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
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
26.06.2017 | Life Sciences
26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.06.2017 | Information Technology