Managing project interdependencies: exploring new approaches

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Asia Pacific Expert Seminar (APES2009): Managing Projects, Programs And Ventures In Times Of Uncertainty And Disruptive Change, 2009, pp. 1 - 8
Issue Date:
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The interdependencies between projects create complexities for the management of project portfolios within organisations. In times of uncertainty this challenge is even greater due to the difficulties in predicting the flow-on effects from changes to projects in the portfolio. Hence, in times of disruptive change a good understanding of project interdependencies is particularly important. This paper outlines two related studies that aim to improve the understanding and management of interdependencies within project portfolios. The paper first defines project portfolio management (PPM) and highlights its growing importance for optimising organisational outcomes, especially in dynamic environments. Project portfolio complexity and interdependencies between projects in a portfolio are then overviewed, highlighting the challenges that these interdependencies create for effective PPM, and introducing some of the methods used for understanding and managing these interdependencies including the dependency matrix and the related design structure matrix. Network analysis and mapping tools are then introduced and suggested as a novel method for improving understanding and managing project interdependencies. Finally, an example of the use of this type of method is presented and the current research projects are overviewed.
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