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Gantt charts revisited: A critical analysis of its roots and implications to the management of projects today

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Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore a classic tool in project management, which for some has become almost synonymous with project management: the Gantt chart. The Gantt chart was developed in the early twentieth century, at the heart of Scientific Management; yet, the chart is used with very little adaptation across a wide range of types of projects. In this conceptual paper, the authors question its universal and unreflective use. Design/methodology/approach – The authors analyse the conceptual roots of the Gantt chart, its historical development and use, derive its engrained principles, and analyse its implications to the management of projects. Findings – While a Gantt chart can be useful to cope with some of the “complicatedness” of projects, and embraces the importance of time and timing, it is based on principles that are not valid to all projects. The consequence is a propagation of a management approach that does not explicitly cope with complexity, ambiguity, uncertainty and change. In that respect, the Gantt chart fails to acknowledge insights from years of organization theory research and project management research with a firm grounding in contingency theory. Originality/value – While the majority of contemporary project management thinking already accepted that a normative use can be inappropriate, the practice is still pretty much embracing this approach. By showing the conceptual roots of the Gantt chart, the authors hope to make some of its limitations more evident to practitioners and academics, and encourage its use to be more reflective and contextualised.
S Special Issue on the Classics in Project Management
Gantt Chart and the Scientific Management in
Projects
Joana Geraldi and Thomas Lechler
Paper published at the International Journal of Managing Projects in Business. Cite
as:
Geraldi, J., & Lechler, T. (2012). Gantt Charts revisited: A critical analysis of its roots
and implications to the management of projects today. International Journal of
Managing Projects in Business, 5(4), 578-594. (Note: Top 10 most downloaded
articles of the journal since publication)
Abstract
Purpose This article explores a classic tool in projects and its conceptual roots: the
Gantt Chart. The ‘Gantt Chart’ is one of the most used project management tools
today. However, it was not developed for projects, but for repetitive routine
operations at the pinnacle of scientific management. We explore the principles and
assumptions on which the Gantt chart is based, and its consequences to how we
conceptualise projects.
Design/methodology/approachWe explore the historical development of the
Gantt Chart and how it has been used. We derive from it the key principles on which
the chart is based on, and analyse the consequences of these to how we
conceptualise projects, project management, project managers and success.
Findings The Gantt Chart provides a good example of how we have chosen to
perpetuate hard over soft. While a Gantt chart can be useful to cope with some of
the ‘complicatedness’ of projects, and embraces the importance of time and timing,
it is based on flatted assumptions about (at least some) projects. The consequence is
an equivocated understanding of success, and propagation of a management
approach that is unhelpful to cope with uncertainty and change.
Originality/value While the majority of contemporary project management
thinking already accepted that these are flatted assumptions, the practice is still
pretty much embedded in a mechanistic paradigm. By showing its roots, we hope to
make some of its limitations more evident to practitioners and academics.
Keywordsvisualisation, scientific management, Gantt Chart, uncertainty, project
control
Special Issue on the Classics in Project Management
Gantt Chart and the Scientific Management in Projects
Joana Geraldi and Thomas Lechler
Paper published at the International Journal of Managing Projects in Business. Cite as:
Geraldi, J., & Lechler, T. (2012). Gantt Charts revisited: A critical analysis of its roots and
implications to the management of projects today. International Journal of Managing
Projects in Business, 5(4), 578-594. (Note: Top 10 most downloaded articles of the journal
since publication)
1 Introduction
This article explores a classic tool of project management, the ’Gantt Chart’. The Gantt
Chart is one of the most used planning and controlling tools in projects today. In a survey
with 750 project managers, the Gantt Chart was the fourth most used tools out of 70 tools
and techniques associated with project management (Besner & Hobbs, 2008). Indeed, we
can hardly imagine project management practice or training without it. The Gantt Chart is
part of our shared language. While we could not be sure whether academics and
practitioners read or know about the work of Sayles and Chandler (1971) or perhaps even
Morris and Hough (1987), we do know that we are all familiar with the Gantt Chart, and
many perhaps even the majority - have used it. Thus, Gantt Chart is part of what connects
the members of project management community.
Taken that management discipline is replete of fashions and fads (Abrahamson & Fairchild,
1999), the Gantt Chart is remarkably resilient; it has been developed nearly a hundred years
ago (Wilson, 2003), and survives until today despite numerous innovations in the area. In
the 1950s, more sophisticated scheduling techniques were introduced (Morris, 1994), such
as PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) and CPM (Critical Path Method)
methods. Unlike the Gantt Chart, these tools enabled the analysis of more complex
relationships between the tasks and the uncertainty of each task’s duration. With such
precision, the critical path could be better calculated and understood. Still, the use of Gantt
Chart at the time didn’t decline, quite the opposite, it increased (Wilson, 2003); the tools
were used in combination, and the outcome was visualised through the Gantt Chart. Later,
Earned Value was introduced, and provided a more holistic understanding of project
progress by linking cost, time and progress into one tool. In the 1990s, the concept of
Critical Chain was introduced (Goldratt, 1997), which highlighted the influence of behaviour
aspects into projects. Still, the Gantt Chart remained an important tool both in planning and
controlling project schedules; so much so that popular project management software, such
as MS Project and Primavera, uses the Gantt Chart as the main visual representation of
projects.
The Gantt Chart is simple, intuitive, practical and useful visual representation of project
activities and durations, which can perhaps explain such resilience. Further, the Gantt Chart
is instrumental to enhance our cognitive ability to cope with structural complexity -
coordination of a large number, diverse and interdependent tasks (J. G. Geraldi, Maylor, &
Williams, In Press). MacNeice (1951)’s experiment provides a good indication of how
powerful Gantt Chart can be; 300 management students were faced with complex
production planning task, when asked to resolve it intuitively only 1% could solve the
problem, when given Gantt Chart, all students developed a solution in 15 minutes. The
chart is also a useful tool to communicate the project schedule and create a shared
understanding of the progress (and lack of progress) of tasks. This aids the management of
projects. For example, project managers can use the Gantt Chart to point to potential
schedule delays and focus the project team’s attention on the critical tasks to the delivery
of project in time.
However, it has also important limitations. We will show that the Gantt Chart was not
created for the management of projects, but for repetitive, routine operations during the
pinnacle of the scientific management. We analyse the historical and current use of the
Gantt Chart and show that its principles still resembles an image of the rational and
deterministic approach to project management (Maylor, 2001) rooted in Scientific
Management principles what we call the Gantt Chart’s Logic. While the majority of the
contemporary project management thinking already accepted that this logic is out-dated
and inappropriate to several, if not all projects (J. G. Geraldi et al., 2008), the practice is still
pretty much embedded in a mechanistic paradigm. By showing its roots, we hope to
portray a caricature of project management and so with help practitioners and academics
to understand its limitations.
The article is divided into four parts The paper begins by exploring the historical
development of the Gantt Chart and how it has been originally used. The second part of the
article, we explore how Gantt Chart are used today by analysing the scheduling activities
proposed in the PMI Body of Knowledge ®. We derive assumptions and principles inherent
to this process, which we termed the Gantt Chart Logic. The third part explores each
principle in detail, and shows how its inherent assumptions and principles are still
embedded in Scientific Management. In the last part of the article, we explore the
consequences of the Gantt Chart logic and conclude with research questions to explore
alternatives to the Gantt Chart logic.
2 Gantt Chart: Origin and Development
As we started the work in this article, we had hoped that the reason for conflicts between
Henry Lawrence Gantt and Frederick Winslow Taylor (Wren, 1987) was Gantt’s exposure
and interest in projects (unique, uncertain, temporary endeavours), in opposition to
repetitive operations as was Taylor’s main concern. We had hoped to find in the original
work of Gantt some hints as to the uncertainty of projects, some tips or wisdom on the use
and limitations of Gantt Chart that have been lost in the development of knowledge over
the years.
What we found though was that Gantt developed his methods for repetitive routine
operations. Gantt was a prolific writer and had an impressive intellectual productivity, he
has published over 150 titles and three major books: ‘Works, Wages and Profits’, ‘Industrial
Leadership’ and ‘Organizing for Work’. He also patented over twelve inventions, has made
numerous presentations in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and lectures at
Stevens, Columbia, Harvard and Yale (See Box on Life and Work of Henry L. Gantt for more
detail). So it could well be that among this large body of work, he had mentioned projects;
we do know that he has studied project-like activities too such as the production of ships.
However, we can assert that projects were not his key concern as none of the three books
mentions projects or project-like activities. He was, as much as Taylor, concerned with the
efficient and effective use of resources and increase of productivity in repetitive, routine
operations. This means that one of our most basic tools and the foundation of the practice
of projects is intertwined with principles of scientific management.
The first Gantt Chart-like visualisations were used to ‘fix the habits of the industry’. Gantt
developed visualisation tools that allowed foremen and workmen to check the current
productivity level of each employee and observe which employees have under- or over-
performed. The idea was to monitor and reduce idle time, and increase personal
accountability for levels of productivity. The productivity of each employee was recorded
across time in a tabulated system, where red meant lost of bonus and black gain of it. It
acted as a motivation and control mechanism, where both managers and workers could
quickly visualise their achievements.
Gantt also used graphics extensively to monitor the utilisation of resources, e.g. control
costs, daily production balance, quantity of work per machine, expense of idle machinery
among others (Wren, 1987, pp. 136). An early version of the Gantt Chart was used to
monitor the production progress with permanent record of how the order was fulfilled
(Figure 1). Here, although the sequence of operations was not stated in the chart, it
contains start and end dates.
Figure 1 here
Until then, the charts were mainly focused on the past (monitoring what had happened)
instead of planning for the future. It was when Gantt faced the production network for war
supplies in the 1914 in the US that the Gantt Chart as it is known today was developed. The
production network lacked appropriate coordination mechanisms. “Plants were scattered
all over the nation, shipments were late, warehouses crowded or disorganized, and the
Ordnance Department and the Navy used their resources poorly” (Wren, 1987, pp. 136). The
systems were also overwhelmed as orders increased from hundreds to millions (Clark,
Polakov, & Trabold, 1922, p. iii). Gantt realised that it has been wrong to manage schedule
based on quantities; the essential element is time (Alford, 1934). It was this insight the
importance of time that made the chart so useful for projects.
His solution1 was very similar to what we know today as the Gantt Chart. Unlike other
versions, the focus was not only in the present, but also in the comparison between plan
and actual. The work realised (thin lines) is compared with the work planned (thick lines)
for each task (Figure 2). This is one of the principles that came to be pivotal to project
management thinking.
Figure 2 here
Unlike Gantt Charts of today, it also provided a visualisation of the issues hampering higher
efficiency, shown by the letters e.g. W, waiting for set up, M, lack of material, H, lack of
help, as Clark (1925) explains:
“The Gantt progress chart enables the manager to keep before him all the
promises he has made, to concentrate his attention on overcoming
obstacles and avoiding delays, and, when it is impossible to live up to a
promise, it enables him to give the customer advance notice of the fact”
(Clark, 1925, p. 84).
Thus the original Gantt Chart was not limited to coordination of the production, but also
helped to recognise patterns of failures instigating double loop learning, e.g. if ‘M’
dominates all issues and reasons for delay, managers can look more in depth at what is
happening with material deliveries, and how to improve it.
In summary, Gantt Chart was not developed for projects, instead for the coordination of
the network of production facilities, and it was developed at the heart of scientific
management movement, and embodies its ethos, and therewith its assumptions and
principles.
Alford (1934, p. 180) recognized that these charts can be valuable to plan things “less
concrete” and Kimball (1925, pp. 149-150) discussed the usage of Gantt Charts in operation
scheduling and claimed that “The Gantt chart is perhaps the most effective form of
graphical schedules’’.
Although it was originally established as a general production planning tool by the mid-
1920s, Gantt Charts has been applied to a variety of fields including project management.
Wilson (2003) reviewed the early discussion about the usage of Gantt charts. Moore (1951)
and MacNeice (1951, p. 57) are among the first researchers to directly comment on the
usefulness of Gantt charts for managing projects. However, the earliest illustration of a
project based Gantt chart was found in Koepke’ work (Figure 3 1941, p. 391). The Gantt
chart which was more similar to what we used today in project management appeared in
1 Gantt himself though did not publish the Gantt Chart in his books. It was Wallace Clark, a member of Gantt’s
consulting firm, and colleagues that popularised the graphic in the first decades of the 20th century through
the Book ‘The Gantt Chart: a working tool of management’ and extensive consultancy. For a detailed account
on the development of Gantt Chart see Clark (1934). Later, Wilson Wilson, J. (2003). Gantt charts: A centenary
appreciation. European Journal of Operational Research, 149(2), 430-437. claims that the origin of the Gantt
Chart is still unclear, and may not have been developed by Gantt himself. This view contradicts that of Clark
and Wren’s (1987) account of the development of Gantt Chart.
Muther’s work (1944) and was called schedule charts. The application of Gantt charts in
project management was greatly increased with the development of modern project
management in mid-1960s. Specially, the advent of the Critical Path Method (CPM) and
Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) contributed to the wide expansion of
interest in Gantt Charts in project management (Weaver, 2007; Wilson, 2003). The use of
Gantt charts as a complementary method for project planning and management then
became more prominent. The subsequent development of micro computing and its
stimulation of PC based project management packages have revived Gantt charts (Wilson,
2003).
3 Current Use of the Gantt Chart and its underlining Assumptions and Principles
The historical overview demonstrates that the Gantt Chart aided the implementation of
Scientific Management practices. In this section we will explore the current use of the Gantt
Chart and show that its assumptions and principles are still intertwined with Scientific
Management thinking. The PMBo(PMI, 2008) guidelines were used as a starting point in
defining common steps associated with the current use of Gantt Charts in project
scheduling. We have chosen the standards of project management in oppose to the
literature on planning or visualisation techniques because the objective was to explore the
contemporary yet ‘traditional’ project management practice. Taken the number of certified
PMPs and member of the PMI community, we take the PMBoK® would be the most well
known work in current practice (not necessarily the most practiced or least criticised
though). We then derived underlying assumptions and principles for each step. Table 1
summarises the result of this analysis.
It is important to note the limitations of our analysis upfront. Firstly, we cannot guarantee
that the steps resemble the current use of the Gantt Chart. We agree that project
professionals are unlikely to follow the steps rigorously. Yet, taken we start our analysis
with the mostly recognised standard of project management, we argue that the steps are
close at least with what is widely accepted among the practitioner community, and that the
steps resemble the mainstream state of practice in project scheduling. Secondly, a principle
can be related to more than assumption, and vice versa. This is because they are
intertwined in the ‘fabric’ of the Gantt Chart’s Logic, and emerge in different parts of the
process. Thirdly, this method does not guarantee an exhaustive identification of principles
involved with the use of Gantt Chart. However, what it does guarantee is that the
assumptions and principles derived through the method are valid. We opt to follow
Foucault’s critical history approach; the aim is to ‘problemitise’, i.e. not in search of the
whole truth but just enough to put the current established truth in doubt (Foucault, 1971).
Table 1 here
The next paragraphs explore each of the principles for the application of the Gantt Chart’s
Logic, namely: unidimensional, objective, deterministic, analytic, accountable and
sequential. For each principle, we:
- provided a general definition of the term
- linked it with the logic and concerns of the Scientific Management
- explored its resonance in projects in general
- analysed regarding its impact in what we mean by projects, project management,
project managers and success.
3.1 Unidimensional
Gantt Chart is unidimensional, i.e. it promotes a focus on one dimension over others. In
particular, the Gantt Chart focuses management attention on efficiency, as measured
through time and timing.
Efficiency was at the heart of the scientific management and, arguably, an appropriate
response to the context of war. Scope was already pre-defined, and well-known, quality
and client’s satisfaction were less of an issue at the time. Consequently, Scientific
Management is instead concerned with the reduction of waste of human effort by
maximizing efficiency, i.e. maximise work that can be done in a given period of time.
Efficiency, measured and visualised through time, was emphasised other any other
variable, be it quality, employee’s wellbeing, organisational learning and growth,
diversification, etc. Thus, Scientific Management is unidimensional. The Gantt Chart
embodies this principle by showing work progress by time. Actually the control of efficiency
through time and timing was the great ‘insight’ in the Gantt Chart. As mentioned in the last
section, the volume of production increased dramatically, and the management focused on
delivering as quickly as possible. The complexity of the operations increased, and the work
needed to be coordinated across a network of production facilities spread all over US.
Coordination through time and deadlines played a crucial role to meet the volume
necessary in times of war (Wren, 1976/1987).
Likewise, the power of time and timing to coordinate work has been identified in project
management; meeting schedule deadlines becomes the heart beat of projects (Lindkvist &
Soderlund, 1998), and represents what is equal across parties involved in projects and
therefore has the potential to integrate them what Dille and Söderlund (2011) termed
isochronism alluding to the concept of isomorphism. So much so that the Gantt Chart
defines, quantifies and manages interfaces in terms of time and sequence, not content.
The importance of time to projects goes far beyond a coordination mechanism. Projects are
defined by being temporally bounded, and it is exactly this characteristic that makes
projects an interesting and unique context for scholars in organisation theory (Dille &
Söderlund, 2011; Lundin & Söderholm, 1995; Packendorff, 1995), team dynamics (Gersick,
1988, 1989), among others. Focusing on time allow us to understand projects as a task to
be completed, something that has a clear start and end.
The Gantt Chart encourages a project management focused primarily in monitoring the
schedule, i.e. whether tasks have been completed on time and the consequences of delays
to meet its pre-defined delivery date. Project manager becomes the ‘keeper of the charts’
and computer operator, and project management is quickly reduced to the management of
schedules2 (Maylor, 2001). However, projects are not only about time, and the use of Gantt
Chart may promote a project management that is overly preoccupied and focused on time
over other relevant aspects involved in managing a project, such as the value creation and
realisation, development of relationships, exploitation of opportunities.
This is also problematic as time is not necessarily the key success criterion. While in the
beginning of the twenty-century, the focus on time and efficiency was understandable
(although not without criticism3), such a context is quite unusual in today’s turbulent and
uncertain business context, with clients and customers expecting customised products and
services, and actually the emphasis on time over other variables is no longer in line with
today’s understanding of success criteria (Jugdev & Müller, 2005). It could be argued that
there are contexts in which time is key and should be the heart beat of the project, such as
venues for Olympic Games, where significant delays will compromise the project benefit
realisation. However, even in such situations emphasis on time could cause problems.
Engineers may need to go through short cuts that may impact the project dramatically. The
Challenger Project presents a good illustration. Time was indeed key, any delays could
compromise the mission, however the pressure to launch on time compromised other
relevant success criteria such as safety (Vaughan, 1996).
Some may argue that the issue is not to focus on one dimension, but that time should not
be that dimension, perhaps benefit realisation could be that ‘magic’ dimension. While this
may not be directly related with Scientific Management, it does resemble another quite
controversial figure of our past the Machiavelli’s principle of ends justifies the means,
which has quite well-known and heavily debated limitations, and is not as prevalent among
experienced practitioners (Miesing & Preble, 1985). Thus, while time is powerful
coordination mechanism and instrumental to increase team motivation, a project, project
management and project manager overly focused on time is ‘dangerous’. Project
management can give more emphasis on a criterion over others, but still it needs a more
balanced approach between several dimensions in order to deliver benefits through a
sustainable and ethically justifiable process.
3.2 Objective
Gantt Chart promotes an objective understanding of reality, i.e. the object (in our case, the
project and its tasks) exists independent from the person or mind (IEP, 2011). There is one
truth, one right way, and that can be determined. In management terms, the bars in the
Gantt Chart represent an objective (and precise) description of what it is to be undertaken
and how long it takes to do it.
2 Interestingly, the current response to the wish to ‘keep the charts’ has been not to revise this principle, but
instead to add another layer of management, the PMO (Project Management Offices) and schedule managers,
responsible to keeping the charts, while the project manager has the time to manage the project Geraldi, J. G.
(2008). Reconciling Order and Chaos in Multi-project Firms: Empirical Studies on CoPS Producers: Sierke..
3 Even in such context, the emphasis on efficiency was heavily criticized at the time. For a comprehensive
account see e.g. Wren (1987).
This was the ethos of the Scientific Management. Taylor and his proponents wished to
reduce the systematic soldiering, i.e. deliberately working slowly so as to avoid doing a full
day’s work(Taylor, 1911, p. 3) by developing a ‘true science of work’ and systematically
defining what would be the fair day’s work rewarded with a fair pay Taylor’s first principle
(see box 2). Frank and Lillian Gilbreth increased the precision of Taylor’s work and
introduced the time and motion studies: the work is analysed in detail, so to establish with
a high degree of precision the best way to do the task and the exact time needed to do so.
This was not necessarily Gantt’s view, as he puts emphasis on the habits of the industry
over the exact definition of the task (Gantt, 1919). However, Gantt Charts are not used in
projects with the view of encouraging specific habits, but rather to create (in many cases
also impose) one (the optimal) view of how the project should progress and at what rate.
Surprisingly this logic was very well embraced in the use of Gantt Chart in project
management today. Scientific Management propagates that there is one best way to
execute a project, and that it can be defined and visualised in the Gantt Chart. It is possible
to define objectively the scope, steps to be undertaken, its durations and interfaces, and
measure progress.
This principle impacts our conceptualisation of ‘projects’. The Gantt Chart’s Logic suggests
that projects exist regardless of people involved in it. This is dangerous, as the Gantt Chart
becomes the ‘statement of reality’ (Maylor, 2010, pp. 146). The project manager delivers
the planning of the tasks top-down, instead of passing the responsibility for time plan to
team members, and consequently, dialogue and adaptations are avoided already in the
early stages of the project. The legitimisation of Gantt Chart as ‘the’ project plan increases
with the use of project management software.
“Whilst computer-generated graphics and colour print-outs have given
Henry Gantt’s production planning bar chart a perceived new lease of life
by imbuing a sense of certainty and they have retained their credibility
despite contrary evidence, particular problems arise here.” (Maylor, 2001,
pp. 95)
Thus, the objectivity of the Gantt Chart has ontological implications. It denies that projects
are enacted projects are not a predefined ‘thing’ to be managed, a phenomenon, or pre-
existing ‘thing to be managed’ but they are enacted by people working on them (Kreiner,
1995); its vision, goals and management processes are constructed by its participants based
on previous experiences (Packendorff, 1995). Further, project has a history. Activities later
in the project depend on the success or misfortunes of the past activities, and therefore
following plans blindly would be rather less efficient as intra-project learning is not
incorporated (Andersen, 2008; Engwall, 2003).
Secondly, objectivity implies a management of projects by following the Gantt Chart. If we
were to consider project plans objectively, we would also need to accept that neither
politics nor interests influence estimates in the Gantt Chart, nor the progress reports.
Assumptions that have been shown to be at odds with project management practice. For
example, Flyvberg and colleagues showed that ‘guesses’ of time and cost are consistently
overly optimistic. They found it suspicious as estimation tools and experience should have
aided decision makers with more reliable information to develop more precise estimations.
Moreover, if estimations were wrong due to lack of knowledge, there would be a balance
between optimistic and pessimistic estimations. Therefore, they suggest that initial plans
are a political act instead of a rational and objective definition (B. Flyvbjerg, Bruzelius, &
Rothengatter, 2003; B Flyvbjerg, Holm, & Buhl, 2002). With the ‘plague’ of high failure
rates in project, scholars do strive (and should continue to do so) for better understanding
of the reasons of failure (developing a large body of work under the headings of ‘critical
success factors’), but we also need to question whether they were poor and poor to whom
(e.g. Hodgson & Cicmil, 2006), opening to a better understanding of politics in project
management, a notion that does not fit the Gant Chart logic.
It is also assumed that there is one best way of conducting and organising project tasks, and
the task of project manager is to define how, communicate it to the team and ensure that
the project is following it. In other words, it is possible to define and measure work, its
duration and interdependencies. The Gantt Chart becomes an instrument to develop,
communicate and crystallise the ‘right’ project schedule. It promotes a ‘management by
planning’ in oppose to a ‘management by organizing’ (Williams, 2005), a project as task not
as organization (Andersen, 2008).
It had important consequence to the practice of managing projects. Managing through the
Gantt Chart makes us focus on the gap (planned vs. actual). Having the baseline as objective
freezes our mind, create own reality that is not necessarily in line with the potential
alternative realities, which are not seen as the baseline filter. Williams (2005) though
argues that methodologies which allow projects to “emerge” are more appropriate than
the traditional fully pre-planned modus. A decade earlier, Eisenhardt and Tabrizi (1995)
come to similar conclusions.
Another consequence of an objective logic is on how we establish reason for mistakes. As
mentioned above, the original Gantt Chart provided a visual representation to the reasons
for delays. This practice could have been responsible for single and double loop learning
(Argyris, 1977) improving efficiency and effectiveness of operations at the time. While this
may appear attractive at first sight, attribution to delays and changes in projects to one
single or very limited number of causes (Williams, 2005); such practice is overly simplistic
and not fit to project contexts.
This also has implications to the role of project managers. It implies that progress can be
measured objectively and the project manager can and should do this. It reduces the role of
the project manager to find ways to ensure project is following the pre-determined path,
and avoid variations.
Thus, success is defined as meeting the baseline, moving the project along with as little
variation as possible. The validity and reliability of the baseline or the measurement of
progress is not questioned.
Objectivity is quite appealing; why not to define an optimal way and follow it? However, as
some scholars argued, in ‘real projects’ this is hardly observed (J. G. Geraldi, et al., 2008).
Such principle though could be an aspiration in stable and unambiguous projects, where
neither uncertainty, change nor behavioural complexity exists (J. G. Geraldi, et al., In Press),
this is rather rare though.
3.3 Deterministic
Gantt Charts are mainly based on determinism, i.e. they assume that given certain
conditions that can be established a priori, it is possible to determine everything that will
happen; nothing else could have happened instead, and thus, a plan can be complete and
embrace all potential challenges a project may face. In other words, it is expected that the
world is predictable and we can predict it. This implies that tasks could be completely
predefined, described and studied in detail; and therefore does not accept potential
uncertainty in goals or methods, which is widely recognised in projects (Turner & Cochrane,
1993).
Determinism is implied in the first two principles of Scientific Management proposed by
Taylor, namely the development of the science of work and the scientific selection and
development of the worker (see Box 2). It is assumed that the process to perform a task can
be standardized and that people could be trained to perform these tasks. This implies that
tasks could be completely predefined, described and studied in detail; and therefore does
not accept potential uncertainty in goals or methods, which is widely recognised in projects
(Turner & Cochrane, 1993). The first two principles also evoke Taylor’s notion of “one best
way” of performing a task by separating planning from executing. Perfectionist planning
should eliminate any need adaptations, and ensure the optimal execution of the task. Thus,
such principles can only be applied if the context is predictable and deterministic.
In the context where Scientific Management was develop, change played a less important
role in management thinking and rhetoric (Wren, 1976/1987) – quite surprisingly though,
taken they were under war and changes in the society and economy abounded. However
still, in the context of routine repetitive operations, change and uncertainty does play a less
important role, at least in the operations of the firm. Today, determinism may be aspired by
some, but it is no longer accepted, instead, the current management rhetoric is that of
change and adaptation to a turbulent context.
However, determinism is also clearly present in the current use of Gantt Chart. As showed
in Table 1, it assumes that it is possible to determine a priori a) the scope of the work and
translate it into activities and b) the type of dependency between activities and quantify
these in terms of time. This also assumes that it is possible to estimate the duration of each
task with a high degree of certainty4. Thus, all potential issues that a project may face
should have been identified a priori. Thus, the impact of ‘truly’ unknown-unknowns is not
recognised, but instead perceived as the lack of foresight. Yet, there is an increasing
awareness that unexpected events will happen (J. Geraldi, Lee-Kelley, & Kutsch, 2010;
Hällgren & Wilson, 2008; Söderholm, 2008; Sun & Meng, 2008), and ‘truly’ unknown-
4 One could argue that Gantt Chart, if used with tools such as PERT, could show pessimistic, optimistic and
likely scenarios, and therefore consider the accuracy of the estimations. However, we still assume accuracy in
the determination of the inaccuracy of the estimates.
unknowns exist and are likely impact the project (De Meyer, Loch, & Pitch, 2002; Loch,
DeMeyer, & Pich, 2006).
The ability to determine what will happen underlines the predominant project
management logic, define-execute: We define what is to be executed at the front-end,
cement this in the contract, and then manage its execution. A classic analogy is that the
soup is cooked in the front-end of the project, and all we have to do in the execution is
make sure we eat it on time and to budget. So, if the soup is not well cooked or it turns out
the client is allergic to the ingredients, there is not much we can do, either than adding salt
and Parmesan it is too late to change the recipe.
Thus, following this logic, projects are about turning the plan into reality, and project
management refers to defining the scope and process and executing it, whereas gaps
between the plan and current progress should be avoided or identified and mitigated.
project manager’s responsibility then is to plan so precisely considering all different
scenarios and potential risks that gaps between plan and actual can be avoided, or at least
identified quickly. As they do emerge then project managers should put the project ‘back
on track’. Project success is then not only about meeting the baseline, but being able to
meet it without surprises.
It is not our intension to diminish the importance of the front-end to projects; there is
plenty of evidence suggesting that we do need to plan, and there is undoubtedly the need
to dedicate effort to the understanding of the scope and demands and build a relationship
with the client and other project stakeholders (e.g. Cooper, 1988; Morris, 1994; Morris &
Hough, 1987; Pinto & Kharbanda, 1996; Verworn, 2009; Williams & Samset, 2010). Instead,
we argue that there is a need to recognise that the Gantt Chart’s Logic promotes false
sense of certainty and stability under conditions of uncertainty. If conditions of uncertainty
occur more often it is possible that we become trapped by the constraints set at the front-
end. Projects are too risky and costly to be left to the front-end alone. It is exactly at this
first phases that projects are particularly uncertain, in some cases very political, project
team is not well-formed yet, key stakeholders are still negotiating their roles,
responsibilities and rewards. It doesn’t appear to be the most adequate context for defining
project success. What makes us dependent on our estimations and ‘ability’ (or wish) (B.
Flyvbjerg, et al., 2003) to predict the future with high levels of certainty.
This principle has also consequences to the definition of what it means to be a project
manager. Taken all that could happen in projects can be pre-defined (determinism), and
one can define precisely one right way to undertake the work (objectivity), it is possible to
determine a priori what project managers need to do in order to manage projects a work
code, train them accordantly, and implement sanctions for not following this code. In other
words, project management can be defined as a professional only, i.e. a science and not an
art.
3.4 Analytic and Accountable
Gantt Chart is based on analysis, i.e. our ability to divide into parts, breaking a complex
topic, task, problem into pieces, to gain a better understanding of it. The whole is
considered as the sum of the parts, and the best way to execute the project is divide it into
steps and make people accountable for them.
It is needless to say that this was the basis of the definition of the ‘science of work’. In the
early phases of the industrialisation, efficiency was gained by the detailed analysis of the
work. Previously, an artisan would make an entire product; he/she had ownership over the
entire production process. With the industrialisation, and later the Scientific Management,
the work of the artisan was broken into smaller tasks, each executed by another person.
Efficiency and control over the work increased dramatically, and the need for skills reduced,
and the worker became exchangeable, as a part of a machine (Wren, 1976/1987). Further,
division of work is also related with accountability. The division and specialisation of work
suggests that workers will be assigned to specific tasks only, and be accountable for this
task.
In crude terms, a project becomes the sum of the tasks to be executed, and it is possible to
assign people to each of these, and so define who is accountable for potential issues.
Management is done by division of work and clear accountability divide and conquer. It is
the role of the project manager to ensure a good and clear partitioning of the work. Issues
in interface between tasks are due to an ‘erroneous’ or sub-optimal division of the work,
and can be improved. If a task is not completed on time, the person/group/organisation
accountable for that task is to ‘blame’.
However, the project fragmentation encourages focus on low level delivery and not the
overall project effectiveness. Parts of projects are seen as silos, and optimized
independently. As projects are uncertain and likely to change, grey areas between silos
often emerge as project scope and context changes and are often source of conflict,
especially between suppliers and client. Suppliers will focus on ‘their task’ and will consider
the project to be successful if their task is delivered on time and budged, regardless
whether this led to the strategic benefits intended by the clients. So, in the Gantt Chart’s
Logic, project success is reduced to the delivery of each task; taken that project is the sum
of the tasks and these can be determined a priori, if every party ensures that their task is
delivered, than the project will be a ‘success’.
Finally, the professionalization of each element of projects also enforces the fragmentation
not only of scope but also of the function of project managers. For example, we have often
observed project managers that delegate risk management to the risk practitioner or
consultant and had little ownership about the actions and consequences of risks in projects,
and therefore fail to integrate risks into negotiations with client, conversations with team,
etc. As with controlling systems, this begs the question whether risk management is still
necessary if it is not informing decisions.
3.5 Sequential
The Gantt Chart visualizes the process of task execution as a sequence of tasks. This visual
representation is appropriate for tasks that follow a clear sequence, in which each task is
truly completed, and one can move to a next task; there is no need to revisit the tasks that
have already been completed. Processes are sequential in manufacturing processes, and so
much of the Scientific Management mindset assumes and expects a sequential process.
In project management, sequential process is best known and understood as the Waterfall
process. For example, by the end of the design phase one reaches ‘design freeze’ and
moves to the next phase. Following this logic, project manager’s role is ensure that the
process is followed in the right sequence, and each step is completed and freeze, so the
project can move to the next. Project success then means that one ‘gets it right first time’,
loops are sign for incompetence or ‘sloppy’ work.
The problem occurs for activities that are related in a circle, i.e. they have to be repeated
until convergence to a solution or a specific level of quality is achieved. Software
development processes are a good example. They start with the analysis of requirements,
followed by program design and coding and finally testing. If a software module shows
significant defects during the testing stage the cycle starts again either with the first or
second or third process until an acceptable level of software quality is achieved. The
progress of this type of process is not linear rather progress is a process of convergence
towards an acceptable level of performance. Today, there is a strong movement in software
projects (as well as projects with high uncertainty and ambiguity in scope) against the
waterfall sequential process, and to accept these cycles, ensure continues testing, as
proposed by agile methods. These types of processes cannot be adequately represented in
Gantt Charts as it is simply not known a priori how often the loops have to be repeated.
Further, the Gantt Chart’s Logic assumes that the project progress is measured linearly.
Project controlling with Gantt Charts builds on the logic of linear effort behaviour, e.g. if a
bar in the chart representing a project task is 50% elapsed then the status of the task
execution is 50%. This is at odds particularly with the front-end of projects in drifting
environment where projects converge into the development.
3.6 Summary of the Implications of the Gantt Chart’s Logic to Project Management
Table 2 provides a summary of the arguments presented above. Gantt Charts could
enhance the implementation process if a project is not very dynamic and faces situations of
uncertainty. Many projects in the construction industry match these specific task
characteristics. Often they are more or less routine projects with a low amount of
innovativeness and uniqueness. Under these conditions efficiency is an important
performance criterion and should be in the focus of the management process. But if
projects are unique and highly innovative the determinism premise does not hold and a
mechanistic approach will not lead to acceptable outcomes. Under these conditions
uncertainty is likely and could only be overcome if the value proposition of the project is
changed. This happens in an environment of multiple stakeholders with conflicting interests
and objectives leading to political influences that destabilize a project’s requirements and
project success cannot be sufficiently described with achieving a deadline.
Table 2 here
4 Discussion, Conclusion and Outlook
In the analysis of the conceptual foundation of the Gantt Chart we identified six principles
very much intertwined with Scientific Management as well as in the traditional project
management mindset, which we term the Gantt Chart’s Logic. We explored the
implications to what we conceptualise as project, project management, project manager
and success. As we explored each of the principles, we argued that these were made to a
very different context (repetitive routine operations) in a different time (early 20th century)
and have inherent limitations, but still are actually appropriate to certain project contexts,
but definitely not all.
While the majority of the contemporary project management thinking already accepted
that the assumptions of the Scientific Management are flatted, the practice is still pretty
much embedded in this deterministic and mechanistic paradigm. One of the rare
exceptions is the movement of Agile Project Management that directly addresses some of
the limitations.
The analysis leads also to further research questions and alternative tools to visualize
project plans and progress. In line with Whyte et al (2008), we have showed in the article
that tools and images and intrinsically related to how we think about projects and manage
them. Yet, there have been surprisingly few studies on what visual representations are
used, how are they used, why and with what results. There is room for the development of
other visualisation tools that are not based on flatted assumptions as the Gantt Chart.
In a more conceptual level, our analysis suggests a “fit” hypothesis between the use of
Gantt Charts and its logic to manage projects in specific contexts only. Reflecting on the
derived conditions it could well be that a misfit between the situation and the use of Gantt
Charts could be a predictor of project failure. Further research could unravel a relation
between project performance issues and the inappropriate use of Gantt Charts to plan and
manage the implementation process.
Finally, this article shows that some of the logic embedded in project and project
management has been borrowed from other contexts and applied to projects without deep
understanding of the implications of this logic to projects. This calls for the development of
a 'discipline of project management' with its own theories and thinkings, and careful
application of theories and ideas that are not made for projects. Taken the high adoption of
project-organising in standing organisations (Pettigrew, 2003), and that the current
(general) management context is, so as projects are, recognised to be uncertain, dynamic
and far more temporary than one would care to consider in the times of Scientific
Management, project-driven theorising can contribute not only to the management of
projects, but also to general management.
It is clear that Gantt Charts are representing a specific paradigm that could enhance or limit
the implementation process of a project depending on the specific situation. By showing its
roots, we hope to portray a caricature of project management and so with help
practitioners and academics to understand its limitations, and, in Foucault’s terms, ‘free
thought from what it silently thinks, and so enable it to think differently(Foucault, 1971).
5 BOX 1: Life and work of Henry Lawrence Gantt
Henry Lawrence Gantt was borne in 1861 in Maryland in the fringes of the civil war. Gantt
went to the McDonogh School, a free farm school for bright boys from poor families, where
he became later a teacher in natural science and mechanics (what might explain his
ground-breaking contributions to professional training and education). After graduating in
mechanical engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology in 1884 (a year after Taylor),
Gantt started his industrial career at the steel industry but maintained close contact with
the school (Petersen, 1986). He joined the Midvale Steel Works, Philadelphia, where he
met Taylor. Gantt became an advocate of the Scientific Management. He worked with
Taylor for over a decade and his thoughts were influenced by the principles of rationality,
determinism, optimisation promoted by Taylor. However, in 1901 the two broke up and
Gantt became a consultant on his own. As Wren puts it:
“Gantt and Taylor were an usual team; they had mutual interests in their
quest for science in management and developed a deep mutual admiration
for each other’s world. Gantt grasped the essence of Taylor’s work and,
though they clashed at times, became a prime disciple of Taylor” (Wren,
1987, pp. 133)
Gantt had an impressive intellectual productivity, he has published over 150 titles and three
major books: ‘Works, Wages and Profits’, ‘Industrial Leadership’ and ‘Organizing for Work’.
He also patented over twelve inventions, has made numerous presentations in the A.S.M.E.
and lectures at Stevens, Columbia, Harvard and Yale. He is deemed to be one of the first
successful management consultants. (Wren, 1979, pp. 160)5.
Similar to Taylor, Gantt’s key preoccupation was with ‘economical utilisation of resources’
and productivity through reward systems to motivate employees to work efficiently,
scientific definition of work and selection of worker and fair division of wealth between
employees and employees, what he termed the ‘harmonious cooperation’. However, his
ideas resembled a more human-centric management. His key contributions were in
payment systems, visualisation and control tools, and the role of the management system
to the society.
6 BOX 2: Principles of Taylorism
We refer throughout the article to Taylorism and its four principles. These are summarised
below:
5 More detail on Gantt’s biography, see: Petersen (1986), Alford (1934), Rathe (1961) and Wren (1994).
Development of a true science of work: “a science for each element of a man’s
work, which replaces the old rule-of-thumb method” (Taylor, 1911). With the
science of work, there was clarity on the duration of tasks as well as on the process
of how to execute the task, and so it was possible to set the fair day’s work and
avoid systematic soldiering and pressures against rate busters. It also allowed an
increase in efficiency by designing the best way to do the task, and creating a
context that reduces distractions, and turns organisations to machine and workers
to machine parts
Scientific selection and progressive development of the worker: “scientifically
select and then train, teach, and develop the workman, whereas in the past he
chose his own work and trained himself as best he could.” (Taylor, 1911). It is
possible to determine and select the best person for the job with the required
mental and physical qualities, and train them so to execute the job following the
prescribed method precisely
Bridging Scientific Management and Employee: “[Managers] heartily cooperate
with the men so as to insure all of the work being done in accordance with the
principles of the science which has been developed” (Taylor, 1911). This involved an
adequate control and reward systems
Co-operation between manager and worker: There is an almost equal division of
the work and the responsibility between the management and the workmen. The
management take over all work for which they are better fitted than the workmen,
while in the past almost all of the work and the greater part of the responsibility
were thrown upon the men.” (Taylor, 1911). Productivity was a responsibility of both
managers and employees.
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... So lassen sich Aufgabenstarts oder wichtige Ereignisse mittels Dreiecken, Meilensteine mittels Rauten und aufeinander aufbauende Aufgaben mithilfe von Pfeilen verbinden. Des Weiteren ist es möglich Aufgaben mittels Linien oder Farben in Aufgabengruppen zu gruppieren oder Projektphasen farblich auf der x-Achse anzuzeigen (Robles 2018;Geraldi und Lechter 2012). ...
... • Gantt-Diagramme werden kritisiert aufgrund ihrer Eindimensionalität, es werden Aspekte wie Zufriedenheit oder Qualität nicht ausreichend visualisiert (Geraldi und Lechter 2012). ...
... • Gantt-Diagramme sollen zu einem Projektmanagement führen, welches sich zu sehr auf Zeitpläne konzentriert und dabei Aspekte, wie Wertschöpfungsmöglichkeiten, Beziehungen und die Nutzung von Chancen vergisst (Maylor 2001;Geraldi und Lechter 2012). ...
Full-text available
Research Proposal
In dieser Projektarbeit zum Thema "Untersuchung zur Entscheidungsunterstützung im Contract Management durch Visualisierung von Vertragsdaten - Eine Case Study" wurden die Möglichkeiten zur Entscheidungsunterstützung im Contract Management einer der größten deutschen Energietrassenbetreiber untersucht. Im Anschluss wurden Empfehlungen zur Umsetzung eines solchen Systems gegeben.
... In addition to the aforementioned CPM, PERT or CCPM scheduling methods, there are many others that also find practical application, such as Line of Balance (LOB) [22][23][24][25][26], Q Scheduling [27,28], Resource Oriented Scheduling [29,30], Last Planner System [31], or a widespread schedule visualisation method such as Gantt Charts [32,33]. There are also numerous studies that facilitate accurate analysis and prediction of project delay risks. ...
... It should be detailed and realistic so that it reflects all the assumed (planned) activities, stages and whole phases of the project and facilitates their proper coordination. It is good when the schedule itself is understandable for all stakeholders involved in the project [32]. Research has clearly shown that Gantt Charts are the best tool to increase schedule comprehensibility [32]. ...
... It is good when the schedule itself is understandable for all stakeholders involved in the project [32]. Research has clearly shown that Gantt Charts are the best tool to increase schedule comprehensibility [32]. A welldeveloped schedule should indicate important milestones against a timeline, and these can be considered as starting and ending dates for individual stages and phases. ...
Full-text available
Article
In this article, we present our own construction process model consisting of 16 stages and eight phases, which is particularly applicable to large investment projects. In the context of each project phase, we examine how the appropriate way of scheduling construction processes affects the problem of the risk of prolonging individual phases and the whole project, as well as of not meeting deadlines (which is one of the main problems faced by management practitioners in the construction industry). There are many methods for assessing risk in this context, but they tend to be overly complex and rarely used by construction practitioners. On the other hand, the risks associated with potential schedule delays can be considered holistically. One tool that can serve this purpose is the combined Monte Carlo simulation and Time-at-Risk (TaR) approach, which originates from the world of finance. We show how the implementation of the process model (individual phases) and the whole project can be considered in the context of the covariance matrix between all its phases and how changes in the arrangement of these phases can affect the risk of time extension of the whole project. Our study is based on simulation data for a large development project (Fort Bema/Parkowo-Leśne housing estate complex) in Bemowo, a district of Warsaw, carried out between 1999 and 2012. The entire investment project involved the construction of almost 120,000 m2 of floor space.
... To further support research planning, teams are asked to produce a step-by-step research plan describing what they intend to do to complete each specific aim, including a Gantt chart (Geraldi and Lechter, 2012) to visualize timelines. They are also asked to describe the knowledge and skills the Team needs to acquire, how they will be developed, what risks might prevent the Team from succeeding, and how it will mitigate them. ...
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Article
Post-secondary education is falling behind in delivering the talent and skills development needed to support the growth of biology-based economies and the demands of professional and research-based graduate degree programs. Here, we describe an applied research program, the BioExperience Research and Entrepreneurship Challenge, launched in May 2020 to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on undergraduate experiential learning programs at the University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The program provided undergraduates with meaningful talent and skills development opportunities by implementing a student-centred, project-based learning approach inspired by the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition. We present evidence from participant exit surveys suggesting that the program delivers a high-quality learning environment and improves learning outcomes compared to traditional work-integrated learning. Notably, 84% of respondents reported an excellent or exceptional learning experience and significant or profound improvements in skills, such as leadership (72% of respondents), problem-solving (42% of respondents) and research preparedness (52%) that are difficult to develop in conventional academic programs. Remarkably, 60% of respondents report that the job-readiness training provided by the program is better or much better than traditional work-integrated learning. Our study demonstrates that a cost-effective and scalable alternative to the iGEM competition can improve talent and skills development in BIOSTEM fields.
... It was the heart of scientific management usually employed for the monitoring of past performances of human and material resources. Today, it is recognized as the most simplified and robust tool for connecting project activities and durations [27]. One challenge with the use of Gantt Chart however is that although it can be easily understood by anyone when dealing with small projects, it is quite hectic for projects with more than 30 -40 sequence of activities. ...
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... Using a perfectly randomized experimental design method to examine the impact of the treatment of 9 variations of mixing time on the number of agglomerates that pass through an 18 mesh sieve. Gantt charts are used to simulate the daily production process to determine the length of mixing time which creates the production process with the least idle time (Geraldi & Lechter, 2012;Kumar, 2005;Ong et al., 2016;Seymour & Hussein, 2014). 15 230 384 57 44 149 418 31 16 126 316 38 45 122 362 29 17 137 572 46 46 127 346 46 18 165 398 41 47 139 392 37 19 170 472 37 48 152 507 36 20 224 435 42 49 196 796 42 21 153 528 32 50 178 463 37 22 126 423 32 51 135 383 45 23 120 392 38 52 138 390 41 24 143 374 35 53 125 410 38 25 169 418 31 54 122 492 57 26 161 429 39 55 128 503 31 27 241 387 41 56 200 386 36 28 205 689 37 57 174 378 30 29 145 451 46 58 152 692 32 59 149 400 42 69 127 439 28 60 132 472 35 70 148 533 41 61 147 469 39 71 154 472 44 62 167 451 31 72 112 526 36 63 124 539 42 73 245 400 40 64 183 389 31 74 123 385 35 65 152 389 35 75 133 359 32 66 149 352 30 76 100 493 45 67 142 421 37 77 210 460 43 68 141 376 32 78 135 365 27 Based on the time of the mixing process for material A, the cycle time of each element is obtained. ...
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PT. Benteng Api Technic is a leading refractory company in Indonesia with refractory bricks as one of its superior products. The process of making refractory bricks that will be observed in this study is the process of mixing materials and the molding process. In the mixing process, there are no tools in the form of time indicators to help operators make decisions about the mixing time of ingredients. This research aims to obtain the time for the mixing of materials with maximum mixing quality and to support the press process optimally. The research was conducted using a perfectly randomized experimental design in order to obtain different mixing results based on the nine selected mixing time treatments. Measurement of working time is carried out using the stopwatch time study method on press operators who are experienced in their fields. Calculations to align the two processes using a Gantt chart with idle time as an indicator. The experimental results revealed that the most optimal mixing with a mixing time of 12 minutes resulted in 7.2 kilograms of mass that did not pass through an 18 mesh sieve. Based on the results of the gantt chart, the use of 11 mixing time for material B resulted in the lowest idle time of 178 minutes. The processing time obtained is expected to be used as a guide in determining the time input on the time indicator tool in the process of mixing refractory bricks.
... Thus, the question arises of which approach should be used to manage systemic risk. According to Geraldi and Lechter (2012), Tereso et al. (2019), and White and Fortune (2002), Gantt charts, for example, are a widely used model in practice. However, Gantt charts primarily consider temporal aspects and neglect others. ...
Thesis
The steady advance of digitization is presenting organizations with significant challenges. Not only does it offer opportunities in the form of new business models and optimized business processes, but it also reveals new risks and points of attack, mainly through the increased use and storage of personal data. Organizations must, therefore, always ensure an adequate level of IT security and data security. Overall, this leads to a sharp increase in IT projects, which organizations have to manage individually and across the board as part of an IT project portfolio. However, since IT projects are generally not independent of each other, organizations must also manage these dependencies. These interdependencies mean that in such IT project portfolios, systemic risks must also be considered in addition to project-specific risks. Research and practice already know a few such systemic risk measures. However, not all of them are equally suitable for every organization. Therefore, the organizations must select suitable systemic risk measures based on the available data and the preferred target dimension. This doctoral thesis aims to sensitize organizations to the interdependence of digitization and IT security and the resulting implications for managing systemic risks in IT project portfolios and to identify possible solutions. I mainly based this thesis on five research articles, which provide deeper insights into individual aspects of the topics covered in this thesis.
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