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How to manage complex, multinational R&D projects successfully
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Industrial Information and Control Systems.
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Industrial Information and Control Systems.
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Industrial Information and Control Systems.
2002 (English)In: Engineering Management Journal, ISSN 1042-9247, E-ISSN 0960-7919, Vol. 14, no 2, 53-60 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The globalization of markets, mergers of international companies, and integration of managerial and business processes in global corporations are changing project management fundamentals. A clearly recognizable trend in multinational companies since the mid-1980s has been globalization of R & D and competence portfolios. Applied development is usually conducted in the form of a distributed project organization. A project team is formed across geographical, organizational, and cultural boundaries, engaging in a project with a global focus. Although a multinational project organization has great potential in many dimensions, there is no doubt that the execution of a distributed high technological project is still a great challenge. This article identifies success factors in the management of distributed projects with global goals. The authors have focused on the practical experiences of the execution of complex multinational projects in the area of applied system development for power industry.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 14, no 2, 53-60 p.
Keyword [en]
Decision making, Information management, Managers, Mergers and acquisitions, Product development, Research and development management, Societies and institutions, Multinational projects, Project managers
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-9013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-9013DiVA: diva2:14544
Note
QC 20100519Available from: 2006-01-18 Created: 2006-01-18 Last updated: 2011-11-01Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Procurement of Complex Technical Systems: Strategies for Successful Projects
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Procurement of Complex Technical Systems: Strategies for Successful Projects
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

When facing a procurement of a complex technical system, many questions are to be asked. The main question is how the best and most suitable systems are obtained, at the right cost. In order to answer that question numerous aspects must be considered and investigated. Even after having conducted careful analysis the question will most certainly never be entirely answered. In the early stages of procurement projects it is important that time is allocated for evaluation and decision-making concerning what truly is needed and most important on the management strategy to use.

Procurement projects often misses someone that have a totality perspective, the projects are often extended in time, the experience and competence of the involved actors are often not properly used in the projects and it is impossible to write clear-cut contracts between the involved actors. These incongruities create need for focused and applicable procurement strategies. It is in the beginning of the procurement process that these decisions concerning which procurement strategies to be used in the project have to be made. The strategy decisions should primarily be based on the available competence of the already involved actors, and secondly on what competencies available at possible actors to involve. The competencies needed in the different phases of the procurement project can be predicted fairly accurately. The risks and responsibilities should be distributed among the involved actors depending on their accessible competence and resources. Focus should be on the capabilities of the involved actors instead of on the cost. Decisions made in the initial phases must also allow as much flexibility as possible for the later phases to come.

In the research, case studies on procurement projects have been conducted. In the case studies data have been gathered and case study analyses have formed a comprehensive view of procurement projects. The research in this thesis offers insight on the impact of procurement strategy on allocation of responsibilities and risks in procurement projects and the importance of a well formulated procurement strategy is stressed. The procurement strategy is important when to efficiently utilize available competencies and resources. Also, the importance of how to formulate requirements that enable the best possible contribution to the project of all the available and involved actors has been examined. How the requirements are formulated and communicated determine to very large extend how the project should be organised, both by the client and the supplier.

This thesis gives guidelines on the organisation of procurement projects for complex technical systems. It further discusses the formulation of procurement strategies depending on the involved actors’ competencies. A framework for procurement of complex technical systems is also presented.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2005. xiii, 92 p.
Series
Trita-ICS, ISSN 1104-3504 ; 0601
Keyword
Project, Procurement, Complex Systems, Project Management, Systems Engineering, Acquisition
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-593 (URN)
Public defence
2006-02-03, sal F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20101011Available from: 2006-01-18 Created: 2006-01-18 Last updated: 2010-10-11Bibliographically approved
2. Managing Complex Industrial Projects: A comparison between holistic models
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Managing Complex Industrial Projects: A comparison between holistic models
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Even though the management of large projects has been studied for many years, the track record is still poor, especially for those projects developing complex systems. This thesis studies projects such as these and attempts to find clues as to why some succeed while others do not. Among the challenges, is the specific yet basic need to create a shared understanding in a group of hundreds engineering specialists with their own ideas (biases) of how things actually work. Further, complex development projects are likely to change, especially those projects involved with new technologies that should be state of the art when they hit the market after several years of development time. Thus, there is a need for a tool that can be used to adapt to changes.

An important part of this thesis is the evaluation of different diagram systems that have been used in different development projects. These diagrams function as a device to create a shared understanding of the project and enable those involved to maneuver the project through changes. The evaluation focuses on what the diagrams can express and how easy it is to understand their content. In terms of expressiveness, one of the three evaluated models: the Anatomy Model, answers the largest number of questions relevant to the total project manager. In terms of ease of use, the evaluation shows that the Anatomy did not only answer more questions relevant to the total project manager, but was also easier to maneuver through compared to the alternative models. The thesis concludes that when working with complex development projects, a model like the anatomy provides the project manager with a simple tool that can be used to maneuver through changes and create a communal understanding. Such a simplified model addresses more questions that are relevant to the project manager and is easier to update than the traditional tools that are suggested in most literature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2005. 29 p.
Series
Trita-ICS, ISSN 1104-3504 ; 0602
Keyword
Project Management, Complex Project, Anatomy, Dependency Diagrams
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-3860 (URN)
Public defence
2006-03-07, F3, F, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100519Available from: 2006-02-24 Created: 2006-02-24 Last updated: 2010-05-19Bibliographically approved

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