|Ph.D Student||Ravid Shy|
|Subject||The use of project management tools and techniques and its|
contribution to team shared understanding and
|Department||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management||Supervisors||Professor Avraham Shtub|
|Professor Anat Rafaeli|
|Full Thesis text|
This research examines the use of project management techniques to promote the creation of a shared understanding among team members as a way to improve team collaboration. Three studies were performed to examine our hypotheses. Overall the findings show that tools and techniques that are responsible for project integration, such as project governance mechanisms for process definition and measurement and integrated change control, integration support aids and Agile practices, are essential for the development of a shared understanding of project goals and work processes.
The first study focused on the role of tools and techniques for project planning and control and on mechanisms of project governance in distributed software development teams. In this study we differentiate between use of planning and control activities for time management and scope verification and project governance which is a framework for project integration dealing with assignment of tasks and establishment of policies, rules, and measurements across project lifecycle. Results indicate that project governance is more effective for the creation of a shared understanding than the use of planning and control techniques. The findings also indicate that the development of a shared understanding affects the development of conflict and trust and that it is responsible for the effect of project governance on them.
The second study deals with the management of cross-functional teams. In this study we examined the implementation of project integration support tools in an experimental setting. Results show that the use of a support tool that integrates different project objectives assists teams in managing changes, enhances the development of a shared understanding and improves team performance. Similarly to the findings of study 1, the results of this study revealed a relationship between shared understanding and team processes of conflict and trust and showed a marginally significant effect of team processes on team performance.
The third study was a longitudinal case study focusing on the implementation of Agile software development techniques for the integration of software projects. Results showed that the use of Agile enhances the development of shared understanding over time. Moreover the findings indicate that team members’ understanding of technical aspects of the project is shared among team members faster than understanding of human related issues such as project roles and customer involvement. Our findings document the important influence of project management techniques on the management of the human resource in projects and on collaboration among members of project teams.