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Project management methods as a way to ambidexterity

Project management methods as a way to ambidexterity Ambidexterity has been shown to contribute to project performance. Recent studies of ambidexterity on the project level focus on multilevel knowledge resources, individual actions and structural ambidexterity. However, the role of project management methods remains unclear. This is surprising because project management methods are broadly disseminated as standards. The purpose of this paper is to theorize how project management methods affect ambidexterity on the project level.Design/methodology/approachIt is demonstrated how routine theory adds to a better theoretical conceptualization and understanding of project management methods. The analysis of this paper contains, first, the reconstruction of the contribution of each action in “Scrum” to either exploitation or exploration and, second, the discussion of roles in Scrum. To conclude, a “big picture” of what ambidexterity in projects can look like is developed.FindingsThe main findings suggest that Scrum facilitates sequential and contextual ambidexterity by producing a pattern of alternating exploitation and exploration actions and by assigning specific roles.Practical implicationsFor practitioners this leads to steps they can take to enhance ambidexterity in projects. It is suggested to staff explicitly ambidexterity-related roles like a Scrum Master and to persist on explorative actions like adaption of project goals and Customer Feedback.Originality/valueFirst, the present paper contributes an analysis of the underlying micro-mechanisms of sequential and contextual ambidexterity in projects. Second, it informs practitioners on what aspects of project management methods they should pay attention to. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Managing Projects in Business Emerald Publishing

Project management methods as a way to ambidexterity

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1753-8378
DOI
10.1108/ijmpb-05-2018-0094
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Ambidexterity has been shown to contribute to project performance. Recent studies of ambidexterity on the project level focus on multilevel knowledge resources, individual actions and structural ambidexterity. However, the role of project management methods remains unclear. This is surprising because project management methods are broadly disseminated as standards. The purpose of this paper is to theorize how project management methods affect ambidexterity on the project level.Design/methodology/approachIt is demonstrated how routine theory adds to a better theoretical conceptualization and understanding of project management methods. The analysis of this paper contains, first, the reconstruction of the contribution of each action in “Scrum” to either exploitation or exploration and, second, the discussion of roles in Scrum. To conclude, a “big picture” of what ambidexterity in projects can look like is developed.FindingsThe main findings suggest that Scrum facilitates sequential and contextual ambidexterity by producing a pattern of alternating exploitation and exploration actions and by assigning specific roles.Practical implicationsFor practitioners this leads to steps they can take to enhance ambidexterity in projects. It is suggested to staff explicitly ambidexterity-related roles like a Scrum Master and to persist on explorative actions like adaption of project goals and Customer Feedback.Originality/valueFirst, the present paper contributes an analysis of the underlying micro-mechanisms of sequential and contextual ambidexterity in projects. Second, it informs practitioners on what aspects of project management methods they should pay attention to.

Journal

International Journal of Managing Projects in BusinessEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 18, 2019

Keywords: Agile; Ambidexterity; Project management methodology; Exploration projects

References