L05_Projects and project

PPP – lecture November 22, Part 1
Lars Lindkvist
Linköping University
What is a project?
Everyday meaning
-Something positive, challenging, exciting,
spectacular, visible
Famous projects
- Pyramids, Sydney Opera house
Projects in firms: A kind of organization
- A group, A specific task/goal, A time frame
Why are there so many projects?
Allows for flexible adaptation in an uncertain world
- New projects as markets change
Allows for focused effort
-Temporarily decoupled from history, future, and the
rest of the organization
Projects and time
Often strong requirements to finish in time
Deadline according to Webster (1978):
Orginally, a line around a prison beyond which a prisoner
could go only at the risk of being shot by a guard
Deadlines, if stable, affect how we pace our efforts in projects,
how our work is inter-punctuated by reflection (Gersick picture)
- Deadlines, tollgates, milestones, etc, may be inserted by design
to trigger reflection, more or less regularly
The Ericsson Japan Case
1990 Low profile on Japanese market
1991 A breakthrough – TDP
1992 A mission impossible contract – half the time of GSM
-Transition from Waterfall to Fountain model
-From sequential to concurrent work
1994 Mobile telephone system delivered on time
- Seen as a success project in Ericsson
Explain images of Waterfall, Fountain and 4-field matrix
(Lindkvist, Söderlund & Tell, 1998)
Projectification of the firm
Over the past decade, … project management as part
of their competitive advantage (PriceWaterhouseCooper)
’Projectification’ of the firm (Midler 1995)
- from functional to project form
Project management … the wave of the future in
global business (Pinto & Kharbanda 1996)
- PM replacing traditional functional management key to
competitive advantage
Projectification continued …
Large firms reorganize into less bureaucratic, more
adaptable and flexible project-based units (Sydow,
Lindkvist & DeFillippi, 2004)
Some form of project organization better suited
(Brady & Hobday, 2006)
Peoples working roles redifined as project workers
and project managers.
Even the society is being projectified (Lundin &
Söderholm, 1998)
A developing discourse on
A recognition that firms have many projects, that are
often inter-connected (Maylor et al, 2006)
As a chain , portfolio or network of projects.
Calling for a more comprehensive mode of
governance and higher level management efforts
PPP – lecture November 22, part 2
Lars Lindkvist
Linköping University
Developing new products on a
timely and continuing basis
In the context of rapid market
change, technology change
New ways of working needed
Organization structures are not in vain
Strong effect on communication
Organizational boundaries tend to be
serious barriers …
Create different cultures, identities,
mindsets, worldviews, etc
Q = What new structures are needed?
Modelling the basic problematic
(Tom Allen, MIT)
Choice of structure: A balancing act
involving costs and benefits
Departmental/function/line structure
+good technological support
-difficulty in coordinating work
Project-based structure/team organization
+better coordination of work
-decouples effort from techn. support
Important design parameters
Rate of change of knowledge (dK/dT)
Rate of change of market (dM/dT)
Subsystem interdependencies (Iss)
Length of projects
’Heavyweight’ development teams in
a fast-paced world (C&W)
New entrants, new technologies, rapidly
changing customer demands
Need to focus on development projects
Function-based structures an obstacle
Heavyweight project teams promising
(better comm./ident./commit./crossfunct.pr.solving)
Four types of development teams
Functional Team Structure
-Basic functional structure intact, the project moves
sequentially from f2f. Need for analyzability, strict
entry and exit criteria. Little need for cross-functional
Benefits & problems ???
A second option
Lightweight Team Structure
-People stay in their functions, but appoint a liason
person to the team, a coordinating junior project
leader, resources controlled by functions
Benefits & problems ???
A third option
Heavyweight Team Structure
A ’heavy’ leader, the core group
dedicated and co-located
Benefits & problems/more on this later!
A fourth option
Autonomous Team Structure
Tiger team, led by a heavyweighter, co-located,
dedicated, complete responsibility, does not follow
company rules and regulations, people evaluated
solely based on contributions to the project
Benefits & problems ???
Back to the Heavyweight team
a. Needs a clear vision and a basic plan
b. … cross-functional members
-have relations to functions/functional hat
-be part of management team/team hat
c. … leaders as champions
-interpret. market/customer needs/be a concept
-multilingual translator, orchestrate, coordinate
d. … an executive sponsor