects. Key words: Complexity, Complexity models; Project Management JEL Classification: M12
INTRODUCTION Once the famous Nobel Prize Winning Author 2013, Alice Munro said ‘The complexity of things – the things within things – just seems to be endless. I mean nothing is easy, nothing is simple’. The greatest challenge in the 21st Century facing project management is the need to manage the shift from the ‘command and control’ paradigm based on the theories of ‘scientific management’ developed by Taylor and others in the early 20th Century, to a more ‘engage and create’ approach in order to manage complex projects. (Weaver, 2009) Understanding the complexity of projects is an essential part of project management in order to cope with difficulties regarding goal attainment and decision-making. There is an increasing need to measure complexity in a robust manner not only based upon budget and project size. The turbulent economic environment and the globalisation of the 21st century lead to more complexity in projects due to the increasing size. Mostly, mega projects face complexity because they have no geographical borders and a high level of uncertainty. Agility and adaptability are essential to plan and execute a successful project that delivers real value may it be for business or private purpose. (Williams, 1999) Grasping the different situations within a project and the managerial demands of today’s projects, the term ’Complexity’ is gradually becoming a benchmark term. (Kahane, 2004) Some challenging projects have been completed recently and in the past like the construction of venues for the Beijing Olympics, Airbus A380, a wide-body, double –deck, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by Airbus or airport constructions such as the airport in Istanbul with $30 Billion costs or Hong Kong International Airport with costs of $20 Billion. From a project management perspective, it is too simple to classify projects as complex or non-complex. It is essential to identify the source, the level and the implications of complexity in order to succeed. The main topic of this paper is complexity in projects. The heart of this paper explores different theories and models of
complexity with the objective to find out if the theoretical models of complexity can help real world project managers to execute complex projects successfully. This will be done, by firstly revising the concepts and theories of complexity within projects. Secondly, methods on how to measure complexity will be explained as well as the role of the project manager within different types of complex projects. Furthermore, the potential benefits and implications as well as limitations of complexity models will be examined, and then analysed in the context of a project. COMPLEXITY AND ITS FACTORS A lot of definitions, approaches and theories of complexity exist due to the goal seeking focus of the project management discipline. Remington et al., (2009) define complexity in projects as ‘One that demonstrates a number of characteristics to a degree, or level of severity, that makes it extremely difficult to predict project outcomes, to control or manage project.’ The characteristics comprise high levels of non-linearity, adoption, emergence and interconnectedness. Moreover, complexity can be described in terms of dimensions or source characteristics, which are closely connected to a range of severity factors. (Remington et al., 2009) The literature reveals that most authors associate complexity with uncertainty, difficulties in technology, management challenges, organisational complicacy, trust, clarity, content dependence capabilities and communication. Others see the project as a system and try to understand the aspects of complexity by using system theory. Payne (1995) associates complexity with the multiple interfaces between individual projects, the organization and the parties concerned. He combines difficulty and the system aspect. Cavanagh (2011) describes the difference between complex and complicated projects and states on his professional YouTube channel that: ‘The degree of uncertainty and the number of interacting and independent components over which we have little or no control,’ defines the level of complexity in projects whereas complicated projects are just not well managed and misses resources and capabilities. To make his idea more touchable, he refers to the example of gardening and the growing of flowers and plants due to environmental unforeseeable conditions. Snowden and Boone (2007) agree with Cavanagh’s point of view and make a clearer distinction between a complex and a complicated project in their paper. Moreover, there is a more precise definition of the word: ‘complex’ in the papers of Baccarini, (1996) and Remington and Pollack, (2007) to describe what could happen in projects which are more than just difficult. For them, parts of a complex project are interrelated and can be operationalized in terms of interdependency and differentiation. Differentiation can be found within the organisational complexity of a project, the number of units, tasks and hierarchical levels, horizontally and vertically. With interdependency, they reckon the degree of operational interdependencies between organizational units. Another element contributing to the complexity of projects is technology, which can be divided into three areas: characteristics of materials, characteristics of knowledge and operations. (Baccarini, 1996) In the paper of Jones and Deckro (1993) another aspect to technical complexity is explored, namely instability of the assumptions upon which the tasks are based. DIFFERENT PROJECTS HAVE DIFFERENT TYPES OF COMPLEXITIES Projects executed in the field of change management, defence, aerospace, information & communication technology, research & development and strategic outsourcing, are typically characterized by complexity. There are different perspectives where complexity becomes a challenge for project managers. From an uncertainty perspective, it was not clear whether the objective of the project was to establish a market presence or to maximize returns on a project-to-project basis. (Kumar et al, 2005) From a structural perspective, complexity involves multiple stakeholders interacting with each other. A project, where complexity evolves as a challenge is in Product Development. The deliverable may be complex in its function, form, integration or technology. (Danilovic & Browning, 2007). In those projects, there is a high level of interdependency between functions. Furthermore, the information exchange between people to solve problems and to define, design and manufacture the final product adds to the complexity of projects. (Danilovic & Browning, 2007). Famous examples here are Siemens and their recently introduced open innovation projects or pharmaceutical companies like Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer with their projects on new t drugs development. In Plant Engineering projects, the main source of complexity appears to be from interaction, viz. internationality and multidisciplinary (Muller & Geraldi, 2007). Other indicators of complexity comprise the number of sources, size and interdependency. A recent example for this type of complexity is Fichtner, an infrastructure service provider from Germany. Their latest project was the
construction of a new 500 MW thermal power plant in Sudan and there was a lot of interaction on international level between the government of Sudan and the company. Girmscheid and Brockman (2008) detected five types of complexity in engineering projects, namely, cognitive complexity, social complexity, cultural complexity, task complexity and operative complexity. An engineering project, containing all five types of complexity is the International Space Station (ISS), which is the largest manned object ever sent into space. The station is 217.6 cubic meters large and it is such a huge project that it will soon be visible to the naked eye from 90 % of the Earth’s surface. (Houston Public Television, 2010) Hundreds of cooperation, 16 nations and 100,000 stakeholders have worked together to pull of this project with costs of $100 billion. On the opposite, IT projects have intangibles as deliverables. Their key complexity components are immaturity, multi-disciplinary, frequency and severances. ‘Trust in organizations’ capabilities and frequent changes are the main issues for complexity in IT related projects’ (Muller & Geraldi, 2007).A matching example here is ‘The National Health Service’ in England which got fully computerized and the repository of health records was a big challenges of immaturity stages and multi-disciplinary. The paper of Remington et al., (2009) contains an interesting research, conducted through in-depth semi-structured interviews with 23 leaders, who have extensive experiences within the field of project management. They were involved in projects rated ACAT I, II and/or III (using the Acquisition Categorisation (ACAT) framework. ACAT I and II projects are major projects with multi-million and billion dollar budgets, emergent technology, multiple contractors, often geographically dispersed teams with a high level of uncertainty and risks. Each interview took one hour and the question was simply what project complexity means to them, how they would define it and how the personally experienced it. The results revealed an overarching agreement on uncertainty and ambiguity, which for most of the respondents have been major factors for complexity in projects. Furthermore, in their opinion, a project manager must understand the environment he or she is operating in and that a huge amount of changes and a change management process makes a project complex. Moreover, the interviews detected a number of specific topics, contributing to the perception of complexity, namely goals, stakeholders, interfaces and dependencies, technology, management processes, work practices and time. The most important implication of this research is the identification of the potential sources of complexity, which would benefit the dialogue between project managers and stakeholders in their discussions of project complexity. (Remington et al., 2009) MEASURING COMPLEXITY WITH COMPLEXITY MODELS ‘A model is “a simplified description of a system or complex entity, especially one designed to facilitate calculations and predictions’. (Williams, 2002, p.32) Firstly, a model represents something real; it generally simplifies key elements of a project and has the purpose to measure and predict how a project is executed. The Helsmann Group developed a successful complexity analysis to measure the complexity of projects. The group is working for large organisations having difficulties in delivering projects. After into they conducted research into management competences with the Australian organisation for project management, it became clear that project manager could be successful on one level of the project but fail at the others and even could fail at a same project for another company.This lead Helsmann to identify three major factors, content, competence and complexity to deliver ongoing successful projects. These three major factors can be seen in’The Helsmann Project Success Triangle’ (Appendix, figure 1) With respect to complexity, five main areas are evaluated, namely Context Complexity, People Complexity, Ambiguity, Technical Challenge and Project Management Challenge.(Helmsman, 2009) The Context Complexity focuses on the complexity of the political environment and on leadership faced during a project. The complexity depends on how many stakeholders need to be managed in the project. The complexity of people is measured by the size and the degree of cultural and sociological change recipients have to undergo. This is one of the most difficult issues due to emergent understanding during the project performance. The complexity of making decision means ambiguity, which Helmsman (2009) measures across four core areas. The first core area is design uncertainty, appearing when the project requirements, design and definitions are unclear.The second core area deals with the method and approach to execute an project. If this is unclear, there occurs a high level of approach uncertainty. The third area, the technological challenge is a critical driver. It is measured by taking a look at the development and number of core sub sytems expected for the final implementation. Next to that, previous experience of sub system integration is taken
into consideration to understand the technical challenge for sub system integration. The last area is Project Management Complexity, related to the methods of how to control the project. Areas evaluated here are risk sharing, schedule and project structure, complexity of contracts and suppliers and external project interdependencies. (Helmsmann, 2009) P. Weaver (Weaver 2007) tries to measure project complexity with support of the ‘Complexity Theory’ by stating:‘Complexity theory helps understand the social behaviours of teams and the networks of people involved in and around a project.’ This theory has developed from ‘Chaos Theory’ and ‘Theory Building’ (Dubin, 1978). ‘Complexity Theory’ deals with the investigation of how patterns and order arise from chaotic systems. Moreover, it focuses on the complexity of behaviour and structures, which emerge from simple underlying rules. (Cooke-Davies, et al. 2007) Moreover, this theory is related to ‘Social Networks’ and ‘Temporary Knowledge Organisations (TKOs)’ because a project exists of a temporary group of stakeholders, sharing knowledge and networking in order to execute a project. Non-linearity, which means doing things several times over and over but with totally different results is for Weaver (2007), as already for Remmington(2009) and Helmsman (2009) an essential aspect of project complexity. Big changes within the project may have minimal effect whilst small changes may have a huge impact. ‘The butterfly effect’ displays the situation where minute changes can have huge and unpredictable consequences in non-linear systems. That is why a detailed programming needs to be done beforehand in order to predict and control the future course of a project. Dombkins (2008) added that complex projects are dynamic and have a high degree of disorder and instability. Furthermore, Dombkins’ research revealed that projects are more than just complex adaptive systems, they are rather complex evolving systems. A good example here, where a mega project failed and had dramatic consequences due to a high level of uncertainty, lack of knowledge sharing and minute changes was the Loveparade Event in Germany. The Loveparade was a popular, free-access electronic dance music festival. The parade featured stages and had floats with DJ´s and dancers moving through the audience. The festival, originated from Berlin moved for the first time to the much smaller city Duisburg and was organised in a closed-off area. In total 1,4 million people visited the event. Already during the planning phase, the government, the police and several stakeholders were doubting if Duisburg could handle such a big crowd of party visitors. The festival was staged on the area of a former freight station. The capacity of the enclosed location was limited to 250,000 people, but more than one million visitors were expected, based on the experience of previous years. The entrance should have been accessible at 11am but was granted at 12 am and a 240 meter tunnel from the east and a series of underpasses from the west met at a ramp that was supposed to be the only entrance and exit point of the festival area. In addition a smaller ramp between the underpasses from the west existed. Then suddenly the tunnel was overcrowded and the police decided in minute changes to announce over loudspeakers, that people arriving in the tunnel should turn around and head back. The side of the tunnel that was the entry of the parade area was suddenly closed, but people continued to enter the tunnel from the rear, despite being told it was closed. This caused the death of 21 people due to suffocation and 510 people were injured due to overcrowding, mass panic and crowd crashes. (Helbring & Mukerjil, 2012) The Loveparade was a complex project with a high level of uncertainty from the very first beginning, had a fluid dynamic and failed because of system instability and a high degree of disorder and unpredictable minute changes. In addition, ‘If the wrong measures are selected, behaviours can be driven in counter-productive directions, e.g., by focusing exclusively on the easily measured element of ‘time’ at the expense of less obvious elements such as stakeholder satisfaction.’ (Roberts M, 1998) When Williams (2002) and Geraldi (2008) talk about complexity of projects, they refer to ‘Complexity of faith’, which arise due to uncertainty and involves, creating something unique and solving new problems. Secondly, they mention ‘Complexity of fact’ where there is a large amount of information, which cannot fully be analysed and understood but a decision has to be taken. The challenge is not to get lost in the details. Their third approach of complexity is ‘Complexity of interaction’, which intensifies the two other types of complexities. ‘Complexity of interaction’ has a greater intensity during all phases of the project and is present in interfaces like ambiguity or neutrality. All complexities vary over the lifecycle of a project.
MORE THEORIES, MODELS & LIMITATIONS “The Stacey Matrix”, (Stacey, 1996), analyses the complexity on two dimensions: The degree of certainty and the level of agreement. The goal of this matrix is: ‘to identify the right process where efficiency and effectiveness is maximised’ (Stacey, 1996).’ Looking at the matrix, (Appendix, figure 2) indicated that four different zones exist. Firstly, ‘Close to Agreement, Close to Certainty’. Simple projects can be found here, where people involved in the project agree on what needs to be done. Furthermore, the traditional management approach works best in this zone. The second zone ’Far from Agreement, Close to Certainty’ means that there is agreement on how the outcome is created but disagreement as to which outcomes are desirable. A solution for those situations within a project is the building of coalitions, compromising and negotiation with all stakeholders involved. This zone can be defined as ‘directionally complex’ and a good example here are political and governmental projects. Remington & Pollack, (2007) added an interesting statement for this zone: ‘The progress towards superficially agreed goals is hampered by political motivations and hidden agendas’. Projects within the third zones: ‘Close to Agreement, Far from Certainty’, need a strong leadership with a shared mission because all people involved, agreed on the same goal but it is not clear how to get there. An example for this zone is the Boston Big Dig, America’s most ambitious urban-infrastructure project, costing $14.8 billion from estimates of $2.6 billion. All stakeholders of the project were close to agreement but by using never-before-done engineering and construction marvels, they were far from certainty. Williams, (2002) stated ‘Uncertainty in goals often causes changes and this leads to increase in structural complexity.’ The last zone: ‘Anarchy: Far from Agreement, Far from certainty’ indicated that organization should avoid those situations where there is no agreement and a high level of uncertainty. The limitations of this model are that it does not go beyond to explain the interdependencies of projects. The model rather facilitates as a support to approach projects when it is evident where the project is placed in the matrix. Turner and Cochrane (1993) developed the ‘Goals and Methods Matrix’ to assess the potential complexity of a project. They use two parameters to measure complexity, firstly how well defined the goals are and secondly, how well defined the methods are for achieving those goals. Turner and Cochrane (1993) suggest that if the method is uncertain, the fundamental building blocks of Project Management will not be known. Looking at the ‘Goals and Methods Matrix’ (Appendix, figure 3), there are four different types of projects. Type 1 projects, categorized as ‘Engineering and Construction projects’, are well understood and defined. Within those projects, the role of the project manager is that of a conductor. Type 2 projects have well defined goals but poorly defined methods. The project manager here has the role of a coach. Product development projects are placed here, where the integration of technology is complex and dynamic. Type 3 projects have well-defined methods but poorly defined goals. Projects of this type are mostly Application Software Developments and are planned in life cycle stages. The role of the project manager is the one of a craftsman. Type 4 projects do not score either on goals or on method. Generally, Research & Development projects can be found in this part of the matrix. The limitations of this model are that it fails to address the interdependence of elements. The model focuses more on ‘Uncertainty’ and could therefore act as supplement to support a robust model. The well-known author in the field of project management, Terry Williams suggests that the overall project complexity depends on two dimensions, each having two sub-dimensions as can be seen in his complexity model. (Appendix, figure 4) ‘These two sub-dimensions lead to a complex system in which the whole is more than the sum of the parts’ (Williams, 2002). In his opinion, the complexity in projects steadily increases and the reason for project failures has two main causes. Firstly, he focuses on the relationship between project complexity and product complexity because when new products are developed they become more structurally complex and the degree of inter-element connectivity increases. Secondly, he mentions the length of a project, because they have become more time constrained and there is the increasing desire to minimize time to market. (Williams, 2002) The Mars Program is a recent example here, which seems to fail because the costs are expected to run over by more than 30% due to product development problems and ballooning costs. NASA’s goal is to land a nuclear-powered, next-generation rover on the Mars, but the high complexity of product complexity and as inter–element connectivity increases, the scheduled launch next year is threatened.
Adam Kahane’s idea of project complexity is deeply rooted in a social environment. He makes three distinctions between dynamic complexity, generative complexity and social complexity. With dynamic complexity, he refers to the cause and effect, which are far apart and unfold in unfamiliar and unpredictable ways. Moreover, every stakeholder involved in a project problem, sees things different. Generative complexity occurs in situations, where a solution cannot be calculated in advance even though it has worked in the past. The Social Complexity aspect includes all people involved in the project having different interests and perspectives. They must participate in creating and implementing a solution. Based on these three types of complexity, Kahane, (2004) introduced the U-process as a methodology for addressing complex challenges. (Appendix, figure 5) In this U-process, individuals and the project team perform three activities. Firstly, they are sensing the current reality of the project system and their part within this system. Secondly, the project teams presence and reflect on what they have to do and they allow their ‘inner knowledge’ to emerge. Thirdly, they realize the project activities and generate a new reality by performing their achieved results. (Kahane, 2004) The limitations of this model lie in the strong focus on the soft aspect of collaborative learning and listening and less on technical or structural complexity. Compared to Stacey’s matrix, he Kahane focuses on change as well but by concentrating on international conflict resolution. A matching example here are projects dealing with renewable natural resources, where conflicts often occur, including the introduction of new technologies, commercialisation of common property resources (CPRs) and the involvement of rural communities in conservation and privatisation of rural public services. As Weaver (2007) said ‘Complexity is a direct consequence of having people involved in the execution of the project’s work and other people perceiving they will be impacted by either the execution of the work or the project’s deliverable or both. To borrow from ‘Game Theory’: true complexity lies in understanding the intentions of others.’ (Weaver, P., 2007) Thus, for a project team, this means to understand the real needs, attitudes and expectations of its stakeholders, which are sometimes hidden, to meet their needs and to execute a specific project successfully. There is growing consensus, that project management skills and competencies among project management leaders are transitioning from the technical project management skills needed for low-to- moderately complex projects to influence and leadership skills needed for highly complex projects. (Domkins, 2009) CONCLUSION The paper reveals, that there is an increasing need to measure complexity in a robust manner not only based upon budget and project size. The turbulent economic environment and the globalisation of the 21st century lead to more complexity in projects. Understanding the complexity of projects is an essential part of project management in order to cope with difficulties. Different theories of complexity, complexity measurement models and project examples are elaborated and analysed, in order to help identifying the sources of complexity within projects and to measure the different areas of complexity. The following models are discussed in this paper: ’The Helsmann Project Success Triangle’ to identify three major factors, content, competence and complexity to deliver ongoing successful projects. Then the ‘Complexity Theory’ is described, which deals with the investigation of how patterns and order arise from chaotic systems. Moreover, it focuses on the complexity of behaviour and structures, which emerge from simple underlying rules. Here, the example of the Loveparade in Germany is given, which had disastrous consequences due to its complexity. Furthermore, “The Stacey Matrix” is elaborated, which analyses the complexity on two dimensions: The degree of certainty and the level of agreement. Its aim is to identify the right process where efficiency and effectiveness is maximised. Moreover, the ‘Goals and Methods Matrix’ is explained to assess the potential complexity of a project. Failures are identified when new products are developed because they become more structurally complex and the degree of inter-element connectivity increases. In addition, projects become time constraint and the need to minimize the time to market increases. From a social perspective, project complexity is deeply rooted in a social environment. To visualize this perspective, the U-process is chosen to analyse the relationship between dynamic complexity, generative complexity and social complexity. In addition, this paper should help project managers to understand complexity in order to execute a project successfully. One of the major findings is the number of elements and its interdependence, playing a key role in causing complexity. Managing people seems to be a greater challenge than technical issues in projects. Moreover, communication seems to play a vital role in determining the level of complexity. There is a transition from technical skills for less complex projects to leadership and influence skills and
competence for high complex projects. The mayor shift is summarized in the following table: Table no. 1: The mayor shift from traditional to new PM skills and competences Traditional PM Skills and Competences
New PM Skills and Competences
Integration, Time, Costs, Risks, HR, Quality, Communication, Procurement, Safety, Scope
Ability to adapt, Agility, Engagement, Self-Control, Assertiveness, Leadership, Openness, Creativity, Result Oriented, Consultation, Values, Negotiation, Conflict, Efficiency, Reliability,
Agility and the ability to adapt are essential to plan and execute a successful project that delivers real value. The characteristics of complexity comprise high levels of non-linearity, differentiation, emergence and interconnectedness for most authors. Projects executed in the field of change management, defence, aerospace, information & communication technology, research & development and strategic outsourcing are typically characterized by complexity.
References: Anon, 2009. Project Complexity and Project Management Methodology. [online] Available at: http://www.projectmanagementguru. com/complexity [Accessed 19 October 2013]. Baccarini, D. 1996. The concept of Project complexity - a review. International Journal of Project Management, 14 (4), pp. 201-204. Cavanagh, 2011. Complex or merely complicated? [video online]Available at: http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=MBgNrVfpx38&lr=1&hd=1 [Accessed 25 October 2013]. Cooke-Davies, T., Cicmil, S., Crawford, L., Richardson, K., 2007. Weâ€™re Not In Kansa Anymore, Toto: Mapping the Strange Landscape of Complexity Theory, and its Relationship to Project Management. Project Management Journal, 38 (2), pp.50-61.
IS THERE A POSSIBILITY TO CREATE A PERFECT PROJECT RISK MANAGEMENT? Ines DĂ–RSING ESC RENNES SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
Abstract Since the daily life is affected by risks, risks should be considered in terms of project management. Every project involves risks, for that reason project managers should be aware of them. The problem is that risks can have different characteristics. They can be foreseen or not. That makes it more difficult to calculate them. How to manage this uncertainty? The implementation of a project risk management is necessary to ensure the project success. Moreover it is very useful to involve different phases of project risk management. This assignment deals with the identification of risks, the analysis of risks, a risk register and the dealing with risks. The first part gives the chance to schedule all different risks including prior experiences and future issues. The second part introduces two different ways of analysing project risks: quantitative and qualitative methods. After that a risk register offers a perfect overview of all important information concerning those project risks. It is the basis for all following decisions. The last part deals with different strategies that show how to handle a risk. Then, two individual examples demonstrate the reality of projects and their risks. That leads to the most interesting question: is there a perfect project risk management that can prevent all types of risk? This assignment tries to answer to this question. Key words: Project risks, Identification, Analysis, Risk register, Dealing with risks JEL Classification: D81, H43, O22 Introduction Everything we do from getting out of bed in the early morning to returning home after work carries risk (Lock, 2013, p. 107). Therefore every person pays attention to potential risks in his or her daily life. Before crossing the street, for example, everyone has a look to the left and to the right in order to avoid any risk (van Well-Stam, et al., 2004, p. 1). For that reason it is not surprising that projects include a lot of different types of risk. Those project risks can be predictable or totally unforeseen. The difficulty lies in those risks that are unpredictable. Moreover the origin of project risks can also differ, depending on the economy, on politics or on the technology, for example. Risks can happen at all stages in a project. It is getting more complicated, when risks occur late in a project, because those risks are connected with more costs in terms of time and money (Lock, 2013, p. 107). In order to prevent project risks it is not sufficient to take care of them after they have happened. It is necessary to do everything imaginable to prevent any kind of project risk before the project itself begins (van Well-Stam, et al., 2004, p. 1). At first, the author wants to make the readers aware of risks that can happen within projects. In the authorâ€™s opinion project risks that occur, can determine success or failure of the whole project. Of course, it is not comfortable to think about potential risks, their dimension and their impact before a project starts. It might be complicated and aligned with a lot of work. But it is necessary not to endanger the project. Secondly, the author deals with a very useful tool that is called risk management. The aim is to give an overview of the procedure of risk management and all advantages that are aligned with it. Like Kerzner argues risk management can be disposed on almost all kinds of project. Only the level of implementation can be different from project to project, because of the size or the type of project, for example (Kerzner, 2013, p. 873). After having explained
risk management the authors wants to analyse whether there is a perfect risk management that is able to avoid any kind of risk in terms of a project. That would be very useful, but is it possible to implement a perfect risk management that prevents any risk? Two project examples serve as a successful or failed example. For all readers it might be very interesting to find a solution or at least an answer to this interesting question. 1. Basic information on Project Risk Management This chapter gives a short overview of project risks and project risk management. It is important to deal with this basic information in order to achieve the same level of knowledge. 1.1 Definition of Project Risks A risk is an uncertain occasion that, if it happens, has a positive or negative impact on the process of achieving project goals. Uncertain occasion means that somebody becomes ill, for example. At the same time it is possible to save money (positive impact) instead of increasing project costs (negative impact). Project goals are in danger, if project risks occur. They could lead to a project failure (Concilio, 2013). 1.2 Definition of Project Risk Management The implementation of project risk management is a key element in the success of any project. For that reason the project risk management should be part of a project at all stages (Holland & Holland Enterprises Ltd, 2013). The term project risk management itself can be defined as â€œthe systematic execution and monitoring of tasks to detect, analyze and optimize project risksâ€? (Concilio, 2013). It is important to involve both experiences of the past (failed projects) and a look forward concerning future projects. By considering both, a lot of future problems can be minimized or eliminated (Kendrick, 2009, p. 2). 2. Process of Project Risk Management The following chapter exposes the process of a successful project risk management. This process is divided into four different parts that are explained separately. 2.1 Identification of Risks All projects involve risk. It is impossible to find a non-risky project. First of all, project risks should be accepted in order to deal with this uncertainty and to increase the project outcome (Chapman & Ward, 2007, p. VI). After that, the planning and identification of project risks can start. Analyzing the initial project assumptions could be useful to find sources for potential risks. All project documents, like charters or datasheets, offer a lot of information that could be a hint for potential risks. However, those documents should be analyzed objectively, because every person has another perception of project risks. This stage of project needs a foundation that is built on project assumptions as well as on project objectives (Kendrick, 2009, p. 28). To be concrete, project risks should be identified at an early stage of a project when defining the project scope (Kendrick, 2009, p. 40). In the authorâ€™s opinion there should be a risk manager for every project who is responsible for the collection of all risks. On the one hand the risk manager should consider experiences of prior projects that are similar to the present project. Previous risks can help to highlight problems and to avoid the same mistakes within the present project (Lock, 2013, p. 108). On the other hand the risk manager should list up all kinds of risk that refer to the stakeholders, the environment or to the weather. By naming each potential risk it is easier to get an overview of the dimension of uncertainty. In addition to that, the author argues that the risk manager should discuss his findings on potential risks with the project manager to ensure not to forget an important issue. Since a project consists of different phases, it is important not only to consider risks at the beginning of
a project but at all stages of a project. The project life-cycle shows that a project passes through four stages. All of the project stages can include different project risks (For Dummies, 2013). The different project phases are listed up in the following: ● Starting the project; ● Organizing and preparing the project; ●Carrying out the work; ●Closing the project. Summing up, it is important to appoint a risk manager who names all potential risks in the beginning of a project. The outcome should be a risk schedule. Later on, the risk manager should analyse each phase of the project life-cycle in order to consider all risks that could appear. 2.2 Analysis of Risks After having identified and listed all potential risks, they can be ranked concerning the probability of their occurrence and the potential severity of the impact on the project. This analysis helps all project members to get a quick overview of all potential risks and to point out those risks that could endanger the project. So, for this analysis it is inevitable to consider the possible causes and effects of every risk. There are different ways to analyse project risks. Those analyses can be qualitative or quantitative (Lock, 2013, p. 108).
Figure no. 1: FMEA Chart Source: Lock, 2013, p. 110
This table only shows one item. Normally there a hundreds of them in terms of complex projects. Sometimes there is added another column to show when in the project life-cycle the risk can probably happen. This is definitely a qualitative approach, because there is no ranking at all within the table (Lock, 2013, p. 110). Another qualitative method is a Matrix for Qualitative Risk Classification. As with FMEA, there is no numerical evaluation of risks that possibly occur. Each risk is grouped in terms of its chance of occurrence and its impact on the project. One example could be the following: A company plans to move its headquarters from a central city location to an office building on the outside area of another town. Here are two examples for risks that can occur within this project (Lock, 2013, p. 111). ● A: Some office equipment could be damaged or stolen during the relocation. (risk occurrence: high, potential impact: medium, replaceable) ● B: An earthquake that occurs prohibits the relocation. (risk occurrence: low, potential impact: very high) The following matrix illustrates the classification of those two examples as just mentioned.
Figure no. 2: Matrix for Qualitative Risk Classification, Source: (Lock, 2013, p. 111)
In comparison to prior methods quantitative methods combine possibly risks and their effects with numerical values. They examine the probable impact on time and costs of a project. Another possibility involves a ranking of risks that means that every identified risk gets a number according to its ranking position. However, it is important to remember that quantitative methods are based on estimates, assumptions and human judgement in order to avoid that risks could be assessed wrong (Lock, 2013, p. 112). As introduced within the qualitative methods, it is possible to adapt and extend the FMEA method in order to achieve risk quantification. The difference lies in the following. Risk managers take the FEMA chart and add four more columns: Chance, Severity, Detection difficulty and Total ranking. Those columns help risk managers to classify risks with a scale of 1-5. Then, they have to multiply all three parameters to get a total ranking number. At the end they are able to order all risks, so that risks with the highest priority for the management come at the top of the list. The highest number quotes the greatest degree of significance. That is why the FEMA is then called Failure Mode Effect and Criticality Analysis (FMECA). However, if there is one column (Chance or Severity) filled with a zero, there would be no risk at all. Perhaps, that does not correspond to the reality (Lock, 2013, p. 112). Here is one example of the FMECA chart.
Figure no. 3: FMECA Chart Source: (Lock, 2013, p. 113
In summary, it is important to choose a qualitative or quantitative method to get an overview of all risks. Quantitative methods also offer a numerical ranking that helps to find the correct priority of risks. In the authorâ€™s opinion, the risk analysis requires a lot of effort and should be done objectively together with other members of the project team. As mentioned before, the risk manager should also be responsible of this part. 2.3 Risk Register After analyzing and ranking all possible risks, it is necessary to consider a risk register. This register enables the risk manager to think about what might be done about the risks (Lock, 2013). For that reason the
register should involve all identified risks that may affect the whole project (Project Management Lexicon, 2013). Consequently, the register can lead directly to risk handling that means to risk reduction (Hulett, 2013). A typical example of a risk register is shown in the following. It is modelled closely to the FMECA method (Lock, 2013, p. 114):
Figure no. 4: Risk Register Source: Lock, 2013, p. 114
Such a risk register implies several helpful points: ● A: An ID number for each risk ● B: The recommended action if a risk occurs ● C: The person who is responsible for dealing with a risk (“owner of a risk”) It is important to refresh the register through all project stages to guarantee its success (Lock, 2013, p. 114). In the author’s opinion, the risk register is a very useful tool that should be part of every project. The risk manager should be the person who introduces the register and takes care of it. 2.4 Dealing with Risks Until now, different steps of risk avoidance have been done. The risk manager has a complete risk register that enables him to make decisions in case of risk occurrence. Normally there are a lot of alternatives in terms of risk handling (Lock, 2013, p. 114). First of all the risk manager can avoid a risk. In that case he would turn away from the probable causes. This could lead to the end of a project. Therefore it is not recommendable (Lock, 2013, p. 114). Secondly it could be useful to accept a risk in advance. If a project team plans a summer event outside it is possible that the weather changes. Maybe it rains during the event. So the project team has to accept the uncertainty according to the weather. This is also a very simple strategy that is only used if all other strategies are not effective (Howitz, 2010). Moreover the project team can try to mitigate a risk. Prior project experiences allow a very professional risk handling with less impact on the project. A good risk analysis can also be a foundation of a risk strategy that leads to less risk impact (Howitz, 2010). The most important strategy is the following. The risk manager and the project team should make protective measures that prevent or reduce the impact of risks. This alternative is very important in terms of a successful risk management. In order to develop a risk prevention strategy, the risk manager should involve all managers of an organization. Here are some examples for practical measures (Lock, 2013, p. 114): ● High security fencing ● Regular inspection and testing of electrical constructions ● Frequent back-up of business data ● Free escape routes In some cases it can be useful to share a risk with someone else who is very interested in that project, e g. stakeholders. The division of risk impact reduces the uncertainty for the project team and makes the process
of the project more agreeable (Lock, 2013, p. 115). Another possibility is to transfer a risk to someone else by agreement or insurance. Then, the project team does not have to take care of the potential risk and can focus on the project. This makes sense, when the impact of a risk seems to be very high (Howitz, 2010). It is very important to plan the dealing with risks correctly. Identifying risks and knowing how to handle them in advance reduces the stress within the whole project. Risks can make the project fail, but if project teams use professional risk strategies, they can ensure that the project is still delivered to the customer’s expectations (Howitz, 2010). 3. Examples for a successful and failed Project Risk Management The author introduces two different personal examples of projects that were considerable for her professional and private life. One of those projects stands for a successful project risk management while the other project failed. Both projects offer great experiences that help the author for future projects. The first project took place during the apprenticeship of the author. While she was apprentice she was organizing different events for the company. Together with her team that was called “Event Management” she was responsible for a summer event of the finance department. The assignment of the Head of Finance was: “Organise a summer event outside the company with delicious beverages and food, relaxing music and a nice atmosphere that enables the employees to have fun beside the job”. This was the way the Head of Finance wanted to honour the great work of his employees. It follows that it was not only a big challenge for those apprentices, but also a great chance to proof their qualifications in project management. Because it was summer time the team of “Event Management” chose a beach club in Hamburg as location. The location offered them an attractive supply concerning beverages and food, something special like summer cocktails, spits and finger food. Moreover there would be a disc jockey who would play relaxing music like everyone likes to hear it on the beach. In addition the team of “Event Management” also ordered different decoration in order to create a great atmosphere. Everything seemed to be organized perfectly. But when the summer event took place the weather changed dramatically. It rained all the day, so that it was colder and the employees of the finance department were not able to enjoy the summer event. This example shows that the apprentices avoid the risk of a possible weather change that had a high impact on the event. The second project took place during the last year. Together with some friends the author planned a journey through different countries of Europe. They were four girls who really like to travel. And because they are really good friends they decided rapidly where to go and that they only go on that journey if everyone of those four girls is available. Their trip through Europe should start in Germany and should last for four weeks. After Germany followed the United Kingdom, then all countries of Scandinavia, then Russia and the trip should end in Poland. Each visit should take not more than 5 days. Because they organized the trip very early they got a good price for their train tickets. The plan was to organize the arrival and return journey, but only to book a hostel in the United Kingdom in order to be more flexible concerning the accommodation. But as they know that such a big journey is aligned with a lot of risks they wanted to ensure not to lose any money. For that reason they negotiated a journey insurance. That was the correct decision. When the journey itself came closer, there was one of those four friends who broke a leg and had to stay at the hospital for several weeks. As the friends decided earlier they shift their journey. That was possible, because they transferred the risk earlier to an insurance agency. The impact of the risk was low. Conclusion All the things human beings do are risky (Lock, 2013, p. 107). The same applies to projects. This assignment introduces one way an effective project risk management could be. But is it possible to prevent all kinds of risk with the aid of a perfect risk management? The author figures out that every project team should work on a risk management that is part of every project phase. It is necessary to prevent risks as good as possible. Like chapter 4.4 shows there are different strategies to handle risks. A professional risk management leads to fewer risks. But like human beings do not know what is happening next in their daily
life, because they cannot look into the future, project managers do not know which kind of risk could occur. For that reason the difficulty lies in those risks that are unforeseen. In the authorâ€™s opinion there are a lot of risks you cannot calculate, that is why it is impossible to create a perfect risk management. Risks like natural catastrophes, political difficulties or deceptions can limit a project or can lead to its failure. Project managers should be attentive at every phase of the project in order to achieve all project objectives and to meet the clientâ€™s expectations. References Chapman, C. & Ward, S., 2007. Project Risk Management. Processes, Techniques and Insights. 2. ed. Wst Sussex: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Concilio, 2013. Project Future 2. [Online] Available at: http://www.projectfuture.net/uk/projectfuture-software/ frequently-asked-questions/what-is-a-projectrisk [Accessed 29 October 2013]. For Dummies, 2013. For Dummies a Wiley Brand. [Online] Available at: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/ content/how-to-identify-risk-factors-in-your-project.html [Accessed 29 October 2013]. Holland & Holland Enterprises Ltd, 2013. Successful Project Management. [Online] Available at: http://www. successful-project-management.com/project-risk-management.html [Accessed 29 October 2013]. Howitz, C., 2010. SimCrest Round Table Blog. [Online] Available at: http://blog.simcrest.com/riskmanagement-how-to-handle-risks-in-your-projects/ [Accessed 31 October 2013]. Hulett, D. T., 2013. Project Risk. [Online] Available at: http://www.projectrisk.com/risk_register_development. html [Accessed 30 October 2013]. Kendrick, T., 2009. Identifying and Managing Project Risk. 2. ed. New York: Amacon Books. Kerzner, H., 2013. Project Management. A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling. 11. ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons Inc. Lock, D., 2013. Project Management. 10. ed. Surrey: Gower. Project Management Lexicon, 2013. Project Management Lexicon. [Online] Available at: http://www. projectmanagementlexicon.com/risk-register/ [Accessed 30 October 2013]. van Well-Stam, D., Lindenaar, F., van Kinderen, S. & van den Bunt, B., 2004. Project Risk Management. An essential tool for managing and controlling projects. 1. ed. London: Kogan Page Limited.
KEY CHARACTERISTICS AND CURRENT CHALLENGE OF AN EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION IN A PROJECT Marie THUAU ESC RENNES SCHOOL OF BUSINESS Abstract I could observe through several readings that ineffective communication was considered as one of the main cause of project failure. Consequently, I conducted a more intensive research in the literature and on websites to understand and explain why communication is a key element in the success of a project and for the project manager but also, what are the main current challenges concerning this topic. Therefore, through this paper I will explain in a first part the necessity to implement an interactive and planned communication to succeed in a project management and then, in a second part, I will highlight the key challenge that is the internationalization of the projects. Key words: Communication, Project Management, Planning, Project manager, Globalization, Cross-cultural and Virtual Communication JEL Classification: D83, O22 1. To be efficient, the communication in a project should be interactive and planned by the project manager 1.1. An interactive communication: definition and characteristics According to Kerzner (2013, p.265), an “effective project communications ensure that we get the right information to the right person at the right time and in a cost-effective manner”. The project manager is in charge of this effective project communication. In fact, according Project Management Docs, (n.d.) communication represents around 80% of his time. He has the entire responsibility for the execution of the project and is the primary communicator and distributor of the information (work completed, schedule…). The key stake for the project manager is to implement an interactive communication that means sending and receiving messages (Mehta, n.d.). It’s crucial in order to be sure to well understand the attempts and needs of the stakeholders involved in the project and give them the information that they really need but also to ensure that how he is communicating is well understood. To adapt the way to communicate vis-à-vis various stakeholder, the project manager has at his disposal different means that are oral, non-verbal or written. To speak about a precise thing, the project manager could use in priority the written way (letters, email) as the topic has no risk to be misunderstood, for example detailed facts and figures (Mehta, n.d.). Conversely, the oral (telephone, videoconference or meeting) will be used for more important and subtle topics such as conflicts or problematic solutions. In fact, it will permit to the project manager to afford more flexibility and in particular during the meeting, he could use non-verbal communication such as body language, nuance and attitude (Mehta, n.d.) but also have an eye on attitude and reaction of the audience. Personally, when I was working as product line manager assistant and when an issue occurred concerning a product, I agree that it was better when we could meet face-to-face to understand clearly what’s happened and try to find together a solution. Moreover and as said previously, an interactive communication is sending but also receiving messages
and that’s why the project manager should developed an “active listening” (Kerzner, 2013, p.277) skill that will allow him to “understand, interpret and evaluate what (s)he hears” without be distracted by what (s)he is going to say next. It will also include the body language interpretation. This will improve his relationship and understanding of stakeholders. Finally, an effective communication “must convey information and motivation” (Kerzner, 2013, p.271) to the different stakeholder. And according to Kerzner (2013), there exist “five ways in which information can flow in a project: top-down, down-top, horizontal, on diagonal and with the exterior.” Consequently, to achieve this effective communication, it has to be interactive but above all, it has to be organized and planned in order to manage these flows perfectly. 1.2. Planning the communication: A key aspect for an effective communication Firstly, what is a communication plan? According to the Office of the Chief Information Officer (n.d.), it “outlines the roles and responsibilities of project participants in the review, approval and dissemination of information about key project processes, event, documents and milestones” and above, it permits to the project manager to keep a control of the project and the flow of information (Frost, n.d.). Many software exist now to help to build this plan. The project manager has to implement a solid communications management approach (Project Management Docs, n.d.) by planning and organizing everything. In fact, the communication plan will ensure timely and appropriate management of the information (collection, distribution, storage …) (Project Management, n.d.). This plan can be informal or formal and more or less detailed. A communication matrix can be built (Project Management Docs, n.d.)(Table 1) which will be a guide for the project manager to know “who will receive the information, what information needs to be communicated, how will the information be disseminated and how often, and who on the project team will be responsible for delivering the information”(Burris, n.d.). Moreover, if any changes occur or are decided concerning the plan or the project, the project manager has to review the communication plan and communicate the changes to all the stakeholders in order to make it clear and prevent mistakes, delay or conflicts in the project work (Project Management Docs, n.d.). Secondly, the planning will help the project manager to determine who need what. As seen before, the mean to communicate needs to be adapted according the message that the project manager wants to communicate but he has to adapt the content according to the stakeholders as well. In fact, each stakeholder will have different interests and influences on the project that implies different needs concerning the information to communicate, the frequency and the method (Project Management Docs, n.d.). As seen previously, the project manager has to implement an interactive communication to understand the need of each stakeholder in order to create an effective communication plan. In fact, for instance, the customer of a project will need to “be informed of the project status including potential impact to the schedule for the finale deliverable” (Project Management Docs, n.d.) while the project team will need a “day to day interactions with the project manager with the Project manager and other team members along with weekly meetings” (Project Management Docs, n.d.) to have “clear understanding of the work to be completed and the framework in which the project is to be executed” (Project Management Docs, n.d.). Therefore the project manager has to prepare and deliver a specific message for each target audience. He has also to delegate the communication to avoid a “bottleneck” phenomena (Kerzner, 2013, p.275) which includes that all the communication pass through one person or office who becomes overloaded and can’t manage in time all the request that he/it receives. Then an efficient communication plan “generate and sustain enthusiasm and support for the project”(Office of the Chief Information Officer, n.d.) by the stakeholders. In particular for the project team, a regular communication will favor the productivity, as they will be informed
regularly of the project progress but also of their specific role. It will permit to “keep working rather than stopping frequently to seek out information they are missing” (Frost, n.d.) and consequently increase the chance to meet the expectations of the project outcome in terms of delay and quality. Finally, for some highly visible projects, the communication should be done carefully and sometimes a public agency will be in charge to approve the information before to send them to the different stakeholder. (Project Management Docs, n.d.) Thirdly, the communication plan will permit to the project manager and all the different stakeholder to know when to communicate. In fact, the communication plan will take into consideration the different phases of the project. For instance, during the execution phase the need will be “information distribution, performance reporting, project control” (Mehta, n.d.) while during the phase of completion and closeout of the project the need will be related to “administrative closeout, customer satisfaction survey, lessons learned session …” (Mehta, n.d.). Consequently, the plan will be a strong support to now when the information will be needed. Moreover, in term of time, the plan will help the project manager to manage the rhythm of the communication which means how often is he going to send information, build a meeting planning to know when and how often he will meet the different stakeholders etc. (Strategic Advantage Incorporated, n.d.). In fact, establishing a project rhythm is crucial to success in project communication, as it will permit to have a regular and known flow of information during the entire project. Obviously this rhythm should be also adapted to each stakeholder and phase of the project. Finally, the communication plan will be a support to know how to communicate to who and what. Standardize formats and templates will help the project manager to plan and implement an efficient communication (Project Management Docs, n.d.). In fact, it will permit to the project teams and stakeholders a better and clear understanding. The creation of a standard platform could be also very useful in order to share all the information and improve effectiveness and efficiency Thanks to a login and password all the stakeholder could have access to this platform and for the project manager it will be easier to centralize and manage the communication. This platform could be a web portal/ Network or SharePoint for example (Project Management Docs, n.d.). To conclude, the communication is a key element in a project management and above the basics knowledge that a project manager should have concerning the implementation of an effective communication, he has to face an increase phenomenon that is the internationalization of the projects. 2. The two main challenges for communication linked to internationalization of the Projects 2.1. Increase of a virtual communication Virtual communication grew principally with the development of international project that consists in having team members located in different areas of the world but working on the same project. That’s what is called “virtual team”. (Kimble, 2011) To start: email is one of the main ways to communicate in an international project. In fact, email is really appreciated, in an international project, as it permits to take time to formulate precisely what people want to express and particularly when it’s not their mother tong. It’s really useful for virtual teams and it facilitates the communication as people dare more send an email than make a call (Grosse, 2002). Personally, as a French employee working with colleagues based in subsidiaries in the United States or Germany, I found definitely easier to send email rather than call them. I was stressed to not well understand what they were going to
say by phone while I knew that by email if I didn’t understand a word or an idea I could take the time to make research and be sure to answer precisely to their request. Then to make the virtual communication efficient, the e-mail should be short and clear to attract the addressee and have a quick answer. In addition, the project manager has to establish clear rules at the beginning concerning e-mail policy in particular to avoid a bottleneck situation (Kerzner, 2012) in receiving too many emails, not clear or relevant enough, which will make the answers more slowly and so could result on project delays. Moreover, an email request will have more chance to be read and quickly solved if the addressee knows the addresser, as it’s proof that “you are less likely to delete an email from someone you know” (Grosse, 2002). Again, I can confirm this thanks to my personal experience. At work, I was dealing all the time in priority with email from people that I knew and appreciated. That’s why it’s essential to keep a face-to-face contact, at least at the beginning of a project. Technology permits “frequent, low-cost, round-the-clock communication” (Grosse, 2002) but you can’t build trust or a collective identity that are crucial for the success of a project. Many managers overused the electronic means that often “result in veritable issue for the project result”. (Burris, n.d.). In addition, in using too much technology and forget physical interaction the project manager could face the communication gap presented by Kerzner (2012) who explains that “the worst possible situation occurs when an outside customer loses faith in the contractor.” He says also that in the project team it could occur mistrust situation as a member of the team could be tempted to “censor bad news” to the project manager who is not present on the field. Then: the essential need to keep physical interactions for virtual team. According Kimble (2011), “online communication lack the richness of face to face interaction” which make virtual teamwork a bit more complex to organize (Heimer and Vince, 1998) for project manager and in particular concerning the way to communicate efficiently and build a real trust between the different stakeholders. As the online communication “tends to inhibit participation and the creation of trust and the sense of mutual responsibility that characterizes teamwork” (Kimble, 2011), the project manager has to use face-to-face contact, at least at the beginning of the project. (Kimble, 2011) In addition, the informal communication is also crucial to help people to build relationships and team spirit thanks to a better understanding of each other. In their study, Oertig and Buergi (2006) highlight that the “need to put a face to a name” is a key element to build trust and team spirit. For example, organize team building seminar is a really good way to create a link between the different members of a team. I’ve already participated to this kind of event when I was working for a sport equipment company. They organized two days with product line managers, designers and managers, from the main subsidiaries of the world, to participate to team sports activities and share a dinner. It was very interesting and it permits to meet people that I knew only via emails and, as said previously, “put a face to a name” which was in fact better and makes me feel closer to these people. To finish: the technology used can impact badly the success of an international project. Right from the beginning, the project manager has to pay attention to the competencies of the different stakeholders and members of the team project to use the technology available to communicate (Grosse, 2002). Trainings should be provided to be sure that everybody knows how to use it and has access to the different tools (Grosse, 2002). In fact, it will avoid delays or conflicts that could impact badly the project. Finally, the problem could come from a bad quality technology that could affect the communication between the different stakeholders and then impact also the project (Grosse, 2002).
2.2. Increase of a cross-cultural communication Another challenge growing with the internationalization of the project and link to virtual communication is the increase of cross-cultural teams. In fact, in addition to new means to communicate but also, as seen previously, the need to adapt the communication to the different stakeholders according to their role in the project, the project manager should also adapt his speech in manner of stick to the different language and culture of his audience. Nevertheless, nowadays, many project manager have still misconceptions that impact badly on the communication and consequently on the project too. The three main project managers’ misconceptions, highlighted by the Project Management Institute (2012), are the belief that the way how he is doing is the right one, that everybody understands his language and then, “selecting organizations or individuals on language abilities” rather than on competences. As said before, in these conditions the project will run a serious risk and that’s why the project manager has to adapt his communication and learn a lot concerning cultural differences before to start anything. In fact, to facilitate cross-cultural communication the manager has to pay attention to the verbal and non-verbal specificities of each culture implicated in the project. To begin, the verbal specificities of the cultures implicate in the project have to be well known and understood in order to avoid misunderstanding that could badly impact the success of the project. For example, saying “no” in India is seen as an offense and that’s why the project manager should carefully listen his interlocutor. In fact, when the Indian answers “we’ll see” or “possibly” the most part of the time it means “no”. Another specificity could concern the type of communication to adopt. For example, American culture is low power distance (The Hofstede Center, n.d.) that means that with an American stakeholder, the project manager should more have an informal communication, be accessible and direct while with a French one, a clear distance will be required as this culture is high power distance (The Hofstede Center, n.d.). Then an “effective communication in a multi- cultural team occurs when team members hear what was intended to be said” (Daly, 1996 cited in Grosse, 2002, p.15) which means that project manager should adapt each single word to the culture of its audience but also “ask for clarification and check for understanding” (Grosse, 2002) to be sure that it won’t have any misunderstanding. To finish with the verbal communication, one main issue could be no common language and the necessity to have recourse to a translator. In fact, translation could misrepresent the original speech and then impact the project. A concrete example with this construction project gathering Indian workers and English managers: The Indians didn’t speak English so a translator was mandated and what’s happened is: “The safety engineer would say “there must be a handrail at one meter” and the translator would say “there must be a handrail.” This resulted in the training of a safety support staff that was improperly informed.” (Orrill, n.d.). Then the non-verbal specificities of each culture are also keys for an effective communication. Again, if the project manager didn’t learn enough he could misunderstand an essential point and impact directly the project. For example, concerning the emotion control. Japanese or Indian won’t show their feelings, as they have a neutral culture, while Mexicans will easily smile or talk loudly to show their emotions (Minday, 2011). Therefore for face-to-face meetings this kind of specificity will be crucial to know for a project manager in order to understand better the feeling of his audience. Another thing that could play a key role is the body contact. In fact in some culture, as the Brazilian ones for instance, body contacts are usual in business relations while Chinese won’t appreciate at all to be touch or be too close from his interlocutor (ediplomat, n.d.). So, again the project manager should be very careful and aware of these kinds of specificities. Then, when the project manager will be speaking to a cross-cultural audience, he has to be ready to have various type of listening behavior. For example, with a Japanese audience the project manager should be ready to see people nodding during the entire meeting as for them
it’s a way “to show that they are listening and understanding the speaker” (ediplomat, n.d.). To finish with non-verbal specificities, usual gesture for a culture could be considered as insulting for another one. For instance, in Germany, if you “point your index finger to your own head” it’s an insult (ediplomat, n.d.) while in France it’s not. Finally, as we can observe, cross-cultural communication is a complex topic that the project manager, his team and the different stakeholders should imperatively integrate. In this way training is essential, as it will permit “to help reduce potential distrust, and allow teams to gel more quickly and work together efficiently” (Oertig, M., Buergi, T., 2006). Conclusion Through this paper, we can clearly understand that communication is a key element for the success of a project. The project manager has an essential role in the implementation of a good communication strategy. In fact, he will have to implement an interactive communication between him and the different stakeholders and the team project but also and above all, a plan to have a clear idea of what to say to whom, how and when. In addition to all of these, the the increase of international project is leading to new challenges for the communication such as how to manage a virtual team or/and a cross-cultural team. Concerning the virtual team, email is a strong tool to communicate within international team but that can also become a real threat for the project if it’s over- or not used in a good way. Virtual team should be able to meet physically, at least at the beginning of the project, in order to build team spirit and trust or it will be difficult to work together and could have a bad impact on the project. Then, about the cross-cultural team, training to understand the culture specificities is essential for the project manager but also team project and stakeholders in order to have a clear understanding of each other and avoid conflicts or delays. To conclude, the communication in a project management is more and more complex, in particular, because of the internationalization of the projects but to go further it could be interesting to do future research on the others current phenomenon that could impact the communication such as social network for example. Moreover, it could be also relevant to try to understand how to implement cross-cultural training and how to measure their efficiency on a cross-cultural and virtual team. References Project Management Institut, 2013. More than half of all project budget risk is due to ineffective communications. [Online] Available at : http://www.pmi.org/en/About-Us/PressReleases/PMI-More-Than-Half-of-All-Project-Budget-Risk-is-Due-to-IneffectiveCommunications.aspx [Accessed 3 november 2013] Kerzner, H. R., 2013. Management Functions. In : H. R. Kerzner, ed. 2013. Project Management : A systems approach to planning, scheduling and controlling. 11th ed. United States : Wiley. Pp.223-354. Mehta. A., n.d. Communication in project management [pdf] Available at : http://www.pmiglc.org/comm/articles/0410_mehta_comm.pdf [Accessed 3 november 2013] Office of the Chief Information Officer, n.d. Project Management Framework Planning Phase – Communications Plan. [online] Available at : http://www.ofm.wa.gov/ocio/pmframework/initiation/planning/communications.asp [Accessed 3 november 2013] Project Management Docs, n.d. Communication Management Pan Template. [pdf] Available at : http://www.projectmanagementdocs.com/template/Communications-Management-Plan.pdf
Project Management, n.d. Projet management Communication Plan Outline. [online] Available at : http://www.projectmanagement.com/deliverables/224371/Project-ManagementCommunications-Plan-Outline [Accessed 3 november 2013] Burris, N., n.d. 5 Steps in a project communications plan in project management. [online] Available at : http://smallbusiness.chron.com/5-steps-project-communications-plan-projectmanagement18757.html [Accessed 3 november 2013] Strategic Advantage Incorporated, n.d. Project Management Communications? [pdf] Available at: http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite?blobcol=urldata&blobheadername1=ContentDisposition&blobheadername2=ContentType&blobheadervalue1=inline%3B+filename%3D%22Strategic+Advantage++Why+Project+Communications%3F+Presentation.pdf%22&blobheadervalue2=application%2 Fpdf&blobkey=id&blobtable=MungoBlobs&blobwhere=1251694424653&ssbinary=true [Accessed 3 november 2013] Grosse C. U., 2002, Managing Communication within virtual intercultural Teams. Business Communication Quaterly, [online] Available at : http://bcq.sagepub.com/content/65/4/22.short [Accessed 3 november 2013] Ediplomat, n.d. Japan. [online] Available at : http://www.ediplomat.com/np/cultural_etiquette/ce_jp.htm [Accessed 3 november 2013] Ediplomat, n.d. Germany. [online] Available at : http://www.ediplomat.com/np/cultural_etiquette/ce_de.htm [Accessed 3 november 2013] Ediplomat, n.d. China. [online] Available at : http://www.ediplomat.com/np/cultural_etiquette/ce_cn.htm [Accessed 3 november 2013] The Hofstede Center, n.d., United States [online] Available at : http://geerthofstede. com/united-states.html [Accessed 3 november 2013] The Hofstede Center, n.d., France [online] Available at : http://geert-hofstede.com/france.html [Accessed 3 november 2013] Minday, D., 2011, Indian Business Culture2011, MC401 Management of Culture. ESC Rennes School of Business, unpublished. Oertig, M., Buergi, T., 2006. The challenge of managing cross-cultural virtual project teams. Team Performance Management [e-journal] Vol. 12(1/2) p.23-30. Available through : https://webaccess.esc-rennes.fr/http/esc/gwproxy/ www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=1546169&show=html [Accessed 3 november 2013] Frost, S., n.d. How important are communication plans for project managers ? [online] Available at : http://smallbusiness.chron.com/important-communication-plans-projectmanagers37520.html [Accessed 3 november 2013] Orrill, A. R., n.d. Challenges on culturally diverse construction projects and strategies to overcome them. [pdf] Available at: http://crgp.stanford.edu/publications/working_papers/orrill.pdf [Accessed 3 november 2013]
The School of Management-Marketing of the Romanian-American University prides itself that as ambitious newcomers in the educational field, w...
Published on Dec 3, 2013
The School of Management-Marketing of the Romanian-American University prides itself that as ambitious newcomers in the educational field, w...