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Inter-organisational project management in context: managing differences

By P.M. (Nel) Wognum and Edward C.C. Faber


Although in many organisations projects are run according to a standard procedure many projects run out of time and budget, don't achieve the required quality standards, or don't even finish at all. This is especially the case for large and complex projects with large differences between the parties involved. Although there is much knowledge and experience on what the causes are of sub-optimal project performance, this knowledge is still rather experential and anecdotal. In this paper, we will present a systematic approach towards building knowledge on factors influencing multi-site project behaviour. For this purpose, we will consider projects as temporary organisations. We will identify three classes of problems, which may lead to project failure. The paper addresses part of the causes of problems, namely differences between project parties. Our research focuses on new product development projects performed at multiple sites. A model will be presented of essential classes of differences to take into account in managing a project. In addition, a learning approach towards supporting project management in identifying and managing differences will be presented. The approach is illustrated with examples from a longitudinal case study into Dutch-Mexican collaborative projects

Publisher: University of Nottingham, Centre for Concurrent Enterprising
Year: 2001
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