A cultural framework

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Abstract

This report is about how a cultural framework can affect a project success. What is meant by this is that you need to have a good project manager and project team in order for a project to meet deadlines and stay on budget. This report analysis and critiques what has been found in the article was conducted by Korin Kendra of Detroit and Laura Taplin of Canada. They analysed the data that was found form a Standish Group survey on project successes and failures this was conducted in the year 2000. The survey found that overall there is a project failure rate of 72 percent. Of the 28 percent it was found that 92 percent of these successes were due to assigned project managers, 58 percent used a defined measurement system and 46 percent used a project management methodology. The study concluded that the main reason for failure was due to the lack of good working relationships. Kendra and Taplin conducted their study by collecting data using an interview protocol they explored the organizations design elements, social and technical structures in the proposed success model developed in this study. From the information that they gathered they managed to draw out 5 main themes/conclusions these are, Theme 1: Project Management competences exist at the project manger level in the organization. Theme 2: Project success requires the employment of management process from the project management, system development, supplier management and business planning to be successful. Theme 3: Organizational structures at the project team level are the key to project success. The project structure is important to the success of the project because it determines the project manager level of authority, skills and competencies of the team and the dynamics of the group. Theme 4: Performance measurement systems metrics are defined at the individual, project and organizational level to evaluate project success. Theme 5: Organizational culture determines the importance of project manager competencies, performance measurements, business process that are employed to perform project work and project organization structures to project success.

1. Background

The topic for this article is project success in a cultural framework. This article was written by Korin Kendra of Detroit and Laura Taplin of Canada in April 2004. This report main point is how a cultural frame work can affect project success. What is meant by a cultural frame work is the background and the work ethics of the people involved of the project. This article was conducted to analysis the data that was found form a Standish Group survey on project successes and failures this was conducted in the year 2000. The survey found that overall there is a project failure rate of 72 percent. Of the 28 percent it was found that 92 percent of these successes were due to assigned project managers, 58 percent used a defined measurement system and 46 percent used a project management methodology. The study concluded that the main reason for failure was due to the lack of good working relationships. This conclusion left was question of what is required in a good cultural framework to make a project successful. Kendra and Taplin choose to investigate this question and wrote this article. The author's definition of a project success in the IT industry is that a project must have numerous success factors that contribute such as the project being on time, within budget and of good quality.

2. Method

Data was collected using an interview protocol they explored the organizations design elements, social and technical structures in the proposed success model developed in this study. The inquiry focused on the organizations culture, project manager competencies, organizational structure design, performance measurement systems and the supporting business process employed in the change efforts to adopt project management. All interviews were conducted in the year 2001 and reflected past, present and future change efforts. The data was the analysed qualitatively using a grounded theory approach and inferential coding to identify the common themes and cultural values that form linkages between project manager competencies, performance measurement systems, process and structures.

3. Critique

3.1 Data are gathered in a scientific manner

Data was gathered using an interview process to me this is not a very scientific manner although it is still a very good data collecting technique. They still gathered all the information that was required for the study.

3.2 Underlying assumptions are clear

From what I had read the authors didn't really have many assumptions. All the data that they used was already gathered so assumptions were not necessary. Although their main assumption would have been that a cultural framework can affect a project success to which this assumption was very clear and easy to understand.

3.3 Overall Conclusions

3.3.1 What conclusions are drawn by the authors

In this article the authors describe five main conclusions/themes that they have discovered.

In their research, Kendra and Taplin (2004) established

Theme 1: Project Management competences exist at the project manger level in the organization

Theme 2: Project success requires the employment of management process from the project management, system development, supplier management and business planning to be successful.

Theme 3: Organizational structures at the project team level are the key to project success. The project structure is important to the success of the project because it determines the project manager level of authority, skills and competencies of the team and the dynamics of the group.

Theme 4: Performance measurement systems metrics are defined at the individual, project and organizational level to evaluate project success.

Theme 5: Organizational culture determines the importance of project manager competencies, performance measurements, business process that are employed to perform project work and project organization structures to project success.

3.3.2 Are these conclusions valid

Yes in my opinion is think that all these conclusions are valid as they all hold the main requirements for a project to be successful it is important to note that theme one and three are very important as they both hold valid points of how a team need to form together in order for a project to be successful.

3.4 The authors have some academic or professional standing

Korin Kendra is a professor in the college of Management at Lawrence Technological University. She has a masters in industrial engineering and information systems, also has a PHD in organizational development. Kendra is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP)

Laura Taplin has her masters and PHD in organizational development she is also a certified Management Consultant (CMC).

In this article both authors are highly qualified and have gained qualifications in relevant fields to their research.

3.5 The writing is clearly and correctly references its sources

This article is very easy to read and explains most things in great detail. All information that refers to other person's work it's referenced correctly at the bottom of the paragraph or inserted citations. I found that this piece was easier to read due to most information was grouped into topics rather than all together.

4. References

Kendra, K., Taplin, L. (2004). Project Success: A Cultural Framework. Project Management Journal, 30-45.