Project Management 2002

By Pinto, Jeffrey K. | Research-Technology Management, March/April 2002 | Go to article overview

Project Management 2002


Pinto, Jeffrey K., Research-Technology Management


Powerful forces have affected the practice of R&D project management in the past decade.

Here's a review of the most fundamental ones.

OVERVIEW: In the 13 years since Paul Klimstra and Joseph Potts offered readers of Research Technology Management a view of the state of the art in managing R&D projects, a number of technological and behavioral developments have occurred that make it necessary to reconsider the current state of the discipline. This report considers some of the more significant changes and advances, and the current state of thinking in project management, based on a review of the literature and theoretical and empirical research from the decade of the 1990s. It encompasses the areas of risk management, scheduling, structure, project team coordination, control, and the impact of new technologies.

Since Paul Gaddis wrote his seminal article on the functions of the project manager for Harvard Business Review in 1959 (1), two simultaneous movements have rendered his words all the more meaningful. First, the field of project management has sparked enormous interest. A discipline that at one time seemed applicable almost exclusively to construction, R&D and defenserelated work has branched out into business areas as diverse as insurance, banking and other service industries. Firm after firm has adopted the techniques of project management, hoping to reap its multiple benefits: the opportunity to be both externally effective (fast to market) and internally efficient (doing more, faster, with less).

The second movement is the tremendous expansion of research and writing on project management. With organizational interest at an all-time high, it is understandable that "traditional" project management topics such as scheduling, resource allocation and budgeting, and project control have recently been joined by such concepts as configuration management, critical chain scheduling, and risk management. To paraphrase a recent commercial slogan, "This is not your parent's project management any more!"

The purpose of this article is to offer an updated look at some of the new techniques and movements emerging in R&D project management research and practice. In the 13 years since Klimstra and Potts first provided readers of Research Technology Management with a "state of the art" assessment of project management (2), a number of new developments, techniques and research studies have emerged to make it necessary, even vital, that readers are brought up to speed on where the discipline is today.

In offering this glimpse of the more significant recent events, I am mindful of the need to provide an initial disclaimer of intent. Readers will recognize that by focusing on some aspects of project management at the expense of other advances, I run the risk of explicitly endorsing some techniques while implicitly downplaying others. It is not my intent to comment on disciplinary developments in this way; rather, it is important to recognize that in the face of so much change and innovation, choosing the definitive set of preeminent advances in project management may be next to impossible. Nevertheless, some breakthroughs have made such a profound impact on current project management practice that it is necessary to concentrate our efforts along those lines.

The Movement to Project-Based Work

The increasing fascination with project management techniques for research and development stems from a number of recent events/states of modern business.

Among the most important influences promoting a project orientation in recent years have been the following (3):

1. Shortened product life cycles. -Products become obsolete at an increasingly rapid rate, requiring companies to invest ever-higher amounts in R&D and new product development.

2. Narrow product launch windows.-When a delay of months or even weeks can cost a firm its competitive advantage, new products are often timed for launch within a narrow time band. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Project Management 2002
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.