The effectiveness in managing a group of multiple projects: Factors of influence and measurement criteria
The article was written by Patanakul and Milosevic and published in ScienceDirect, an International Journal of Project Management in 2008. The rationale behind the study has been clearly stated as the investigation of the factors of influence and measurement criteria to ensure effectiveness when managing a group of multiple projects. The objective of the study was to identify the important issues that lead to the effectiveness in managing a group of multiple projects. This would consequently develop a basic guideline for understanding the effectiveness of multiple project management at a project manager level (Patanakul & Milosevic 2008).
This research on multiple project management was undertaken to fill in the research gap created by too much focus on single-project management, program management, or MPM at the management level and therefore the research study on the management of multiple projects, especially at the project manager level, was to benefit the industry and its practitioners.
The research on multiple project management was guided by two propositions as its theoretical framework. The first was that organizational factors, for instance, the assignment of a project, can influence MGMP efficacy. This proposition is of the view that it is insufficient to rely solely on a suitable project management situation to guarantee effectiveness in MGMP. Therefore, multiple-project managers should be experts in projects and have simultaneous team management skills. The second proposition was that the competencies of multiple project managers influence their performance and consequently the output. The researchers however point out that so far no research has been conducted to confirm these propositions (Patanakul & Milosevic 2008).
This research utilized an exploratory method given that this area of project management has minimal background information. The researchers decided on the use of case studies as real-life experiments for their study. The research design used for data collection was qualitative and encompassed six organizations through primary data collection methods – interviews specifically of multiple project managers and their seniors to allow for the investigation of MGMP and development of a framework for studying and implementing it. Moreover, the respondents were interviewed in their natural and familiar environment (departments) to lend more authenticity to the qualitative method. The researchers also included the questions used during the interviews. However, as with any credible research, there are no appendices attached at the end of the paper to show how the interviews were scheduled. The paper also does not mention how the sample size was arrived at or how the sampling method was chosen.
The collected data was then analyzed through transcription of the tape-recorded interviews and further through inter-caste analysis on the respective companies. This was to test for the reliability of the collected data and its findings. After being compared to the literature used for the study, the findings relate to the propositions made in the theoretical framework and reveal factors leading to the effective management of multiple projects. These findings were also arrived at after the researchers revisited each case study to investigate whether the case data confirmed the proposed relationship. Moreover, these findings are categorized into organizational-level and operational-level factors for easy assessment by the readers and are discussed in a way that contributes great new knowledge that is both practical and relevant to the theoretical framework as well as the industry. Ethical considerations have also been adhered to during this research.
An Integrated Framework for Project Portfolio Selection
The article was written by Archer and Ghasemzadeh and published in the International Journal of Project Management in 1999. The purpose of the study has been stated as developing a framework that splits selection of project portfolio into different stages to make the process easy and able to implement through a prototype system as well as a decision support system (Archer & Ghasemzadeh 1999).
The objectives are identified. The first is the evaluation of the present technological advancement in the methods used to select project portfolios. This is to enable the development of a couple of propositions that are related to effective portfolio selection based on the literature. This evaluation also proposes an integrated framework that allows decision support during the selection of portfolios to enable decision-makers to employ a preferred division of the existing methodologies in a reasonable and flexible approach. The last objective is to depict a decision support system that can exemplify a framework in favor of portfolio choosing activities. In addition, one of the most emphasized objectives is the discussion of tools for decision support and not decision-making tools, the latter reduces human cognitive input.
According to the researchers, a lot has been done concerning the research and development of new products and therefore the research gap that needs to be filled is that which addresses portfolio selection. Previously published work in this field shows little advancement towards realizing an integrated framework that simplifies the practice into a flexible and reasonable series of activities that entail total participation by the approval committee and thus take advantage of the paramount characteristics of a mixture of existing methods strongly supported in theory.
The theoretical framework is expressed in ten propositions, which upon investigation are to expound on the conceptual framework they present. However, this conceptual framework, though represented diagrammatically, is unclear, and should have been expounded on a little further.
The research designs mentioned are only those used in coming up with the portfolio selection techniques. The researchers mention a combination of both qualitative and quantitative techniques in gathering such data. It is at the portfolio selection phase that the reader can gather information on the research done. This phase mentions the approaches and their corresponding limits as well as criteria for eliminating projects. The five approaches mentioned help gain insight into the techniques applicable or best suited, how resource availability affects the processor influences decision-makers, merits, and demerits of each technique, how prioritization is done, among other important points. The models researched on such as those based on mathematical programming are described in detail.
The methodology used to research this paper is not clear. It is also not possible to tell how the findings were arrived at or where it was conducted, or what method was used to select neither the sample size nor the sampling method. In addition, no appendices are evident that could show whether scheduled interviews were conducted or if it was questionnaires. The sources of information however are cited throughout the paper. Despite this, however, the results found by the researchers are well organized, categorized, and thoroughly explained, as well as relevant to the objectives of the study and the research questions raised. The results are also connected to the theoretical framework represented by the ten propositions made. The researchers further discuss the findings as per their role in this area of project management.
Archer, NP & Ghasemzadeh, F 1999, ‘An integrated framework for project portfolio selection’, International Journal of Project Management, vol.17, no. 4, pp. 207-216.
Patanakul, P & Milosevic, D 2008, ‘The effectiveness in managing a group of multiple projects: Factors of influence and measurement criteria’, International Journal of Project Management, pp. 1-18.