Academic journal article Issues in Informing Science & Information Technology

Project Management Principles Applied in Academic Research Projects

Academic journal article Issues in Informing Science & Information Technology

Project Management Principles Applied in Academic Research Projects

Article excerpt

Introduction

One of the challenges faced by students that are involved in the acquisition of an academic degree, as Higher Education or a PhD., are related to the difficulties of development of a Academic Research Project. Such challenges are surrounded by incorrect determination of the research scope and complexity, the erroneous estimatives for the research conclusion (or even the time demand due to problems occurring during the research development) or even finishing with poor quality as something that were not expected by the advisor and other evaluators. These elements culminates in the application of Project Management Theory that is being studied by institutions such as the Project Management Institute--PMI (PMSURVEY.ORG, 2010) over the years and which aims to improve the process of project development in general, including academic projects aimed at scientific research in the university accordingly to MUSTARO & ROSSI, 2013. PMI is responsible for developing guidelines for project management as defined on the Project Management Body of Knowledge--PMBoK (PMI, 2008).

From the presented scenario, the general objective of this paper is to establish link between academic research projects with the Project Management Theory.

As specific objectives, this paper considers: 1) present the types of academic research projects that can be treated according to the precepts of the project, 2) provide project management theoretical foundations, and 3) present part of the process groups of PMBoK (Project Management Body of Knowledge), a framework widely used in over a hundred countries, linking these process groups to the academic research projects.

To develop the proposed objectives and present the research results this paper is organized as follows: initially is described the Project Management Principles, then the processes involved in Initiating and Planning Process Groups are detailed based on PMBoK as well their relation with Academic Research Project. For each process group, their relation with the Knowledge Areas from PMBoK are detailed, and specific templates, as an Academic Research Project Plan Template, are presented. Finally, the conclusions are related and future works are suggested.

Project Management Principles

It is considered that the man have been using actions that turns to practices of project management since long time ago. It is also considered that some important monuments created throughout the history of modern man were built under the precepts of project management although these were not formalized at the time. Valle et al. (2010) show historical analyses that consider the concept of project management can be older than it looks.

According to the authors, the construction of the pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China and the Coliseum in Rome represent examples of man's efforts that must have been regimented by principles of project management.

In the contemporary era is verified, as Valle et al. (2010), that several works were done under management of big monetary amounts and the work force of thousands of workers, which generated the need to implement project management practices. According to the authors, Taylor (1911) was a pioneer in the science of Project Management and Gantt (1919) was another student of these sciences. Both contributed greatly to the practices of modern project management.

Although great events of the past suggested the theories of project management, it was only in the early twentieth century that the theories, methodologies and frameworks aimed at project management were in fact established.

A timeline, according to Carvalho & Rabechini Jr. (2011), present great landmarks of project management from the twentieth century. This is able to present the evolution of project management practices and represents milestones in this setting, as shown in Table 1.

In general, project management practices bring many benefits. …

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