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Managing Complexity and Uncertainty in a Multiproject Environment
Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2111-5977
Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden .
2002 (English)In: Proceedings of the 2002 5th International Conference of the International Research Network on Organizing By Projects, Rotterdam, Rotterdam: Erasmus University , 2002Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In complex product development, corporations are running product development in many different projects. The number of more or less interdependent projects creates a web-like multiproject situation. It is characterized by the multitude of relations and dependencies that exist among projects, comprising tasks, people, knowledge, technologies, products, and components. In this paper we present a tentative framework, built on the assumption that complexity creates uncertainty that management has to handle. In multiproject situation the sources of complexity are: functionality of the product, people performing management and engineering work, chosen technology to fulfill functional demands, and shared resources in projects. The dimensions of uncertainty in multiproject situation that management has to handle are: the design of the process to transform functionality and technology to complete product design, organizing people in dual organizational settings basic as well as temporary projects, designing the product architecture based on functionality, technology and project interdependencies.

This paper will shed some light on these problems and investigate how a participatory approach based on the Dependence Structure Matrix (DSM) as a process enabling tool can be used to manage complex multiproject situations. The results show that even a single project needs to be understood in the light of the situational and organizational complexity that is the actual outcome of project-based product development work. The analysis shows Who, What, Where, When, and Why coordination and integration need to take place in a complex multiproject situation on different levels of the organization. The process of communication among people creates a mutual understanding of the situational visibility and of why communication is essential in problem solving.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Rotterdam: Erasmus University , 2002.
Keyword [en]
Multiproject, Complex project, Dependence Structure Matrix
National Category
Business Administration Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-22122OAI: diva2:621111
International Research Network on Organizing By Projects (IRNOP V), Rotterdam, Netherlands, 28-31 May, 2002
Available from: 2013-05-13 Created: 2013-05-13 Last updated: 2015-12-22Bibliographically approved

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