Jalali Sohi, Afshin, Marian Bosch-Rekveldt, & Marcel Hertogh (2020). Four stages of making project management flexible: Insight, importance, implementation and improvement. Organization, Technology and Management in Construction, 12, 2117-2136. (Open Access: https://sciendo.com/pdf/10.2478/otmcj-2020-0008)

Abstract: Increased project complexity, project dynamics and changes in clients’ requirements are a few examples that suggest the necessity for flexibility in project management in order to deliver successful projects. Despite the fact that literature suggests adding flexibility to project management, there is no existing framework that provides a practical method for adding flexibility into the practice of project management in the construction industry. Therefore, this research is aimed at proposing a practical framework that helps practitioners in embedding project management flexibility into their project management practice. The research question is as follows: how to embed flexibility in the practice of project management in the early project phases? To answer the research question, four sub-questions have been formulated, which have been separately researched. The main question is answered by proposing a flexibility framework. This framework comprises four stages: understanding the current situation, practitioners’ perspectives on flexible project management, choosing enablers to become flexible and applying selected enablers to improve project performance. The framework is validated using the examples given by practitioners from 24 cases. Considering the movements towards flexibility and adaptability concepts, this research fills the gap in literature by providing a practical framework for project management flexibility. Moreover, it provides a step-by-step guideline for practitioners to embed flexibility in practice.

Afshin Jalali Sohi <a.jalalisohi@tudelft.nl> is in the Department of Integral Design and Management, Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands.