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Management
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Managing Complex Projects: A Project-Based Organization (PBO) (Research Paper Sample)

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MANAGEMENT OF COMPLEX PROJECTS

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Managing complex projects, products and systems
 
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Abstract
This essay is going to examine the effectiveness of a Project-based organization (PBO) in the production of CoPS (Complex high-value products, projects and systems) in comparison with traditional functional matrix organization. To show the relation between PBO and some forms of the matrix and functional organizations, a simple model is developed. In addition a case study will be used to identify the strengths and weakness in the two organizational types of CoPS production. The paper will also view the positive side of PBO in the intrinsic innovation of the organizational structures that meets the demands of each CoPS project as specified by a customer. The ability of PBO to cope with developing production properties as well as respond to flexibility of clients changing needs is a feature that will be analyzed. The common uncertainties and project risks present in CoPS and how PBO uses different skills and knowledge in coping with them will be a point of discussion in this paper. In summary, this paper will illustrate a wide range of ways used the production of CoPS.
Introduction
With the changing times, the customers are demanding products and systems that are complex, innovative as well as technologically standard. Project –based organization has been brought up to counter the functional and matrix organization and aid in production of high value and complex industrial products and systems. PBO is an organization form of CoPS producers. This is evident when many partner suppliers are involved with the user through different levels of invention and productionCITATION Mic05 \p 13 \l 1033 (Hobday 13).
In order to have high quality CoPS, there is a need for good leadership in heavyweight project teams as pointed by the new project development (NPD). It also suggests that greater professionalization of project management is needed due to increasing importance in many high technology industries. This paper aims at an in-depth analysis of CoPS managements and identifying some of the features of PBO vital in production of CoPS. It also involves a comparison to the CoPS produced in a functional division of the same corporation. A ‘bottom up' project is taken purposely to discover the dynamics of processes, structures and performance in the PBO in comparison to the functional organization.
Innovation in CoPS
Each individual CoPS is high cost since it's made up of several interconnected sub-projects and have their components, control units and sub-systems customized. They are tailor-made for specific customers and hence they have a hierarchical design. Due to their composition, cost and physical scale CoPS are produced in small consignments to tolerate a large unit of direct user involvement in the invention processCITATION Kim08 \p 11 \l 1033 (Kim H. Pries 11). A small change in design in one part of the system can lead to huge alterations in other parts during design and production. In case of such a mistake, novel design approach, a more sophisticated control system as well as new materials are required to complete the project
Dimensions of project complexity include the degree of customization of both components and systems, elaborateness' of system architectures, number of components, number of design choices, variety of information and materials inputs, depth and range of skills and knowledge inputs required. Some products can be branded as ‘extremely-Complex' according to this amalgam. On the other hand of this spectrum, there is production of less complex products whose limits of uncertainty are easily understood. In production of these products, there is a reduced inherent risk due to availability of well-established architects and componentsCITATION RIa08 \p 23 \l 1033 (R. Ian Faulconbridge 23). Moderately complex and highly complex goods lie between extremely complex and less complex goods. An example of a simple product is a toaster or a bicycle and that of a ‘complicated' but not Complex product is a passenger van.
The performance, complexity, functional scope and pervasiveness of CoPS have been highly enhanced by the technical demands in combination with current industrial demands. Extreme task complexity comes up due to the nature of the CoPS hence demanding some specific methods of industrial organization and managementCITATION Mic05 \p 25 \l 1033 (Hobday 25).
The project web
In the production of CoPS, the project incorporates SMEs (small and medium enterprises), prime contractors, suppliers, users, regulators, buyers, and System integrators. Government agencies are also sometimes incorporated in the production. These innovation stake-holders collaborate and make innovation decisions in advance as well as during the production. In most cases, suppliers and users engage in co-engineering activities in the whole production process. The management of CoPS projects is the responsibility of systems integrators and prime contractors. This results to a short-term user/multi-firm alliance. Project management and system integration competence is critical to production of CoPS due to the nature of the projects effectiveness and efficiency.
This project is a widely used system of synchronization in CoPS. It is a focusing device which aids in production and development of CoPS through enabling agreement between deferent types of actors in innovation. Realization of market, matching financial and technical resources and coordination of decisions across organizations in order to enable buyer involvement highlights the responsibilities of the projectCITATION Kat09 \p 41 \l 1033 (Hass 41). However, project management should be viewed as profoundly different entity from mass production since production is concerned with meeting requirements of large business clients. In most cases design is modified to meet the customers' requirements after a product order has been placed. However, firms dealing with mass production have a different sequence whereby they develop the product first, produce it and marketing is the last step.
The nature and form of the project is shaped by the exact CoPS being produced. Several extremely complicated and non-routine tasks come up due to product complexity and design-intensity in CoPS. There may be unclear goals and doubts in production due frequent change of requirements by clients during production processCITATION Har10 \p 38 \l 1033 (Harold R. Kerzner 38). This makes it hard to measure success or failure because the two become multidimensional. This uncertainty leads the managers to proceed in production with inc...

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