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Theodor Valentin PURCĂREA
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Editorial: Education and Communications within the Circular Economy, the Internet of Things, and the Third Industrial Revolution. Challenges ahead the “Competency based” Education Model
Information and Communications Technologies are Learning from Nature’s “Research” to Push the Performance Limits
Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning as Key Performance Factors
The Need of Project Capabilities in Project Based Organizations
Main Problems in the Project Management and the Method of Six Thinking Hats as Possible Solution
Anne-Sophie DEMILLIERE The Role of Human Resources in Project Management
Irina PURCĂREA A Short Presentation of Our Partner Journal „Contemporary Economics”, Vol. 7, Issue 3, 2013, Quarterly of University of Finance and Management in Warsaw Sharing with our distinguished Readers a well-known source of usable and useful knowledge… “Distribution d’aujourd’hui”, Brussels, by courtesy of Prof. Dr. h. c. Léon F. WEGNEZ
The responsibility for the content of the scientific and the authenticity of the published materials and opinions expressed rests with the author.
Education and Communications within the Circular Economy, the Internet of Things,and the Third Industrial Revolution. Challenges ahead the â€œCompetency basedâ€? Education Model
It is well-known that education means life and civilization transmission, and in today’s global economy a high-quality education is a prerequisite to success, because economic progress and educational achievement are inextricably linked. The economic higher education is truly challenged by designing effective educational experiences and preparing students accordingly to adapt to the fast changing information environment thanks to a more responsive, integrated, engaged and innovative approach ensuring the adequate skills and mentality. On the other hand, let us remember two noteworthy assumptions (which admittedly simplify the socioeconomic complexities and uncertainties) underlined in June 2009 by McKinsey & Company’s representatives: “educational achievement and attainment… are key drivers in hiring and are positively correlated with earnings; and labor markets will hire available workers with higher skills and education”.1 In 2010 the new formed “Ellen MacArthur Foundation” (supported by a group of “Global Partners”: Kingfisher, Cisco, Philips, Unilever and Renault)2 stated the belief that: “the circular economy provides a coherent framework for systems level re-design and as such offers us an opportunity to harness innovation and creativity to enable a positive, restorative economy.” The overall project management was provided by McKinsey & Company, which developed the fact base and delivered the analytics for the “Towards the Circular Economy” reports that quantify the economic benefits of circular business models, and lay out pathways for action. According to McKinsey experts,3 that world of the “take, make, and dispose” model of production (which has long relied on cheap resources in order to maintain growth and stability) ceased to exist. And the circular economy, as a regenerative economic model, would benefit business and society by restoring material, energy, and labor inputs and creating more value while breaking ingrained habits and eradicating waste throughout the various life cycles and uses of products and their components. In March 2010, McKinsey’s Michael Chui, Markus Löffler, and Roger Roberts stated4 that now is the time for executives across all industries to structure their thoughts about the potential impact and opportunities likely to emerge from the Internet of Things (defined by Gartner as the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and interact with their internal states or the external environment), highlighting the six distinct types of emerging applications which fall in two broad categories: information and analysis (tracking behavior, enhanced situational awareness, sensor-driven decision analytics); automation and control (process optimization, optimized resource consumption, complex autonomous systems). McKinsey’s representatives showed that these big changes in information patterns will have implications within companies, for organizational structures, and the way decisions are made, operations are managed, and processes are conceived. Two years later, in March 2012, Jeremy Rifkin5 argued that: we are about to create a new economic paradigm that can completely reorient the way we think about business, the greatest economic revolution (a third industrial revolution, which is scaled, the European Union undertook, for example, to achieve a five-pillar infrastructure for this third revolution: renewable energy mandated, collection of energy in buildings, storage, a nervous system for the third industrial revolution, infrastructure for a new economy); can occur when a new energy revolution converge with a new revolution of communication (communication via Internet revolution is distributive, collaborative and creates side power); when the two revolutions merge, they can change the economic paradigm and even consciousness (due to the transition from ideological thinking to therapeutic thinking); in the last twenty-five years, we witnessed a very powerful communication revolution involving the personal computer and the Internet, hundreds of universities began to create programs that bring together different schools, with campuses already creating infrastructure of the third industrial revolution; we are all connected and there is an awareness of the biosphere; young people are thinking systemically. In May 2013, Mathew Taylor6 observes that in modern society the most effective model for change will involve defining leaders defining purposes that inspire, using means which achieved these goals by aligning with individual choices, with processes of change, being humanized by a cul1Auguste, B.G., Hancock, B. and Laboissière, M. - The economic cost of the US education gap, McKinsey, June 2009, available at: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/social_sector/the_economic_cost_of_the_us_education_gap 2www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/business/reports 3Nguyen, H., Stuchtey, M. and Zils, M. – “Remaking the industrial economy”, McKinsey Quarterly, February 2014 4Chui,M., Löffler, M. and Roger Roberts – “The Internet of Things”, March 2010, available at: ww.mckinsey.com/insights/high_tech_telecoms_internet/the_internet_of_things?p=1 5 A Conversation with Jeremy Rifkin on His New Book The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World, Michael Lerner, March 29, 2012, www.tikkun.org/nextgen/a-conversation-with-jeremy-rifkinon-the-third-industrial-revolution 6Taylor, M., 2013, A responsible society. An enterprising economy. New leadership for new times, May 21, 2013, www.matthewtaylorsblog.com/politics/a-responsible-society-an-enterprising-economy-new-leadership-for-new-times/
ture which resonates with solidarity and mutual obligation. Taylor even resorted to a mechanical metaphor: the hierarchy sets the direction, individualism provides the engine and solidarity is offering the oil. Because, however, beyond the dominant traditional ideas in education over the last fifteen - twenty years (“national standards”, “freedom, diversity and competition in school”, necessary parts of the improvement engine, there is a clear need for collaboration. And when it comes to collaboration (which must allow more ambitious and progressive goals), it is not what you do but how you do in order to get results. In June 2013, Markus Löffler and Andreas Tschiesner reconfirmed that the physical world is becoming a type of information system, and argued that in order to drive development two competencies must come together: “using what’s truly new about new technologies and finding people who can design robust algorithms to make the system user-friendly”. They also showed that a decisive role in new operating models will be played by the supplychain integration, being essential to completely integrate all relevant information into the supplychain.7 A month later, on July 31, Gartner (the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company, founded in 1979 and headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, USA8) stated that much of the differentiation and value of the Internet of Things9 resides in the data aggregation, data-processing and decisionmaking activities that take advantage of the data streams emanating from the device (or the ability to remotely influence that device). On October 2, 2013, Steven C. Ward, Professor of Sociology at Western Connecticut State University, USA (and author of the book “Neoliberalism and the Global Restructuring of Knowledge and Education”, Routledge Advances in Sociology, December 22, 2011), wrote a challenging article entitled: “A Machiavellian Guide to Destroying Public Universities in 12 Easy Steps”10. Professor Ward attracted our attention, for example, on the fact that “spectacle and simulacrum trump substance”, and on the effects of: << various “oversight instruments,” such as quality-assessment exercises, “outcome matrices,” or auditing mechanisms, to assure “transparency” and “accountability” 7 Löffler, M. and Tschiesner, A. – “The Internet of Things and the future of manufacturing”, Business Technology Office, McKinsey & Company, 2013 8 www.gartner.com/technology/about.jsp 9 Gartner Says Potential Size and Diversity of the Internet of Things Mask Immediate Opportunities, Stamford, Conn., July 31, 2013, www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2564916 10 Ward, Steven - “A Machiavellian Guide to Destroying Public Universities in 12 Easy Steps”, available at: http://chronicle.com/blogs/conversation/2013/10/02/a-machiavellian-guide-to-destroying-public-universities-in-12-easy-steps/
to “stakeholders” >>; << “competency based” education model that allows students to bypass many of the traditional requirements of the university >>. A month later, on November 16, 2013, Ronald W. Cox,11 from Florida International University, while examining the politics and economics of the restructuring of public universities in the USA, highlighted that the marketization of university culture: “encourages seeing students as consumers, and viewing the university brand through the prism of narrow market calculation; is evident everywhere on modernday campuses, with a proliferation of corporateuniversity partnerships, corporate advertising, corporate underwriting of individual programs, and corporate or donor sponsorship of particular endowed chairs or faculty positions within particular sub-fields.” On Monday 3, March 2014, the Times Higher Education (THE), the United Kingdom’s leading publication in the field of higher education, brought to our attention another article of Professor Ward who “imagines an Orwellian world of over-assessment”.12 In his subtle approach, Steven Ward is starting from the growing need for the universities to become more accountable to stakeholders, underlining the “solution” of expanding assessment beyond the usual areas of research and teaching into other areas of academic life… THE also recommends the 11th annual higher education report published by the New Media Consortium (NMC) and produced in partnership with the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. The NMC Horizon Report: 2014 Higher Education Edition,13 officially launched on 3 February 2014, identified six “key trends” (growing ubiquity of social media; integration of online, hybrid, and collaborative learning; rise of data-driven learning and assessment; shift from students as consumers to students as creators; agile approaches to change; evolution of online learning) that are accelerating the adoption of technology in higher education. It is known that the year 2013 marked two anniversaries with special historical resonance for higher economic education in Romania: celebration of 170 years since the pioneer 11 Cox, Ronald W. (2013) “The Corporatization of Higher Education”, Class, Race and Corporate Power: Vol. 1: Iss. 1, Article 8, available at: http://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/classracecorporatepower/vol1/iss1/8 12 Ward, Steven - “Academic assessment gone mad” originally published as: “Stupid. Crap. Pablum. A dystopian future awaits the academic”, 6 February 2014), available at: www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/comment/opinion/ academic-assessment-gone-mad/2011045.article 13 Parr, Chris - “6 trends that will accelerate the adoption of technology in higher education”, 7 February 2014, available at: www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/6-trends-that-will-accelerate-the-adoption-of-technology-in-highereducation/2011131.fullarticle
of Romanian economics, Ion Ghica, delivered his first course of political economy; celebration of 100 years of economic institutionalization of higher education in Romania, the establishment of the Academy of High Commercial and Industrial Studies (AISCI), today the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies. Within this remarkable academic historical framework hosted in November 2013 by the Aula Magna of the Bucharest University of Economic Studies, the Association of Faculties of Economics in Romania, AFER, launched the Volume with a great theme: “Pages from the Romanian Economic Higher Education History, 18432013”. This anniversary Volume expressed not only the true qualitative teamwork at the level of AFER, but also the fact that AFER: is a powerful forum for discussion of specific problems, identifying best practices in academic education and research dedicated to promoting national and international reference standards for higher economic education in Romania; has shown consistently strong focus on providing graduates with updated knowledge and practical skills required in the modern workplace, and a framework for their continued development; has constantly stimulated the critical and creative thinking, the ability to find, to access, to evaluate and to use information in order to solve complex problems faced by entrepreneurs aware of the implications of the actions initiated and of the complex decisions in a competitive business environment specific to the relevant markets at the confluence of globalization and integration; is already proving a growing culture of assessment and measurement in education, research and innovation, putting a new emphasis on the economic contribution of higher education to economic and social life and the need to work multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and trans disciplinary. We can state that after 10 years of active and responsible involvement of AFER we are in the situation of a growing culture of assessment and measurement in higher economic education, research and innovation in Romania, with a new emphasis on the economic contribution of higher education to economic and social life and the need to work in a multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary way. As a member of the team that prepared, 14 years ago, the volume “History of National Economy” (vol. II)14, having the pleasure of working with distinguished representatives of higher 14 2000
Constantinescu, N. N. (Coordonator) - “Istoria Economica a României” (vol.II), Ed. Economica, Bucuresti,
economic education in my country (and more recently, in 2011, having again this honor when preparing the volume “Great European Economists” indexed both in HOLLIS Classic catalogue of the Harvard University library, no. 013221078, and Chicago University library, no. 8838201: http:// lens.lib.uchicago.edu/?hreciid=%7Clibrary/ marc/uc%7C8838201),15 and as a member of the team that prepared the Monograph “Pages from the Romanian Economic Higher Education History, 1843-2013”, it is my duty and honor to salute, in this context, the debate initiated at the level of the “platform” for an academic and civic dialog structured for a common understanding walking on the “Path towards freedom. From sensory knowledge to trans-knowledge”16 proposed – with wisdom, responsibility and commitment for the destiny of human society – by Professor Vasile Stănescu, Honorary Member of the Romanian Academy. As we walk on this road opened to everyone, management structures and organizational arrangements specific to economic higher education in our country allow natural contributions to the development of this „platform” for interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary dialogue, that also considers the following aspects: “scientific research (superior form of socializing) is one of the determining factors of historical development, of the transition from industrial civilization to invisible civilization; the major paradox that dominates human society, putting face to face the amazing achievements of science with today ‘s state of the world; economics, as a social science, comes from the reality lived in the social, from the social reality, of social life; the concept of human action assumes the determining role of human in a horizon of particular reality: economic dimension, characterized by economic values regarded as values-means in considering the fulfillment of goal values and final values, in order to satisfy social-human and environmental needs; the economic factor, after the natural one, has a very special role in what concerns human civilization; active role of economic policy as superstructural element to the economic base comes from the fact that economic policy works in all spheres of social reproduction; we are witnessing an integrative education, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary, of trans valuation of sciences, characteristic that became a constant characteristic in 15 Butiseaca, A. - “Mari economişti europeni” (“Great European Economists”), Romanian-American University Publishing Press, 2011 16 Stănescu, Vasile - Path towards freedom. From sensory knowledge to trans-knowledge, Universul Juridic Publishing Press, Bucharest, 2014, pp. 13-14, 86-87, 89, 181, 216-217, 262-263, 323, 329-331, 340
the process of scientific research, trans valuation that configures as a feature of a new paradigm of contemporary science; profound changes in the economic base carry with them the seeds of superstructural change (ideological, political, legal, philosophical) … capitalism… recording a new phase, integrated, transnational and of consume, which drives the whole planet; interdisciplinarity, continuous education, the curricula of university disciplines are in a continuous dependency and interference… the report between interdisciplinarity and Education must therefore be reconsidered; integrative approach – theoretical and methodological – at the level of disciplines becomes not only necessary but also compulsory; the activity of human society is carried out within a complexity of plans: politic, economic and social/civilizational and cultural-spiritual/cognitive and emotional/in an internal environment and an external one/ but also in a cosmic environment, where the fundamental rule is the conservation of the living, amid rationality, order and harmony; globalization no longer appears as a superior form of socializing and generalization of democracy, but a hybrid between centralization and decentralization, integration (mixing) and fragmentation, opulence and starvation, protectionism and exploitation, between mega-development and backwardness, trans-knowledge and sensory knowledge, cyberspace and abacus; we are projected by events, waking up trapped in a continuous tension, with the spectrum of risks that float above us and shattered illusions; the public expressed aggressiveness occupies almost integrally the public space, tends to become a general feature of this space, with reverberations in people’s personal lives; mediocrity and corruption, indifference to the common interest, of the public good, is a direct attack to competitiveness, degradation of opportunities and resources, promotion of personal interests; competition has taken a dramatic end, the fight being carried out between values and interests; memory decreased considerably, as well as remembering the makers of history, ancestors, and of major cultural and spiritual values; we easily say good-bye to the past… ignoring the given time and place, laws of evolution, ignoring, in fact, our own history ; we cannot look towards the future without preserving, honoring and valuing the memory of the past, as the only way for continuation; there is a need for strategies and policies in all fields of activity, of a high professionalism and profound morality, of the restoration of the axiological scale, of models and reconsidering values.” Theodor Valentin Purcărea
Editor - in - Chief
< there is a need for strategies and policies in all fields of activity, of a high professionalism and profound morality, of the restoration of the axiological scale, of models and reconsidering values. > Theodor Valentin Purcﾄビea Editor - in - Chief
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES ARE LEARNING FROM NATURE’S “RESEARCH” TO PUSH THE PERFORMANCE LIMITS Prof. Eng. Ph.D. Victor GREU
The paper analyzes the way information and communications technologies (ICT) faces the actual challenges for their development, starting from the fact that science and technology power is generally recognized as the main factor of human kind progress in the last centuries, but ICT have a huge role in refining the dynamic legacy knowledge -the support of developing information society (IS) toward knowledge based society (KBS). ICT premises to enable “the technology power to do more good than bad” in the IS/KBS, exceeding the ICT field and lending a power instrument of analysis and management for actual most complex decision processes on Earth, are also analyzed, as not few literature discussed the two edge force of science and technology. On the other hand, the paper analyzes the actual context where ICT must bring new approaches/ innovations, answering to the major challenge of pushing the performance limits and then expanding them to all other scientific and technological fields, especially in this crucial phase of apogee/ decline they are facing because of soon reaching physical limits of conventional semiconductor technologies and Earth resources fading. The paper main conclusion, after presenting some actual technological examples and premises, is that using the million years nature’s research in living things is perhaps the best way to identify some ideas for the long expected revolutionary optimal technologies humankind and Earth need.
: supercomputing, nanotechnology, brain diagram, OLED, communications and information technologies, information society, knowledge based society.
JEL Classification L63, L86, M15, O13, O33
1. Enabling the technology power to do more good than bad The evolution of science and technology is undoubtedly the most important, fascinating and
complex process of humankind existence on Earth in the last centuries, which created the huge dynamic legacy we call knowledge and became the support of the actual information society (IS) toward knowledge based society (KBS). We have to remember, in order to benefit from it, that on the large scale of the history, the life evolution on Earth, up to the Homo sapiens, is by far a prominent and amazing phenomenon of the Universe. Perhaps one of the most inspired synthetic evaluations of the mentioned process was given by the famous American physicist Richard Feynman, who said in 1955 , addressing to the US National Academy of Sciences: “Scientific knowledge is an enabling power to do good or bad – but it does not carry instructions how to use it” This is the context we further consider, where humankind has to analyze every day and every year which are the optimal directions to develop information and communications technologies (ICT), as the main factor to support the evolution of IS on the complex way toward KBS. As usual, the beginning of a new year, this time 2014, comes with a packet of challenges for everyone. As long as ICT exponential pace and Moore Law are still alive, a new year is bringing an upper limit to fight for. If, for ICT, the challenge would be that “simple” it still would be usual, but we have to notice that the already long competition of ICT with itself (Moore Law) is counting more than 50 years and the last years became harder as the “traditional” semiconductor technologies reached, on one hand, amazing levels of performance, but on the other hand close to their physical limits. For ICT and further IS/KBS, the stable development challenges include as main factors the mutual and complex influences between development/progress and its negative consequences on Earth environment: material resources, climate changes and social evolution. The paper space would not allow to approach all these issues but will only try to emphasise some of their reflections on the main ICT actual challenge: keep the pace and push the performance limits by learning from the long history (millions years nature’s “research”) as the recent history knowledge resources are fading. As we have earlier expressed  and more and more is confirmed in the literature , , the
ICT development must be carefully analyzed and planned, in spite of its amazing pace, in order to optimize the influences on IS/KBS. It is also important to recall  that in this complicate puzzle of decisions, ICT have the proved feature to bring products, services and “knowhow”, which are leveraging all humankind activity fields, directly by their applications, but also indirectly by extending ICT new concepts and methods, as refined knowledge (instruments and ways of thinking), in a diversity of areas outside ICT. The most prominent example is perhaps the “network centric” concept , which has been extended from ICT to defence or non-defence applications and then to social networks and social models. Now the time has come that ICT bring new approaches, first for its above mentioned challenge of pushing the performance limits and then expanding them to all other scientific and technological fields. A very significant expression of this reality is the approach of IEEE , among the ICT most prominent international standardization institutes besides ITU and ETSI, which emphasised the crucial importance of the fact that IEEE (ICT) specialists (perhaps the largest professionals association in the world) “are both well qualified and well positioned” to sustain the two fold (two directions) mechanism by which the scientific and technological power/development could be optimally led. Essentially, the first direction is based on the social importance and benefits of the specialists forum when contributing to the identification of the optimal solutions in the complex decision processes supporting the ICT and further IS/ KBS development, based on their well known expertise. An even more complicated direction is that generated by the Richard Feynman dilemma aiming to separate and prevent mixing of “good or bad”, in fact promoting responsibility and ethics in the ICT/IS/KBS and generally in the scientific and technological power/development. It is easy now to observe that both approaches have the premises to enable “the technology power to do more good than bad” in the IS/KBS, exceeding the ICT field and lending a power instrument of analysis and management for actual most complex decision processes on Earth. We also notice that changing, a little, the Rich-
ard Feynman’s dilemma “good or bad” into the proposal “more good than bad”, we have suggested the crucial and practical importance of analyzing and eventually optimizing the complicate decision processes of ICT/IS/KBS development, as a realistic approach of the actual and future World, where it will be more and more difficult to (completely) separate bad of good. The above conclusion is congruent with the already mentioned two directions, as IEEE expressed the crucial importance of expertise (refined knowledge) and debate (communications) in IS/KBS. In order to observe the concrete ways these action directions are implemented in ICT, we will further analyze some actual ICT development ideas and solutions aiming to approach the above mentioned challenges of ICT and beyond. 2. Prominent ICT solutions for the actual challenges are inspired from the million years nature’s research in living things When we want to start drawing the image of a huge and diverse collection of things, it is better to first evaluate which is the largest of them, choosing a common metric. This goal is not simple when we analyze ICT areas, but as we have earlier mentioned , there is a relatively largely accepted fact that ICT performance limits have as a central issue the computation power and memory capacity, i.e. the main features of the future supercomputers. The literature confirms  and we have also pointed out  that the principals applications of future supercomputers include brain diagram and Earth climate changes. The complete study of human brain diagram is perhaps the greatest challenge facing 21-st century research. In order to express the dimension of the „brain diagram” World program, we have to notice that one of its most prominent projects, Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (known as BRAIN Initiative) was supported in 2013 by the USA Government with 110 millions USD, as Barack Obama announced in april 2013. The realistic technological image of the program target could be expressed by the actual stateof-the-art neurological activity recording applied for the zebra fish is involving 80000 neurons, but a mouse has 75 million neurons and a hu-
man has... about 86 billion neurons . More than the above facts, there are 150 trillion estimated connections linking the neurons in the human brain. A preliminary estimation of the computing power for the above program (BRAIN Initiative) would require over 1017 bytes memory(storage) and 1018 Flops for brain simulator . The ICT actual responses to the above challenge include, after the 3-D transistor technology approach, the new memory approach - which is aiming smaller, faster and cheaper solutions, based on two new models: 3-D NAND and Hybrid memory cube . A crucial observation is that the mentioned technological solutions and even the adding of other similar improvements, could not solve a future expected challenge, we also earlier expressed , generated by the perspective that the „classical” semiconductor technology is coming to its physical limits and the „usual” ICT pace, expressed and „powered” by Moore Law, will stop unless revolutionary technologies will be discovered, i.e. inspite of the new architecture and algorithm models which are actually researched or applied. Among the forecast models we may recall , , are the life (biology) inspired and optical approaches. This is the point where we have to point out that the (BRAIN Initiative) could reveal important knowledge, which could be extremely useful for the future and revolutionary ICT, as the „human brain” is in fact an archive of the million years research made by the „mother” nature, that is clearly expressed, among other, by the above evolution/revolution of the neuron numbers (zebra fish - 80000 neurons and human - 86 billion neurons). This way an essential preliminary conclusion could be expressed, as this program (BRAIN Initiative) is a feed back process, a kind of self leveraging one, similar with nature/life progress/research on Earth, but with obvious future benefits for all ICT applications and generally for IS/KBS progress. It is worth to recall that the target applications of the ICT progress in supercomputers exceed BRAIN Initiative and are also aiming : - Scale Genomic Correlation; - Data Assimilation in Large Scale Sensors; - Exascale Atmospherics (climate changes);
- Extreme Big Data (Social networks, multisources unstructured data etc.). As the applications line is larger that mentioned, the ICT innovations number are larger too. Nanotechnology is already largely applied, much outside ICT, but we will not analyze the diversity of applications/innovations, which include cleaner water, new materials, safer food/ clothes/cosmetics etc. The paper point is, on the other hand, very well revealed by a new family of applications/technologies, the nanosensors. „Sniffing for cancer” (melanoma) is a health research field which is based on nanosensors which can detect the odors . This case is very relevant not only by its crucial social importance (for people’s life), nor for the fact that the „e-nose” could have a large diversity of applications. The really impressive fact is that the researchers of those nanosensors have identified the technological solutions starting, again, from the living things. As a concrete and essential result , the researchers found that the human nose has about 5 million sensors (scen receptors), but the bloodhound’s has ...300 million! Now, again , we can undoubtedly conclude that life (living things) is the supreme, „natural” and reliable inspiration source, not only for ICT but especially for ICT, as they are the most complex and dynamic technologies, as this source is provided by the „mother” nature’s million years research, performed by the well known natural selection processes. This nano life-inspired new technologies familly is clearly similar with the above „brain” inspired, along with all pertinent mentioned implications. The importance and the impact of nanotechnology are very well reflected by the magnitude and matureness of its IEEE standardization processes. These standards, being centered on carbon nano-tubes (one of most extended nanotechnlogy field), are covering a larger diversity of areas involving ICT, like: - Standard for Test methods for measurement of electrical properties of carbon nanotubes; - Standard for Test methods for the characterization of organic transistor and materials; - Standard for Test methods for the char-
acterization of organic transistor-based ring oscillators; - Standard for Large scale manufactoring for nanoelectronics. The most interesting and relevant fact we can observe is, again, the prominent and increasing contribution of nature inspired innovations (technologies) as above we may observe the dominance of „organic transistor”, which confirm, again, the forecast we made on a revolutionary ICT trend based on biology as nature’s research result. On the same line of the solutions for extending the performances after reaching the semiconductor ICT physical limits, the optical nanophotonic circuits seems to be the base of a promising technology, which could improve also the conventional optical laser and fiber systems technologies by guiding and routing the light at nanoscale . The organic materials are proving to be an emerging performant solution also for the display technology - the base of one of the most productive ICT industry, due to the huge number of manufactured TV-s, laptops, tablets and...smartphones. Although the OLED (Organic LED) display is a mature technology, there are 2 limiting factors for its development. The first problem of OLED is their low efficiency (emitted/consumed energy), but the researchers just developed new kinds of carbon-based molecules which have the capacity to influence electrons spin behaviour in order to increase the emitted light energy . The second problem of
the actual OLED is the fact that they need rare metals (iridium; platinum) in order to make the device efficient. The good news is the fact that the above mentioned carbon-based molecules can provide even better efficiency without adding rare metals, i.e. having solved one of the crucial problem of Earth resources fading, without speaking about the device cost reduction. The last, but not the least, the „carbon cost” (carbon dioxide emission) is one of the actual „hardest” challenges of ICT, sometimes called „green ITC”. It is worth to notice that carbon cost is not an independent problem versus the above supercomputers technologies/innovations, as the performance/power is crucial for any new technology. Why cloud (computing) is perhaps the greatest emerging paradigm in ICT is almost clear, as we also expressed , but in a similar way we may conclude that „cloud” could be the biggest ICT carbon dioxide generator. The dimension of cloud carbon cost is very well refflected by the fact that in 2012, the Facebook’s data centers have determined 298000 metric tones of carbon dioxide – the equivalent of about 55000 cars . In this case, one of the new ICT approach is aiming a software solution, at networked data centers scale, which could manage the tasks in order to optimize energy consumption efficiency. At the first glance this ideea sems not very new, but, any way, it is obviously inspired, again, from the mutual func-
tionality of human brain and its amazing redundance. The impressive fact of the above solution is that, inspite of its software base, it suppose a huge „hard” infrastructure (based on Internet) to link, coordinate and optimize remote data centers, located, for example, in Finland, Ireland, New-York and California . Of course, the ICT life-inspired trends could and will continue, but the above analyzed cases are enough relevant to express the signification and the importance of optimizing the stable development of ICT and IS/ KBS, especially in this critical phase of apogee/decline . On the other hand, it is crucial to notice that the above examples proved that ICT eventually is almost recognizing that the mother nature’s million years research results still could be, today, the best solution/inspiration.
The science and technology power is generally recognized as the main factor of human kind progress in the last centuries and the paper emphasised the ICT role in refining the dynamic legacy knowledge - the support of developing the actual IS towards KBS. On the other hand we analyzed the ICT premises to enable “the technology power to do more good than bad” in the IS/KBS, exceeding the ICT field and lending a power instrument of analysis and management for the actual most complex decision processes on Earth. Facing more and more complex challenges, ICT must bring new approaches/innovations, first for its above mentioned challenge of pushing the performance limits and then expanding them to all other scientific and technological fields. We have also stressed the critical importance of optimizing the stable development of ICT and IS/KBS, especially in this crucial phase of apogee/decline they are facing because of soon reaching physical limits of conventional semiconductor technologies and Earth resources fading. In this context, the actual technological examples and premises we have analyzed confirmed that using the million years nature’s research in living things is perhaps the best way to identify some ideas for the long expected revolutionary optimal technologies humankind and Earth need.
Prof. Eng. Ph.D. Victor GREU
REFERENCES  Lily H. Newman, Reducing the carbon cost of cloud, IEEE Spectrum, January 2014.  Peter Staecker, No Feynman wasn’t joking, IEEE The Institute, Dec. 2013.  Brandon Keim, Big science takes on brain, IEEE Spectrum, January 2014.  Victor Greu, Evaluating the development steps based on life-inspired information and communications technologies, Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, Volume 2, Issue4, Year 2011.  Satoshi Matsuoka, Convergence of Supercomputing and Extreme Big Data on the TSUBAME, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2013/10/17 (http://www.opensfs.org/wp-content/ uploads/ 2013/09/Matsuoka_TokyoTech_Tsubame.pdf).  Monica Rosenfeld, Nanotechnology Standards, IEEE The Institute, Dec. 2013.  Susan Karlin, Creating new materials to manipulate light, IEEE The Institute, IEEE Spectrum, January 2014.  Rachel Courtland, Memory in the third dimension, IEEE Spectrum, January 2014.  Neil Savage, Spin trick could make OLED displays cheaper, IEEE Spectrum, January 2014.  Monica Rosenfeld, Sniffing for cancer, IEEE The Institute, Dec. 2013.  Victor Greu, The network centric and cloud - a new paradigm for the optimization of the technical and human information systems, Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine Volume 2, Issue 4, 2011.  Paul McFedries, The coming data deluge, IEEE Spectrum, feb.2011.  Sean Koehl, The Exa-scale Supercomputer of 2020, Intel European Research and Innovation Conference, September, 2010, (www.intel.com).  Victor Greu, Searching the right tracks of new technologies in the earth race for a balance between progress and survival, Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, Volume 3, Issue1, Year 2012.  G. Pascal Zachary, When innovating, Go slow, IEEE Spectrum, April 2013.
Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning as Key Performance Factors George Cosmin TANASE
The concept of knowledge management represents the planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling of people, processes and systems in the organization to ensure that its knowledgerelated assets are improved and effectively employed. Knowledge-related assets include knowledge in the form of printed documents such as patents and manuals, knowledge stored in electronic repositories such as a “best-practices” database, employees’ knowledge about the best way to do their jobs, knowledge that is held by teams who have been working on focused problems and knowledge that is embedded in the organization’s products, processes and relationships.
: Database, Organizational Performance, Knowledge Capabilities, Socialization
JEL Classification D83, L25, Z1
Introduction The processes of knowledge management (KM) involve knowledge acquisition, creation, refinement, storage, transfer, sharing, and utilization. The KM function in the organization operates these processes, develops methodologies and systems to support them, and motivates people to participate in them. The goals of KM are the leveraging and improvement of the organization’s knowledge assets to effectuate better knowledge practices, improved organizational behaviors, better decisions and improved organizational performance. Although individuals certainly can personally perform each of the KM processes, KM is largely an organizational activity that focuses on what managers can do to enable KM’s goals to be achieved, how they can motivate individuals to participate in achieving them and how they can create social processes that will facilitate KM success. Social processes include communities of practice – self-organizing groups of people who share a common interest – and expert networks – networks that are established to allow those
Knowledge Management Systems Knowledge management systems (KMS) are applications of the organization’s computer-based communications and information systems (CIS) to support the various KM processes. They are typically not technologically distinct from the CIS, but involve databases, such as “lessons learned” repositories, and directories and networks, such as those designed to put organizational participants in contact with recognized experts in a variety of topic areas. A significant difference between many knowledge management systems and the organization’s CIS is that the KMS may be less automated in that they may require human activity in their operation. While information systems typically require that humans make choices in the design phase and then operate automatically, KMS sometimes involve human participation in the operation phase. For instance, when a sales database is designed, people must decide on its content and structure; in its operational phase, it works automatically. When a “lessons learned” knowledge repository is created, people must make all of the same design choices, but they must also participate in its operational phase since each knowledge unit that is submitted for inclusion is
unique and must be assessed for its relevance and important.
Organizational Learning There are various ways to conceptualize the relationship between knowledge management and organizational learning (OL). Easterby-Smith and Lyles (2003) consider OL to focus on the process, and KM to focus on the content, of the knowledge that an organization acquires, creates, processes and eventually uses. Another way to conceptualize the relationship between the two areas is to view OL as the goal of KM. By motivating the creation, dissemination and application of knowledge, KM initiatives pay off by helping the organization embed knowledge into organizational processes so that it can continuously improve its practices and behaviors and pursue the achievement of its goals. From this perspective, organizational learning is one of the important ways in which the organization can sustainably improve its utilization of knowledge. The figure below shows that KM processes directly improve organizational processes, such as innovation, collaborative decision-making, and individual and collective learning. These improved organizational processes produce intermediate outcomes such as better decisions, organizational behaviors, products, services and relationships. These, in turn, lead to improved organizational performance:
Figure 1: Knowledge Management in an Organization Earl, M. (2001) - Knowledge management strategies. Journal of Management Information Systems Most organizations focus primarily on one or the other of two broadly defined KM strategies – “codification” or “personalization”. Codification is primarily implemented in the form of electronic document systems that codify and store knowledge and permit its easy dissemination and reuse. This strategy is based on “re-use economics” – invest once in creating or acquiring a knowledge asset and re-use it many times. Personalization, on the other hand, focuses on developing networks to facilitate people-to people knowledge transfer and sharing. It is based on “expert economics” – channeling individual expertise to others with less expertise who may employ it to further the organization’s goals. Earl (2001) has described various KM strategies, or “schools of thought” at a more detailed level. He developed these empirically through observation in numerous companies. They are listed below in groups that emphasize their reliance on either the codification or a personalization approach. Codification Sub-Strategies – Earl’s codification-oriented sub-strategies are:
1. Systems (creating and refining knowledge repositories and on motivating people to provide content) 2. Process (developing and using repeatable processes that are supported with knowledge from previously conducted processes) 3. Commercial (the management of intellectual property such as patents, trademarks, etc.) 4. Strategic (the development of “knowledge capabilities” that can form the foundation of competitive strategy) Personalization Sub-Strategies – Earl’s personalization-oriented sub-strategies are: 5. Cartographic (creating knowledge “maps” or directories and networks to connect people) 6. Organizational (providing groupware and intranets to facilitate communities of practice) 7. Social (spatial) (socialization as a means of knowledge creation and exchange; emphasizes the providing of physical “places” to facilitate discussions). While some organizations focus on only one of these strategies or sub-strategies, many use a combination of strategies that suits their needs. The Organization of KM
& Al Musadieq 2013) revealed that although the influence of Organizational Learning on Organizational Performance is directly greater than the indirect effect, it is clear that Organizational Learning is the dominant influence on Knowledge Management directly, as well as the direct influence of the Knowledge Management on Capability of Organizational is also quite large, so the increase in Organizational Learning increases Organizational Performance in the long run, meaning that organizations can improve performance by increasing the Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management so Capability of Organizational will increase, and will ultimately have an impact on improving organization performance.
KM may be conducted across multiple organizations, such as with suppliers, partners and customers. Such KM activities obviously rely on communications networks and systems. “Value supply chain” inter-organizational networks are KM is conducted in many different ways in orin common usage to enable retailers such as ganizations. Often, the KM function is headed by Wal-Mart to interact with suppliers to ensure a Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO). If the organithat inventories are always of desired levels on zation’s KM strategy is straightforward, the CKO retail shelves, in retail stockrooms and in waremay lead a KM Department. In more complex houses and that deliveries are made according situations, with a diverse set of KM strategies to a predetermined schedule. These systems being implemented, the cultural differences that operate on an “automatic” basis that is made are inherent in different strategies suggest that possible by the knowledge that is embedded in a single department may not be the best way the software by the participating partners. The to organize KM. In such instances, the comwell-known Linux software development promunications linkages among various KM groups ject is an example of the effective utilization of a are of great importance. Related to this is the loose network of volunteer knowledge creators. perceived role of organizational culture in influIt operates with two parallel structures – one encing KM practice and success. A “knowledge which represents the current “approved” version culture” is one particular variety of organizational of the system and the other in which enhanceculture representing a way of organizational life ments are continuously being developed and that enables and motivates people to create, tested. share and utilize knowledge for the benefit and enduring success of the organization. Organizational culture is believed to influence the knowledge-related behaviors of individuals, teams, organizational units and overall organizations because it importantly influences the determination of which knowledge it is appropriate to share, with whom and when. Also, a recent case study (Wahyuningsih, Astuti
Knowledge management is a set of relatively new organizational activities that are aimed at improving knowledge, knowledge-related practices, organizational behaviors and decisions and organizational performance. KM focuses on knowledge processes – knowledge creation, acquisition, refinement, storage, transfer, sharing and utilization. These processes support organizational processes involving innovation, individual learning, collective learning and collaborative decision making. The “intermediate outcomes” of KM are improved organizational behaviors, decisions, products, services, processes and relationships that enable the organization to improve its overall performance.
George Cosmin TANASE
References Cross, R., and L. Baird. (2000). “Technology is not enough: Improving performance by building organizational memory,” Sloan Management Review, 41(3): 69–79. Davenport, T.H., and L. Prusak. 2000. Working knowledge: How organizations manage what they know . Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press. Earl, M. 2001. Knowledge management strategies. Journal of Management Information Systems 18(1): 215–223. King, W.R. 2005. Communications and information processing as a critical success factor in the effective knowledge organization. International Journal of Business Information Systems 10(5): 31–52. King, W.R. 2008. An integrated architecture for the effective knowledge organization. Journal of Knowledge Management 12(2): 1367–1380. Oliver, S., and K.R. Kandadi. 2006. How to develop knowledge culture in organizations? A multiple case study of large distributed organizations. Journal of Knowledge Management 10(4): 6–24. Polanyi, M. 1966. The tacit dimension. New York: Doubleday. Wahyuningsih, A., Astuti, E. S. and Al Musadieq, M. - “The Effect of Organizational Learning on Knowledge Management, Capability and Performance of Organization” (Case Study in University of Brawijaya, Malang) – Journal of Basic and Applied Scientific Research (2013), p.167.
THE NEED OF PROJECT CAPABILITIES IN PROJECT BASED ORGANIZATIONS Nina GRIMM
ESC RENNES SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
Whereas in functional organizations projects are used to drive special business activities, in project based organizations the project is the main business activity. They are characterized by a flexible and innovative form of executing projects in a dynamic and uncertain environment. In this paper an overview is given about the special characteristics of project based organizations and their success factors. From this the need for project capabilities is derived, as they are the source to reach the success factors. The close connection between success factors of project based organizations and the establishment of project capabilities is therefore developed. Then the question of how project capabilities can be build is addressed. Especially explanatory and exploitative learning methods are examined for this. The paper draws special attention to theoretical frameworks for capability building. A thorough understanding of this topic shows the necessity of building capabilities and future specialized research for practical work.
Project-based organization, Project capabilities, Project success factors
JEL Classification: O22, M12, L2
1. Introduction Project based organizations have become a more and more implemented organizational form in order to face the dynamic environment, especially in complex product markets. This organizational form has strong advantages compared to functional organizations. They show a better way of coping with team coherence, team spirit and communication, which is often a problem of projects in functional organizations. At the same time project based organizations reach a higher degree of project performance (Hobday, 2000). This is due to their main advantage of autonomy and differentiation (Melkonian and Picq, 2011). Nevertheless project performance is often only considered on a short-term basis, with
traditional performance measurement methods for single project success. These measures include for example the well-recognized “iron triangle” which focuses on the factors time, cost and quality (Atkinson, 1999). This approach does not take into consideration that project based organizations are established to benefit from their unique structure, which actually builds a special strategic approach. Thiry and Picq (2007) point out that project based organizations are shifting more to a strategic perspective in which it becomes more important to take the relations between projects and its stakeholders into considerations in order to create value. This shows that a broader understanding of project success is necessary in order to motivate all members of the project based organization to focus on the long-term success of the company in total. For this, some kind of general setting is necessary to account for a coherent approach to manage various projects. Consequently this will lead to a more standardized approach which possibly is a harm for projects as they are applied on purpose to be innovative and a flexible form to respond to changing needs of clients and environmental factors. Moreover it is argued that a more standardized approach can be useful to enhance project efficiency. It is therefore necessary to manage these two aspects by developing long-term project capabilities (Melkonian and Picq, 2011). As some projects or facets in projects are often repeatedly applied, this is a good starting point for capability building and establishment (Schüßler, Wessel and Gersch, 2012). The aim of this research paper is to approach the question of how project based organizations can build useful project capabilities to link their main strengths, as flexibility through autonomous work, to some extend of standardization to work efficiently and build a long-term competitive advantage. The need for project capabilities is derived from an extended understanding of project success. In this research paper especially the existing approaches of capability building through exploratory and exploitative learning are examined. As a first step, the characteristics of project based organizations are stated and the building of project capabilities as a main project success
factor is emphasized. After this changing definitions of project success are examined, which already give indications that success factors for organizations vary with the characteristics of organizational forms. For the analysis of building project capabilities, the double-loop framework of Brady and Davies (2004) and the study of Melkonian and Picq (2011) are used to exemplify the process of project capability development.
2. Project capabilities in PBO 2.1 The Project Based Organization
To gain a general understanding of the need for project capabilities in project based organizations it is important to understand the characteristics and value creating processes of project based organizations first. Then the success factors can be deducted and subsequently the development and establishment of capabilities. For a project based organization the project is “the primary unit for production, organization, innovation and competition” (Hobday, 2000, p. 874). So all projects contribute to the success of the company and add value. (Turner et. al, 2000). Furthermore (Hobday, 2000, p. 874) states, that the project is not just a single activity which stands for itself but a “primary business mechanism for coordinating and integrating all the main business functions of the firm”. Often complex and high value goods are produced by companies organized by a project based structure and each project has a direct link to mostly external clients. The structures and business processes are highly dependent on the changing projects and can be adapted easily. Therefore project based organizations are especially suitable for innovative and uncertain environments, where it is necessary to respond quickly to changes in requirements of clients (Hobday, 2000). Hobday (2000) differentiates in his study very carefully the different types of project based organizations and works out the advantages of project based organizations. He distinguishes six types of organizations with a different degree of project based structures, ranging from the pure functional organization to a pure project based organization, with no functional organization structure. In this paper the perspective of Thiry and Deguire (2007) is followed who include
the project-led organization in their definition of project based organizations, as the pure project based organization only appears very seldom in practice. Moreover, more and more functional companies integrate the concept of project management into their general organizational structure, as this will lead to higher customer satisfaction, because of effective integration of all departments in the company and the use of scarce resources (Ajmal and Koskinen, 2008), making the project-led organization an interesting and more common organizational form to investigate. The “project-led organization” still features some functional support such as coordination between projects, but mainly the needs of projects\are addressed (Hobday, 2000). By comparing projects run in functional organizations and projects performed in project based organizations, Hobday (2000) finds that the project performance of project based organizations is in general higher. This is due to various aspects. Yet the most important aspects to note are especially the strong involvement and responsibility of the project manager in the team work and the lean and flexible way different tools can be applied during the project. In the project based organization the project manager as well as each team member could respond quickly to evolving problems and adapt the project process as required. Experience and trust are mentioned to be the most important facts that drive an active way of communicating with all project stakeholders and keeping the motivation of all project members up. In this way also the monitoring of costs were seen as an effective method in order to reach the projects goals, whereas this was negatively perceived by project members of the functional organization (Hobday, 2000). In the above stated comparison of the two cases the project based organization reached the project goals of time, cost and quality more easily than the functional organization. Single project performance can therefore be seen as a major strength of this kind of organization and to which a special attention of organizations is aimed at. However, also difficulties and problems were found especially with regard to the management and learning between and across projects. Weaknesses in the organizational form of project based organizations were found
at the coordination of resources and capabilities, especially for the execution of routine tasks. Each project was treated equally important, which often lead to a high use of resources for a rather unimportant project. Furthermore, despite the high motivation of the team members during the project, there was high pressure of performing and no time to reflect on finished projects (Hobday, 2000). This shows that a further study of the success factors of project based organizations is necessary, when the perspective is moved from a single project to multi projects. It is important to focus on all stakeholders as well as the integration of projects into a solid structure of the firm (Thiry and Deguire, 2007). Therefore the next section focuses on performance criteria in project based organizations.
2.2 Project Performance and Success Factors
The long-term success of an organization depends strongly on the project success (Shenhar, et al., 2001). Most of the time project success is still evaluated by meeting cost, time and quality objectives which results in short term perspectives of improving mainly operational execution of projects. Shenhar, et al. (2001, p. 703) note that “projects must be perceived as powerful strategic weapons, initiated to create economic value”. In this sense projects have an impact on the direction of the strategy and are directly linked to the strategic management of an organization (Shenhar, et al., 2001). This also corresponds especially to project based organizations. From this viewpoint they create a framework for project success, which takes four perspectives with different time horizons into consideration: project efficiency, impact on the customer, business success, and preparing for the future. Particularly the dimension “preparing for the future” is of interest in the context of the necessity of building project capabilities. The importance of this dimension evolved during the study of Shenhar, et al. (2001), as many examined companies stated the high value of long-term benefits in order to create new business opportunities. Examples of this dimension include “gaining the required experience to enable the organization to compete subsequently in additional, more complex bids”, “establish
strong ties with the customer and become his primary source of development in this line of work” and “gather substantial reputation” (Shenhar, et al., 2001, p. 711). Also the study of Bryde (2005) highlights important factors that can be related to project based organization in order to be successful and work against their main weaknesses as indicated in the first section. In addition to Shenhar, et al. (2001) long-term perspective, Bryde (2005) focuses to a great extent on the importance of psychosocial-oriented and internal stakeholder focused project success. This means that meeting the internal stakeholder needs are strongly influencing the success of the project, as motivation will increase among the project members. Also here the connection to the long-term goal “preparing for the future” can be seen. Therefore project success definition must be aligned with the organization itself and the project teams, by aligning and harmonizing project objectives. He mentions success factors like project team member satisfaction and increase in organizational capabilities for managing future projects. These broader success factors should encourage project managers to go further than the short-term tactical optimization of projects (Bryde, 2005). These factors already show the necessity and importance of building strong project capabilities and implementing a system in which these capabilities are monitored and actually applied. Also an interaction between team building and capability building can be noticed. The findings relate closely to the necessity of establishing project capabilities and give insight into what kind of capabilities are important for project and the organizations success in general. Project based organizations already meet most of the standard success criteria and also focus on measuring their success as seen in the study of Hobday (2000). But as Thiry and Deguire (2007) conclude, there are still many open questions of how project based organizations can develop a relation between project and general management, this again strengthens the need for examining project capabilities, which is the main focus of the next section.
2.3 Project Capabilities in project based organizations
The study of success factors of projects and especially projects in project based organizations emphasizes the need to establish strong project capabilities so that the organization has the chance to build a strong organization with competitive advantages in order to be successful on a long-term basis. Project capabilities are therefore often defined as the ability to execute multiple individual projects to gain sustained performance (Brady and Davies, 2000). Melkonian and Picq (2011) establish a framework for building project capabilities that builds among the understanding of project capabilities as the connection between the more stable and lasting aspects, in organizations that normally are flexible and renewing their routines constantly. They build on the findings of Brady and Davies (2004) who explain the development of project management by the interaction of exploratory and exploitative learning. In this approach Brady and Davies (2004) emphasize that initially an organization needs to enable special project teams to exploring new ways of working within the project team which they refer to as project-led learning. By this existing norms and procedures are questioned and new ways of handling projects are explored. When successful new procedures have been found, they can be applied also to other projects and tested. From this point the successful routines and practices are selected to feed them into the project business organization, which will change the structures according to the new needs. It is a bottom-up process to build project capabilities. At the same time businessled learning is applied by the selection of simple and standardized new routines and practices. The project business organizations searches for repetitive tasks that will enhance the overall efficiency. By refocusing the strategy a top-down approach is applied. Melkonian and Picq (2011) use this approach to further identify specific levels of analysis that need to be addressed for capability building. Firstly they emphasize an individual level of analysis. Here the focus lies in the definition and recognition of individual talents in order to combine different strength to gather collective competences in a project team. It is the task of
the organization to account for existing and supporting systems. The next level of analysis is the collective level, which addresses the between project phase as the learning between several projects and project teams. At last the organizational level needs to be analyzed in order to explain the evolution and implementation of new routines. There should be a mixture of exploratory and exploitative learning. Whereas the exploitative learning assures the functioning in general of the proceedings and the exploratory learning accounts for keeping the flexibility of the project endeavors (Li and Huang, 2013). The interaction between the levels of analysis as stated by Melonian and Picq (2011) is of high relevance to the functionality of this approach. The knowledge in an organization is fragmented, as every member of the organization holds a piece of it. The learning is reinforced through the interaction as the fragmented knowledge can be combined by the interaction of exploitative and exploratory learning (Li and Huang, 2013). Consequently another point of focus lies in the requirements necessary for interactional learning. Firstly, managers need to actually be aware of this learning. The approach must be anchored in the strategy of the organization in order to be able to drive every member in the organization into the same direction by motivation. The motivation of each member can be enhanced by a shared understanding of goals and values of the company that should demonstrate the importance of exploitative and exploratory learning (Li and Huang, 2013). Bryde (2005) suggests that this is possible by conveying a feeling of importance to all the team members, improving trainings for project managers and taking their objectives and goals into consideration. Therefore it is the task of the management to incorporate success indicators also with regard to each individual, like personal growth, reward and recognition, for team members and project managers.
Consequently we learn from this research paper, that project capabilities are necessary to build an organization that is capable of dealing with multiple projects in a flexible but efficient way. For building project capabilities success factors are identified that demonstrate the importance of a long-term based view on success and project member satisfaction and motivation. From this understanding the following step in building capabilities is to establish structures and processes in the organization that will encourage learning processes through which capabilities are build up. The learning processes include the interaction between exploratory and exploitative learning in order to constantly move the organization by finding better and innovative ways of working on projects. In the research paper the establishment of three different levels of analysis (“individual level, collective level, and organizational level”) was emphasized in order to build long lasting project capabilities. These give important insight into the way project capabilities are build and give a suggestion of which processes need to be addressed and established in project based organizations. Though for practical use of this approach each of these levels needs to be examined in greater detail so that tactics for each level can be established. The most important requirement for the application of this approach is nevertheless to provide a suitable environment for all members to motivate the participation of the learning processes. References Ajmal, M., M. and Koskinen, K., U., 2008. Knowledge Transfer in Project-based Organizations: An Organizational culture perspective. Project Management Journal, 39, pp. 7-15. Atkinson, R., 1999. Project management: cost, time and quality, two best guesses and a phenomenon, it´s time to accept other success criteria. International Journal of Project Management. 17(6), pp. 337-343. Brady, T. and Davies, A., 2004. Building Project Capabilities: From Exploratory to Exploitative Learning. Organization Studies, 25(9), pp. 1601-1621. Bryde, D., J. 2005. Methods for Managing Different Perspectives of Project Success. British Journal of Management, 16, pp. 119-131. Hobday, M., 2000. The project-based organization: an ideal form for managing complex products and systems? Research policy, 29, pp. 871-893. Li., Y., H. and Huang, J., W., 2013. Exploitative and exploratory learning in transactive memory systems and project performance. Information & Management, 50, pp. 304-313. Melkonian, T. and Picq, T., 2011. Building Project Capabilities in PBOs: Lessons from the French Special Forces. International Journal of Project Management, 29, pp. 455-467. Schüßler, E., Wessel, L. and Gersch, M., 2012. Taking Stock: Capability Development in Interorganizational Projects. Schmalenbach Business Review, 64, pp. 171-186. Shenhar, A., J., Dvir, D., Levy, O. and Maltz, A., C., 2001. Project Success: A Multidimensional Strategic Concept. Long Range Planning, 34, pp. 699-725. Thiry, M. and Deguire, M., 2007. Recent developments in project-based organizations. International Journal of Project Management, 25, pp. 649-658. Turner, J., R., Keegan, A. and Crawford, L., 2000. Learning by experience in the project based organization. ERIM Report Series Research in Management, 58.
MAIN PROBLEMS IN THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND THE METHOD OF SIX THINKING HATS AS POSSIBLE SOLUTION Eva KRCHOVA ESC RENNES SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
The content of this paper is following. In the first part we will try to find out the current Nowadays, project management is divided in situation, what we think about projects, how we two thinking sides like fashion or passion. Both can look at them. Which problems can arise dursides forget the main purpose of project man- ing the project management, and in other part agement, to use PM methods for activities that we will figure out possibilities of creative soluhave the nature of the project, which leads to tion. To not have all this paper about theoretical problems. The traditional approach to PM es- issues, we will focus on practical illustrations. tablishes the main problems in areas like human attitudes, organizational shortcomings, supply’s gap, professional deficiencies, financial prob- The current situation At the beginning of this paper, we will try lems, time framework’s problems and techno- logical issues. All are discussed in paper. The to figure out what form should project managesix thinking method used here could provide us ment have in a typical company. We can say that looking at the problem from different angles, pre- there are at least two important types of concept sented positive and negative arguments, which – we will call them the bureaucracy and enthusileads to a deeper understanding of problem. It asm (Edinburgh University, 2013). Bureaucracy is possible to solve problems also from other is type most often in large companies. Its basic point of view, this is showed on more practical is that project management is implemented in approach, where are solved problems like: client a highly formalized or even bureaucratic form. often changes the requirements, communication This is usually under the influence of fashion with client is very slow, delay on start of project management methods without deep knowledge and the main problem – spending lots of time by of context and without a clear plan. Simply because it is so “right” and it is supposed to do it. solving problems during the life of project. But like most incredible absurdities in firms, surprisingly majority of this at least somehow works out, and even that it tends to have a positive efproblems, project, thinking, solution. fect. (Haji-Kazemi et al, 2013) The second type, access “passion” means that either the individual or the senior M10, M29, O22 management group of middle management in the “ordinary business” is excited for the idea Introduction of using project management (Edinburgh Uni The success of project depends on lots versity, 2013). When you use these methods of of factors, how they interact between each oth- project management and team organization will er. Especially project depends on project man- work, therefore there would be lots of things reager, who has to have ability to solve problems, solved magically. Unfortunately it is not enough. ability to negotiate and communicate, he has to Usually told that the project team and the orhave self-assured leadership. We are also sure ganization of work requires much more qualified in the presumption that activities about solving managers, formalizing the data, sophisticated any problem lead to pervasion of the project. support from the information technology, top We have heard lots of about project and motivational system, communication and social its parts, the development of the project, which skills in managing teams and a number of other right skills manager could have. We also know conditions (Williams et al, 2012; Haji-Kazemi et which parts of project cycle are the stones, al, 2013). which are only additional. But what can’t be so But what is more important that employclear are the problems that project can face and ees have quite often do not realize that project mainly their solution. We can imagine that every management methods should be used for acsolution depends on situation where project oc- tivities that have the nature of the project. And curs. But let us presume and establish the main in this enthusiasm they try to convert everything problems and sketch the solution with using that’s going on in the company on projects. Very the six thinking hats. Could it be solved by this often when employees and managers try to find method? out the cause of problems, there emerges as a key issue that in company there is almost never
created an appropriate organizational structure. If an important part of business activities is realized by projects, there must be reserved the part of corporate organizational structure. Defined functional areas within the structure may not be occupied, but when you start a new project in this folder you can transfer workers there. (Edinburgh University, 2013; Haji-Kazemi et al, 2013) It is very important that the format of the project would not have basically routine activities (typical examples are contract service activities), even they seem unique. We can judge the factual character by the extent of the work and time involved. The form of projects would have truly exceptional, extremely large and very important goals (Athen et al, 2013). The ideal number of projects at a time is the only one, which means that in order to project management and project controlling effectively influence the success of controlled activities, there must be only as much work as they can handle. (Thamhain, 2013) Most of the problems in project management are based on the malfunctional relationships between different parts of the organization, the inconsistencies of their objectives and the criteria for their evaluation. The seemingly or actually unsolvable problems arise from the incorrect allocation of powers and responsibilities, respectively from insufficiently consistently sophisticated organizational structure, defined relations, formulation of rules for communication and cooperation.
Traditional approach to problems
The traditional approach to project management established the main basic problems in few specifics areas. For our purpose we will assume the seven problems branches. (Barber, 2005) The first are human attitudes - unwillingness of people to work in a team, bad team selection, personal prestige is built over the interests of the team, revaluation of own abilities, lack of flexibility leading to an inability to compromise and resistance to any changes. (Sanchez, 2004) We can also see as a problem too much flexibility - the tendency for many poor compromises and excessive openness to change, conflicts with authority when deciding incompetent people, vague and unrelated motivation system. The second main area is organizational short-
comings. Problem arises when there is lack of performance of management or the project manager hasn’t the authority, lack of support for the project team by the management authority, lack of support facilities and equipment, poor institutional form of organization, inadequate organizational structure. The third area of problems is supply’s gap it means for example non-complex delivery documentation, unclear sequence of priorities, bad delivery conditions (Ika, 2012; Sanchez, 2004). The forth kind of problems is professional deficiencies. This includes that tactics and surgery is at the expense of strategy, there is lack of planned and design experience, project manager underestimates any of the factors like time, cost, quality. The fifth problem is financial one. There is no or unstructured project budget, there is underestimation and unclear risk associated with costs and prices (changes in prices, costs, rates), unclear or missing payment terms. The sixth is time framework, which can be too short, unrealistic, unsupported critical path analysis, which can underestimated the seasonal effects. And the last seventh most important problem is with technological issues, like failure to ensure compatibility of parts, incorrectly specified conditions and requirements on testing proposal, miscalculation of real operating conditions, underestimation of the impact of the environment, lack of environmental protection. (Ika, 2012; Barber, 2005)
“The solution of problems”
With the big range of problems during the life of project, it is good to have similar thinking style in our project team. For project manager is a big challenge to manage teams with different style of thinking, because team members have always disagreements, disputes. So there is the need to raise the awareness of team that everybody of them contributes to the goal, everybody can put into it own individual effectiveness, but we need to think in the same way (Tullet, 1996). The method of six thinking hats: Everybody of us knows the situation when relative successful seeming project or business meeting degraded. There arose the problem after everything was installed. Similar situation has unfortunately become different with also unexpected ends. So mainly in this area, there can be used the method of the Six Thinking Hats (STH) (Bono, 1999) This method enables you not only
to prevent similar situations, but also to engage colleagues, workers and project teams to creative solutions seemingly intractable problems (Tullet, 1996). The method is based on the group’s thinking and use of its advantages in comparison with conventional thinking individual to individual (Bono, 1999). The idea is to look at the problem from different angles and redirect excess negative energy criticizing team members in favor of the case. The principle of such a group’s thinking is that all individuals in a given moment think about the problem in the same way. It presented together positive and negative arguments, which ultimately leads to a broader perspective on the problem. This method also allows us to direct the critically-minded people so that instead of senseless confrontation looking positively and negatively constructive arguments. (Ramos, 2011) The second important factor on which the six hats method is based is the way we think and evaluate what is happening around us. (Tullet, 1996) We can give an example: If in the past we have experienced a situation multiple times and this situation appeared again, we could assume that the running will be similar to situations in the past. Most of us will not treat the situation as a new one and in this way it can be easily underestimated, and destroyed the all project. Hats as different points of view on problem of reduction project’s budget: STH method called illustratively different ways of thinking – hats - and during the solving of problem it uses all of their properties. At the end we obtain a complete group of facts, arguments and perspectives to which we would otherwise get probably very difficult. To present this point of view we can present example about car. When we see in the car lights up, which we had never seen before, most of us, at first perceives negatively without having to evaluate its true meaning. This illustrates us that we rely on our experiences. Six hats method is primarily intended to group problem solving. But it can also serve as a form of brainstorming. With a little variation can also use it individually, in evaluating the situation or problem. (Bono, 1999) But here in our paper, we will focus on the group use, we will show it on a concrete example of project management - we have a project that we undertake, and we were just informed that his budget will be reduced by twenty percent. At first glance it looks like a problem, but if we look at this information through various hats, we find it again when such is not true.
Figure 1: Six thinking hats Source: Mann, 2013 As hats represent different ways of thinking or processing information, the method also defines the order in which we can use these hats. The white hat represents information and hard facts. During its involvement, we focus only on what we know and what we need to know. Postpone aside our positive and negative emotions, impressions and feelings. As we established our example, in this part, we need to focus on questions like: how much to reduce the budget? It’s the final decision? Is a project reserve sufficient enough to cover the loss of funds? What are the impacts on dates, deadlines? The red hat is the opposite of white. It focuses exclusively on emotions and feelings in the problem or situation. (Bono, 1999) It gives us questions like: What was the first impression from receiving this information, the perception of the situation premonition. In our specific project, there arise questions like: Do you feel that the project is still possible to bring to a successful conclusion? Will the budget cuts on the mood of the project team? The solution will be delivered by the project sufficient? The black Hat is a supporter of the so-called negative logic. It focuses on the search for negative arguments. We seek and evaluate risks and disadvantages of the situation arisen or may arise. Now is the right time to update the risk register. In example: Is it still under current conditions to achieve all project goals? Stay a reserve to mitigate other risks? The yellow Hat on the other hand uses positive logic. It identifies the strengths and benefits of the situation. It may seem unlikely, but seemingly much negative news can have a positive
impact on the project. In our example we can see the positives in: if removed sources from the project funds are used for the purchase of new technology or investing in the skills of people, will it be impacted positively on the project? How? Did not change the priority of project objectives in our favor? Was not the budget cut because of reduction in the scope of the project? The green Hat represents creativity, new ideas and thoughts. (Bono, 1999) We look for ways to mitigate the risks identified in the black hat, or the overall design optimization project. It gives us the space to come up with new ideas and thoughts that arose during previous involvement hats. In the example of budget cut: How can we streamline the process of project? Where it is possible to create additional reserves? What are the alternatives? How to avoid new risks? (Bono, 1999) And at the end blue hat itself does not represent another way of thinking, it just coordinate and moderate previous hats. It manages and directs the process of thinking and at the end it summarizes the findings of other hats. In project with budget reduction, we need to ask: Do you still feel that the information on the budget reduction project is black and white? Application What remains is to shortly look on problems from another view, from the more practical side and for all these problems we will propose the solution, some deal. This kind of access could help us to avoid the outcomes, which we don’t want. (Williams et al, 2012; Clear, 2011; Turner, 2000) We have a client which provides us often changing and unclear requirements. What does it mean for our project? That every time when we finish par of project, client complains on the outcomes. The clients don’t have clear vision of what they want. So as a solution, we need to have “clear path map” which provides us the way from beginning to our goal. This enforces them to be very specific about their requirements. We need also to ensure that we understand the technical requirements, the communication between client and project manager must be addressed and both have to know the engaging to the strategy of client. (Clear, 2011) Delayed answers from client, very slow communication. Everybody is always busy and it is very hard to move the project forward with-
out the answers from coworker. Easy solution is not waiting on the answer, but start to move in direction, which you think is the best one. And then only ask for verification. The best thing on this is that the client can’t find out some new decisions, they only say yes or no, it is also much faster. Client’s thought is that hired professional is here to provide out the best solutions not him. But we must still have in mind that it is needed to use “sound judgment”. (Clear, 2011) Delay on start of project. We have everything for project, just thinking that we will not have enough time to do all these pivotal things. This way is going to delaying of project. So the most important is just to start with something, to jump into the project. We need to give our client the feeling that the project has started by discussion of their expectations. (Clear, 2011) We don’t have the same way to manage all the projects. Every project has different needs, requirements, circumstances, different goals. We try to use in project traditional literature approaches to simplify the managing. (Clear, 2011) But this only makes project more predisposed to fail. If the circumstances and the schedule is changed, the project has to change also. We spend lots of time by solving problems during the life of project. It is obvious that during the project, there must be some unexpected problems, because nothing is perfect. So problems were, are and will be. But we spend lots of time by solving them. (Clear, 2011) We can use 2 ways to solve them. The first solution is based on the presumption that we have to test our projects more time before it starts. Maybe it prolongs the testing time but it saves the time after. The second way is derived from the client’s part. The clients want constantly to improve the goals. So we have to be very clear about what is included in our work and services. (Turner, 2000) Conclusion Everything what was said in this paper was established on assumption of cooperation between several people. So we need to come off that the interaction is basic of every good project. We established the overall view on main problems in project management and we presented the method of six thinking hats as possible solution. So our main question was: could
method of six thinking hats help us with solving problems in project management? The answer is yes. We presented the application of this method on problem with cutting project budget. We found out that this method is good for solving problems in project management, because it provided us looking at the problem from positive and negative site, which led to a broader perspective on the problem. We also provided other specific solutions on most often problems like client often changes the requirements, communication with client is very slow, delay on start of project and the main problem – spending lots of time by solving problems during the life of project. References Ahern, T., Leavy, B., Byrne, P. J., 2013. Complex project management as complex problem solving: A distributed knowledge management perspective. International Journal of Project Management, [online] In press. Available at: ESC Rennes School of Business Library website < https://mediatheque.esc-rennes.fr/index.php?lvl=infopages&pagesid=12> [Accessed 2013-10-23]. Barber, R. B., 2005. Understanding internally generated risks in projects. International Journal of Project Management, [online] 23(8), 584–590. Available at: ESC Rennes School of Business Library website < https://mediatheque. esc-rennes.fr/index.php?lvl=infopages&pagesid=12> [Accessed 2013-10-23]. Clear, J., 2011. 7 Common Project Management Problems. Six Revisions. [online] Available at: http://sixrevisions. com/project-management/7-common-project-management-problems-and-how-to-solve-them/> [Accessed 201311-02] De Bono, E. (1999). Six thinking hats. Boston: Back Bay Books. DurationDriven. 2010. Project Management: Creative Problem Solving. [online] Available at: <http://www.duration -driven.com/project-management-creative-problem-solving/> [Accessed 2013-10-23]. Edinburgh Napier University. 2013. Project Control. [online] Available at: <http://staff.napier.ac.uk/services/cit/Project/ ProjectManagement/Pages/Control.aspx> [Accessed 2013-10-23]. Haji-Kazemi, S., Andersen, B., Krane, H. P., 2013. A Review on Possible Approaches for Detecting Early Warning Signs in Projects. Project Management Journal, [online] 44(5), pp 55–69. Available at: ESC Rennes School of Business Library website < https://mediatheque.esc-rennes.fr/index.php?lvl=infopages&pagesid=12> [Accessed 2013-10-23]. Ika, L. A., 2012. Project Management for Development in Africa: Why Projects Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It. Project Management Journal, [online] 43(4). 27-41. Available at: ESC Rennes School of Business Library website < https://mediatheque.esc-rennes.fr/index.php?lvl=infopages&pagesid=12> [Accessed 2013-10-23]. Mann, D., 2013. TRIZ and DeBono‘s Six Thinking Hats. The Triz Journal. [online] Available at: http://www.triz-journal. com/content/c090202a.asp> [Accessed 2013-12-04] Ramos, J. L., 2011. Creative Problem Solving Solutions for Project Managers. [online] Insidebusiness 360. Available at: <http://www.insidebusiness360.com/index.php/creative-problem-solving-solutions-for-project-managers-2-6358/> [Accessed 2013-10-23]. Sanchez, A. M.,Perez, M. P. 2004. Early warning signals for R&D projects: An empirical study. Project Management Journal, [online] 35(1), pp 11–23. Available at: ESC Rennes School of Business Library website < https://mediatheque.esc-rennes.fr/index.php?lvl=infopages&pagesid=12> [Accessed 2013-10-23]. Thamhain, H. 2013. Managing Risks in Complex Projects. Project Management Journal, [online] 44 (2), pp. 20–35. Available at: ESC Rennes School of Business Library website < https://mediatheque.esc-rennes.fr/index. php?lvl=infopages&pagesid=12> [Accessed 2013-10-23]. Tullett, A. D., 1996. The thinking style of the managers of multiple projects: implications for problem solving when managing ganges. International Journal of Project Management, [online] 14 (5), pp. 281-287. Available at: ESC Rennes School of Business Library website < https://mediatheque.esc-rennes.fr/index.php?lvl=infopages&pagesid=12> [Accessed 2013-10-23]. Turner, J. R., Keegan, A. and Crawford, L. 2000. Learning by experience in the project-based organisation. Project Management Research at the Turn of the Millennium: Proceedings of PMI Research Conference, 21 – 24 June, 2000, Paris, France, pp. 445-456. Sylva, NC: Project Management Institute Williams T., Klakegg, O. J., Walker, D. H. T., Andersen, B., Magnussen, O. M., 2012. Identifying and Acting on Early Warning Signs in Complex Projects. Project Management Journal, [online] 43(2), pp 37–53. Available at: ESC Rennes School of Business Library website < https://mediatheque.esc-rennes.fr/index.php?lvl=infopages&pagesid=12> [Accessed 2013-10-23].
THE ROLE OF HUMAN RESOURCES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT Anne-Sophie DEMILLIERE ESC RENNES SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
ABSTRACT This paper is about how Human Resource Management (HRM) impacts project management. Human Resources in Project Management focus on Project Team recruitment, organization and management until the end of a given project. Its role starts from defining core competencies which are going to be needed, to team building and motivation. The interest is to understand how an executive function can impact Project Management. It is as interesting as Human Resource is a function for which I feel a particular affection. The link between Human Resource Management and Project Management is strategic. Both of them are useful for company competitiveness. Human Resources are the key of every work done within a company as they represent people. Project Management is measured by the different project success that can represent benefit, innovation or any improvement. It appears that project success require success in team project management, which is the HR function. Three main processes are taken into account: selecting, training and managing. They represent the layers of the Human Resources overall role in Project Management. They are described and analyzed while raising their key issues that have to be faced.
Human Resource Management (HRM), Project Management (PM), Project Team (PT)
JEL Classification: D83, M12, M21, O22 INTRODUCTION
Human Resource Management (HRM) is about managing people and creating value for a company. The function has evolved since the 1980s: from the function of managing payroll administration to the one of developing skills and managing competencies. Nowadays, HRM makes part of a company strategy and considers people as resource rather than cost. The function regroups several concepts like recruiting, training, compensation and benefits attribution, career development and motivating staff. Currently, HRM tends to provide a strategic competitive advantage to an organization (Collins & Clark, 2003 cited in Berber & Lekovic, 2013). It appears interesting to study a strategic impact on a given subject: the Project Management. By linking HRM with project management we are able to see that the function has an important strategic role. In this study, it appears that HRM focuses on people leading a specific project by managing and organizing them. The potential created value is linked to the project success and achievement. That is why we are going to analyze how Human Resource Management impacts Project Management. To do so, it is necessary to identify the key steps that allow the Human Resource function to fulfill its strategic role. After having identified those layers, it will be necessary to analyze them in-depth. We are going to see why they are important, how they are implemented by HR managers and what kind of issue they are bringing. At the end of this analysis, we would be able to understand what the role of Human Resources is and what the key issues of HRM in Project Management are. I - Human Resource Management and Project Management Human Resources Management (HRM) is the management of people in specific areas. At the beginning, around the 1980s, HRM was seen as a traditional managing function that dealt with personnel administration, recruitment, union relations and salaries establishment (Guest, 1987 cited in Bredin, K., 2006). More and more, HRM is considered as a strategic function. It is about managing skills and competencies to add value to the company: employees are essential for an organization success. According to Hendry and Pettigrew (1990), cited in Bredin, K., (2006), HRM regroups two main fields that are strategic management and human relations. That is to say, employees are now more than a variable, they are a resource and a potential added value.
Here, we are going to study the role of human resource in project management. As a starting point, we have to define what HRM is and how it can be linked to project management. If we rely on Dinsmore, P. & CabanisBrew, J. (2011) book, human resources is the function that deals with people in charge of a project. In other words, HRM is about organizing and managing a project team. Project Management requires a group of people organized in team which aims to achieve specific goals according to a given project. Thus, in our analysis we can link HRM with Project Team Management (PTM). A project is evaluated by its success and people are making part of this success. Therefore, it appears that HRM in project management has a fundamental and strategic role for project success. The purpose now is to define this role, to see how it can be fulfilled and what the key issues are. First, it appears that the HR role in Project Management is composed by several â€˜layersâ€™. According to studies this number of layers varies from three to six. For example, Dinsmore & Cabanis-Brew (2011) estimate four key assumptions of HR role in Project Management those are Human Resource Planning, Acquire Project Team, Develop Project Team and Manage Project Team. While Larose & Corriveau (2009) describe six key practices linked to HRM activities. They identified two more activities which are Mobilization and Culture Integration. For our work we are going to focus on three main processes within HR role in Project Management: Selecting, Training and Managing. Those three practices will enable us to analyze the main challenges HR managers face when they are involved in Project Management. First, we are going to talk about selecting. In other words, it is the process of choosing people that are going to be part of the Project Team (PT). It seems to be an interesting subject for our analysis. Indeed, the selection of the PT is the base of the project. Selecting people means constituting a PT according to skills needed. There are several tools dedicated to this process. The question of how selecting and which skills are required is the key issue of this process. We will discuss it further. Then, we will consider the way of training people in Project Team as another layer of HRM role. Training is the manner for HR man-
ager to develop the required competencies of a team. It is a key process because it plays directly a role in the added value of a project. It is also the starting point of strategic competitiveness on a company. But we will consider what key issue has to be faced to achieve an efficient training. Finally, the third concept that is going to be analyzed is managing team. This means how to organize the team and evaluate its performance. Managing a team is the way of motivating people to achieve their goal. It also includes the method used to succeed in the project. We will see that this process requires special abilities to a HR manager and can bring issues in Project Management. II - Selecting Process: How to detect good Project Managers? Project Management (PM) requires an anticipation of needs regarding the future Project Team. The first step in PM is to establish a multi-skills team according to the kind of project that has to be done. This means for HRM selecting good people to fit with project needs and requirements. More than selecting, the role of HR in this process is to identify and hire people having the closest competencies that are required. To do so, HR manager has to clearly establish a list of competence needs. In order to make this list, project manager, team project members and HR manager have to work together. Thus, the first assignment of HR manager is to identify the right persons. The main requirements for a Project Team are to be multidisciplinary, creative and interested in the project. According to Harold &.Kerzner, (2013) a Project Manager has to be experienced so he would not do the same mistakes as before; he also has to be able to carry a lot of responsibilities such as time management, profit objectives or negotiation with functional disciplines. Main skills are leadership, management qualities, interpersonal relations and conflict resolution abilities. Another really important criterion to select a good project manager is his/her maturity. It is a quite difficult task because Project Management maturity is not measured with the age of a candidate but with his/her capacity to lead a project and that is hard to measure. Although, experience is the general factor that is taken into consideration while recruiting a potential project manager.
Thus, when talking about selecting process, the role of HR is to draw a detailed list of skills required for a given project, to hire team project members and to attribute responsibilities to each member according to their competencies. HR role is to attract the right skills for the right project. Regarding key issues that can be encountered we can notice two main categories which are recruitment and staffing problems. Indeed, during this process HR manager has to decide where the company should hire PT members (Harold &.Kerzner, 2013). The team can be constituted of internal employees if they have required competencies, but it can also be constituted by external people. In this situation, HRM can outsource the recruitment to external organizations (temporary work or hiring agencies). So HR faces a decisional issue as well as a cost issue. As Harold &.Kerzner (2013) say in their book, there is another problem linked to selecting process which is the right balance in management. In other words, HRM has to deal with the fact that PT needs freedom for working. But this freedom has to be balanced with monitoring to be sure of good progression. It means that HR manager has to recruit a really good manager to ensure the team progress and cohesion. Finally, the selecting process is about finding up-to-date people because from one project to another technical tool and acknowledgement is evolving. III - Training Process: How to develop a Project Team? Develop project team, special skills and competences are like an up-to-date of acknowledgement. The aim is to provide qualified workers to a company by assuring a regular and even continuous training. Indeed, motivation comes when the lack of knowledge is covered by team members. A team has also a creative potential which is a positive point in Project Management. Thus, HR role is to manage a team by defending its diversity, creating its cohesion and motivating its members. As we saw previously, HR manager has to hire good project manager. After this step, HR’s role is to develop competencies required in both short and long term perspectives. This skills development is called training as it is a regular process in a company. To do so, HRM has to define potential employee’s free time to
plan training programs and to select a list of people that need developed skills (Dinsmore & Cabanis-Brew, 2011). The aim of developing competencies is to assure company performance by succeeding in projects management. And, according to Garel, Giard, & Midler (2001), the HR department has to act as if Project Team members don’t dispose of enough knowledge and competencies to succeed in their project before being trained. It appears then that training process is a capital step of project management success. Training process leads to a main key issue which is time management. Indeed, a training program is designed for several months; it even can take a year. So it is hard to find enough time to train people even if it is a necessary competitive process. Indeed, project manager that are eligible for training programs are usually those who worked on successful projects. But good project managers are demanded and they always go from one project to another. In other words, they are in a rush between two projects when they don’t manage both at the same time. Another issue can be raised regarding project manager performance. Indeed, it is hard to evaluate performance: a project manager can be successful for a project and totally incompetent for another. The thing is, every project is different and unique and we cannot assure the performance of a project manager because of the project uniqueness and the necessity of being up-to-date for each new project. This also brings the problem of technical tools and skills. Project Management is by far a function in which people must be at ease with technology and information systems. It means that people have to be trained on technical aspects before beginning a project. We are going to see that after being trained, Project Team members need to be managed carefully. IV - Managing Process: How to organize a Project Team to achieve good performance? The managing process ends the HR’s role studied in this paper. By managing we consider animating, motivating and communicating with the team. The team animation begins with its adapted training. Then, it requires a specific organization so that every member has his/her attributed role and a kind of hierarchical organization can be designed (Garel, Giard & Midler
2001). In other words, clear policies and guidance about the project have to be established to allow a general focus. Managing a team is also linked to motivation. HR manager has to be able to arouse people motivation and commitment around the project objectives. It can also be a question of corporate values that enable the project team to work with enthusiasm and envy. This is linked to teamwork management (Berber & Lekovic, 2013). Finally, communication is the third requirement of getting to manage a team with success. Communication is about saying each task that have to be done, giving feedbacks while project is advancing and resolving potential conflicts by monitoring tensions. The process of managing a team is the most difficult: it has to be done carefully to allow project success. Monitoring performance is the aim of the process. The assessment of overall performance has to be done regularly during the time of project. HR managers use tools such as progress reports or performance reporting (Dinsmore & Cabanis-Brew, 2011). To be more effective, a team project has to evolve in a trustful atmosphere (Bredin, 2006). Trust is a variable of efficiency and motivation. If people trust in what they are working for, they would be motivated by the idea of succeeding in. It leads us to talk about key issues encountered by managing Project Team: conflicts avoidance and team spirit and trust building. It is not easy to implement team spirit and shared vision especially within multicultural teams. Conflicts avoidance is also difficult to evaluate since it has a direct effect on general motivation.
As a result, this paper allows us to define Human Resource’s role in project management. Indeed, HRM face two main challenges in Project Management which are the definition of core competencies and the development of those competencies (Bredin, K., 2006). We noticed another important challenge that HRM has to face in Project Management which is the process of managing, organizing and communicating with a Project Team. It appeared that HRM and Project Management both imply several strategic challenges to a company. Finally, we considered three main processes that constitute the Human Resources’
role in Project Management which are selecting, training and managing. That is to say, HR’ role in PM is linked to the Project Team recruitment, development and organization. Its aim is to manage the Project Team from its creation to its final success. But, we saw that HRM have to deal with current issues in each one of the processes. It means that management of people who managed projects is full of strategic concepts. But Human Resources managers have to keep in mind that company strategy resides before anything in people. Thus, “Always recognize that human individuals are ends, and do not use them as means to your end” (Kant, 1724-1804).
BIBLIOGRAPHY · Books
Harold, R. &.Kerzner, P. (2013), Project management: a system approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling, John Wiley & Sons, 11th edition. Dinsmore, P. & Cabanis-Brew, J., (2011), The AMA Handbook of Project Management, 3rd edition, pp. 136-143. · Academic sources Lungu, C., (unknown year), “Issues of human resources, members of project teams in the NGOs: a case study”, University of Oradea. Melnic, A.S. & PUIU, T., (2011), “The Management of Human Resources within Projects: the Structures of the Project Team, the Responsibility Assignment Matrix”, Economy Transdisciplinary Cognition, Vol. 14, pp. 476-484. Garel, G., Giard, V. & Midler C., (2001), “Management de projet et gestion des ressources humaines”, GREGOR, available on : http://panoramix.univ-paris1.fr/GREGOR/ Bredin, K., (2006), “Human Resource Management in Project-Based Organisations: Challenges and Changes”, Department of Management and Economics Linköpings universitet, Thesis No. FiF-a 89. · Articles Larose, V. & Corriveau G., (2009), “Management des RH en contexte de projets”, Revue française de gestion, n°195, May, pp. 16-25. Berber, N. & Lekovic B., (2013), “The role of human resource management in research and development projects”, International Journal of Innovations in Business, Vol. 2, n°1. Longman, A., (2006), “HR’s Role in Project Management”, Human Resource Executive Online, available on: http:// www.hreonline.com/HRE/view/story.jhtml?id=5081457 · Website TenStep (2000-2013), TenStep You can manage, available on: http://www.tenstep.fr/ (2013, November 11th)
European Retail Academy on Vocational Competence Retail, by courtesy of Prof. Dr. Bernd HALLIER 14.03.2014: Vocational Competence Retail Vocational Competence for Retail (www.european-retailacademy.org/EUCVOT) in Germany is always fascinating for guests from abroad . In Germany carreers in retail for most employees are based on dual education : training within the retail company as well as in specialized courses at school ending with a certificate of the Chamber of Commerce.
The European Retail Academy organized for example visits to the Food Academy in Neuwied ( see EUCVOT news of 10.02.2014) or to the Furniture School (EUCVOT news 15.06.2013) as well as for the in store-meat-production at the Globus hypermarket in Cologne (see photo). Source: European Retail Academy, Prof. Dr. Bernd HALLIER, President. Available from: http://www.european-retail-academy.org/
A short presentation of our partner journal „Contemporary Economics”, Vol. 7, Issue 3, 2013, Quarterly of University of Finance and Management in Warsaw Irina PURCAREA JEL Classification: Y30 “Contemporary Economics” is an academic quarterly addressed to academicians, economic policymakers as well as to students of finance, accounting, management and economics. In particular, the quarterly contains academic manuscripts on problems of contemporary economics, finance, banking, accounting and management examined from various research perspectives. The first article of this issue, entitled „Fiscal policy within a common currency area – growth implication in the light of neoclassical theory” (Michal Konopczynski), examines the long-run impact of fiscal on economic growth under the conditions of an economic and monetary union (EMU). The article entitled „To what extent is the institutional environment responsible for worldwide differences in economic development” (Mariusz Prochniak) aims to assess to what extent the institutional environment is responsible for worldwide differences in economic development, and to answer this question a new concept of the institutions-augmented Solow model is constructed.
„Roads as channels of centrifugal policy transfer: A spatial interaction model revised” (Katarzyna Kopczewska) is an article that proposes a methodology for measuring the spatial effects of roads and the seats of local authorities on the diffusion of business activity, which usually follows distance decay patterns from core to periphery. Another article, „Investor reaction to strategic emphasis on earnings numbers: An empirical study” (M. Shibley Sadique & M. Arifur Rahman), analyzes the earnings information and stock prices of S&P 500 firms and finds that investors following S&P 500 stocks (i) respond more to pro forma earnings than to GAAP earnings, (ii) respond to an emphasis on pro forma earnings, and (iii) are fixated on pro forma earnings. One of the articles included in this issue, „International trade and business cycle synchronization in Poland, the European Union and the Euro Zone” (Piotr Misztal), analyses the influence exerted by international trade and business cycle synchronization. The paper „The impact of financial globalization and financialization on the economy in the current crisis through banking corporate governance” (Juan Antonio Azkunaga, Leire San-Jose & Sara Urionabarrenetxea) analyses the role of governance of financial entities in the current crisis. Another article, „Bulgarian banking: looking for sustainability” (Garabed Minassian) traces and analyses the emergence of the crisis in the Bulgarian banking system as well as the behavior of the central bank and other macroeconomic institutions. The final article of this issue of “Contemporary Economics”, entitled „The earnings differential between formal and informal employees in urban China” (Hong Zuo), analyses the earnings differential based on the conceptual framework of informal employment developed by the 17th International Conference of Labor Statisticians.
Contemporary Economics, Vol. 7, Issue 3, 2013 (Cover)
Sharing with our distinguished Readers a well-known source of usable and useful knowledge… “Distribution d’aujourd’hui”, Brussels, by courtesy of Prof. Dr. h. c. Leon F. WEGNEZ Prof. Dr. h. c. Leon F. WEGNEZ is a Honorary Member of the Romanian Distribution Committee, and distinguished Member of the Editorial Board of our “Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine“. Knowing our distinguished readers’ thirst for knowledge, we offer you at the end of this last issue of the “Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine“, by courtesy of this remarkable personality, a short selection from “Distribution d’aujourd’hui”, November-December 2013 Brussels.
Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine Scientific Review of the Romanian Distribution Committee Volume 5, Issue 1, Year 2014 Contents Th...
Published on Mar 31, 2014
Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine Scientific Review of the Romanian Distribution Committee Volume 5, Issue 1, Year 2014 Contents Th...