1. One Size Does Not Fit All – “The Diamond of Innovation”
It is clear that there are differences among projects, and need to be managed in different ways. The traditional project management approaches did not offer formal solutions or models to distinguish between projects and to adapt project management style to the specific project type. Furthermore, projects often fail to deal with innovation, assuming that all projects are certain and fixed. This stream was initiated by expanding classical contingency theory to project management and innovation.
This stream used results from the following dissertations (Dvir, 1992; Peled, 1994; Klein, 1996; Sauser, 2004). It resulted in research articles numbers: 5, 8, 9, 10, 16, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 29, 30, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 40, 45, 46, 47, 53, 60, 61, 66, and 68. It was also summarized in a 2007 Harvard Business School Press book for executives: Shenhar and Dvir, Reinventing Project Management: The Diamond Approach to Successful Growth and Innovation.
2. What is Project Success
Traditional project management assumes that projects are successful when they meet the “Triple Constraint” of time, cost, and scope. It does not formally look at the impact on the customer and the resulting business success. A new multidimensional framework for planning and assessing a project’s success beyond the triple constraint was thus developed.
This stream was based on the following dissertations (Dvir, 1992; Levy, 1993; Maltz; 2000; Phelan, 2004). It resulted in research articles numbers: 2, 10, 15, 22, 25, 29, 31, 43, 44, 50, and 65.
3. The Strategic Approach to Project Planning and Execution – Project Strategy
Impacted by the second direction, this stream is aimed at showing how to plan and actually manage a project to succeed beyond the “triple constraint,” that is, to satisfy customers, win in the marketplace, make money, and create near and long-term value.
This steam was the subject of PMI’s monogram, Linking Project Management and Business Strategy, PMI 2007). It used results from the following dissertations (Sauser, 2004; Poli, 2006; Stefanovic, 2008), and it resulted in research articles numbers: 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 25, 31, 37, and 38.
4. Leading and Inspiring the Project Strategic Team - Project Spirit
The traditional approach does not specifically focus on leadership. But great project managers are also leaders, who know how to inspire their teams, lead with vision, and create an environment of unity and energy. This stream was taken to develop the principles and guidelines for average managers how they could become effective and inspiring leaders with their teams.
This steam was the subject of PMI’s monogram, The Human Side of Project Leadership, PMI 2007). It resulted in research articles numbers: 1, 5, 6, 7, 14, 21, 22, 37, 38, and 54.
5. Integration of Streams – Strategic Project Leadership (SPL)
Several studies were dedicated over the years to the interaction and integrating the various research streams into one, more advanced project management approach that could be applied by companies and project teams.
The SPL Research was dedicated to study the different components of the approach and examine the interaction between them. It tested though action research how different teams implemented the method in their projects and how the approach contributed to their project’s and business success. It was also used with customer companies that implemented the method and tested their business results. As a result of the research SPL was implemented by teams in numerous companies, achieved outstanding business results, and received two awards from the Project Management Institute, PMI.
There were also a few specific integrated research components in this stream.
Strategic Project Leadership Maturity Model
In his PhD dissertation, Stefanovic (2008) has developed a maturity assessment tool to evaluate the maturity of a project (and a collection of projects in a company) on the three major dimensions of SPL:
- Operational Excellence
- Strategic Focus
- Inspiring Leadership
The tool helps also identify gaps and weaknesses in a specific project or company, and set quantitative goals for improvement. Based on a database of over 200 projects the research tested the impact of maturity in each dimension on project success. For example:
- High Operational Excellence is related to better meeting time and budget goals and Customer Satisfaction.
- Strategic Focus is related to Customer Satisfaction, Business Success, Future Prospects, and to a degree, to Overall Success.
- Inspired Leadership is related to better Teamwork Effectiveness.
What Makes Great Projects
Another study published by MIT Sloan Management Review (Dvir and Shenhar, 2011), found that one of the most important factors that make a project great is that each one of these projects took a long time upfront for project definition that was dedicated to articulating a powerful vision and clear need, and selecting the best project approach. Among other factors were:
- Creating a unique competitive advantage and/or exceptional value for stakeholders
- Highly qualified leaders who were unconditionally supported by top management
- Maximized use of existing knowledge, often in cooperation with outside organizations
- Integrated teams with fast problem-solving ability and adaptation to business and technology.
- Strong sense of partnership and pride.
The integrated steam was among the subjects of PMI’s monogram, Linking Project Management and Business Strategy, PMI 2007). It used results from the following dissertations (Sauser, 2004; Poli, 2006; Stefanovic, 2008), and resulted in research articles: 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 37, 38, and 48.
High Operational Excellence is related to better meeting time and budget goals and Customer Satisfaction.
|Data Base Source||#Projects
/ Yr Startef
|Data collected||Research Streams|
|Industrial projects in Israel||25/1990||Case studies||X||X||First study on contingency theory for project|
|Industrial projects in Israel||127/1991||Statistical dats||X||X||Statistical validation of adaptive model|
|Defens R&D Programs in Israel||110/1993||Case studies;
|X||X||Deeper analysis & emergence of “Diamond”|
|Industrial projects in the U.S||250/1999||Case studies||X||X||X||X||X||First large SPL study|
|NASA projects||12/2003||Case studies;
|X||X||X||X||Developing NASA’s PM Framework|
|Industrial Projects in the U.S||280/2005||Statistical dats||X||Continuous data collection on SPL Matuity|
|Industrial Projects in the U.S||63/2008||Statistical dats||X||Spirit Study|
|Aerospace||150/2010||Case reports||X||X||X||X||Data collection continues|