Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Fall 2001


Dundar Kocaoglu

Course Title

Management of Engineering and Technology

Course Number

EMGT 520/620


Operations research, Project management, Technology -- Management, Business communication, High technology industries -- Management


Companies, today, find themselves in a highly competitive environment of rapidly changing operational requirements. Many are losing their competitive ability to balance operational processes against harsh business realities, including the need to manage increasing product complexities, shorter time to market, newer technologies, and threats of global competition. Sharing opinion with those professionals questioning the validity of PMBOK Guide vis-a-vis today's business, our study investigates success factors in two multiple-project environments. Company # 1 operating in power development industry and Company #2 in consulting services including high-tech.

Like in the manufacturing environment, it is interesting to note that none of the contacted project managers mentioned technical issues as a major factor affecting either the success or failure. Some success factors such as top management support, ownership, experienced staff, and communication, identified in the single project management were also found playing an important role in the multiple projects management and this was also true in the manufacturing environment. However, in Company #2, top management support and communication seemed to be vital success factors than they are in Company #1. Ownership and experienced staff were more success drivers in Company #1 than in Company #2. This might indicate stronger independence of projects in Company #1 than it was in Company #2.

Both managers need communication improvement. However, the communication in the power development was found to be more formal than it was in Company #2.

Given the purpose of this study, however, the factors of most interest are those that have little relevance to project success when carried out in isolation. The most relevant factors with respect to multiple-project management were the division and assignment of resources among projects, prioritization, and flexible customization. 1


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