Very much of the activity at companies and public enterprises is organized as projects. Project management has become an established field.
We have learned much about why projects succeed or fail. We also know much about what is necessary for project managers to succeed in their role.
"There has been a much narrower focus on the demands on the project owner," states Professor Erling S. Andersen at BI Norwegian School of Management. He is one of Norway's foremost experts on project management.
Erling S. Andersen has conducted a comprehensive study at Norwegian enterprises to shed light on the role of project owner, and to show what is necessary to succeed as project owner.
According to Andersen, the role of project manager can be divided in two:The project owner must control the project on a general level She (or he) must ensure that the project's mandate, general plans and organization are adopted, and check that the progress meets the plans adopted. The project owner must set the success and performance criteria.
To succeed in performing the two roles, a number of demands are made on the qualities of the project owner.
"The project owner must play an active role as a partner for the project manager and project team, and must be both supportive and provoking.
One of the most important qualities of a project owner is good communication skills, asserts the project researcher.
At the same time, previous research shows that the project owner should have adequate seniority and power within the organization, political knowledge about the organization, an ability and willingness to create contacts between the project and basic organization, and to fight for the project.
Study of project owners
Erling S. Andersen conducted a survey by questionnaire regarding the relationship between the project owner and project manager among continuing education and training students on BI's Master and Management programme on project management.
The survey included responses from 77 interviewees, who considered a wide range of different types of projects. Each participant was asked to choose a project they knew well. The projects also had a clearly-defined project owner.
The questionnaire was followed up with in-depth interviews with 25 selected project owners and project managers.
Most of the project owners assessed had been with the organization long enough and had held enough of a position in relation to the importance of the project.
Most of the project owners (87.5 per cent) were also very familiar with how the main organization worked, and knew how to proceed to promote the interests of the project. They were also able to build necessary relations between the project and the permanent organization.
More than three of four project owners assessment were commended for their ability and willingness to fight and take chances on behalf of the project.
Need to improve communication
The communication skills of only six out of ten project owners received a passing mark. This means that as many as four out of ten project owners assessed do not have adequate communication skills.
In the following in-depth interviews, 11 out of 11 project owners answered that they have good or excellent communication skills. The picture is much more nuanced for the 14 project managers interviewed. They believe that the project owners' communication skills vary greatly – from very good to poor.
At the very least, this means that Norwegian project owners could afford to train and develop their communication skills.
The interviews of 77 project management Master students also indicate that Norwegian project owners could afford to improve their motivation of the project team and support the project when necessary.
In this area less than six out of ten (56.9 per cent) receive a passing grade, while more than four out of ten (43.1 per cent) do not have an adequate ability to motivate project members.
Earlier this year Professor Andersen presented the results of the study at the Asia Pacific Research Conference on Project Management 2010, which was held in Melbourne, Australia.
The BI researcher received the award for Best Paper at the conference.
"Gratifying acknowledgement of work that seeks to achieve greater awareness of the role of the project owner in project management," he says.
Audun Farbrot | alfa
Modular storage tank for tight spaces
16.03.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH
Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice
17.01.2017 | EML European Media Laboratory GmbH
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy