In this paper, an overview is given of the project data instances available in the literature to carry out academic research in the field of integrated project management and control. This research field aims at integrating static planning methods and risk analyses with dynamic project control methodologies using the state-of-the-art knowledge from literature and the best practices from the professional project management discipline. Various subtopics of this challenging discipline have been investigated from different angles, each time using project data available in literature, obtained from project data generators or based on a sample of empirical case studies. This paper gives an overall overview of the wide variety of project data that are available and are used in various research publications. It will be shown how the combination of artificial data and empirical data leads to improved knowledge on and deeper insights into the structure and characteristics of projects useful for academic research and professional use. While the artificial data can be best used to test novel ideas under a strict design in a controlled academic environment, empirical data can serve as the necessary validation step to translate the academic research results into practical ideas, aiming at narrowing the bridge between the theoretical knowledge and practical relevance.
This manuscript gives a brief overview of three sets of experiments in the classroom with students following a Project Management (PM) course module using a blended learning approach. The impact of communication on the student performance using business games as well as the advantages of the use of integrative case studies and their impact on the learning experience of these students are tested. The performance of students is measured by their quantitative output on the business game or case exercise, while their learning experience is measured by the student evaluations. The experiments have been carried out on a sample of students with a different background, ranging from university students with or without a strong quantitative background but no practical experience, to MBA students at business schools and PM professionals participating in a PM training. The results have been presented at an international workshop on computer supported education in Lisbon (Portugal) in 2015 and details have been published in Vanhoucke and Wauters (2015).
Financial statements vary between industries. Therefore, economic intuition suggests that industry effects should be an important component in bankruptcy prediction, however, in previous academic literature on default prediction, not much attention has been paid to these effects. In this study a number of questions concerning credit risk modelling of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and industry are answered.
The resource-constrained project-scheduling problem with discounted cash flows is studied. Each activity of this resource-constrained project-scheduling problem has certain resource requirements and a known deterministic cash flow that can be either positive or negative. Deterministic cash flows are assumed to occur over the duration of the activities. Progress payments and cash outflows occur at the completion of activities. The objective is to schedule the activities subject to a fixed deadline to maximize the net present value subject to the precedence and resource constraints. With these features the financial aspects of project management are taken into account. A depth-first branch-and-bound algorithm that makes use of extra precedence relations is introduced to resolve a number of resource conflicts and a fast recursive search algorithm for the max-npv problem to compute upper bounds. The recursive search algorithm exploits the idea that positive cash flows should be scheduled as early as possible while negative cash flows should be scheduled as late as possible within the precedence constraints. The procedure has been coded in Visual C++, Version 4.0 under Windows NT, and has been validated on two problem sets.
Vanacker, Laura; Van Raemdonck, Olivier; Servranckx, Tom; Vanhoucke, Mario (JMPM - Mundo Press, 2018)
In small and medium enterprises, resources from within the company are often used to fulfill small-scale projects. This paper discusses the influence of project resource allocation on the operational workflow of small and medium enterprises based on a case study. More precisely, the capacity of certain business operations will be lowered due to the allocation of scarce resources to projects. Subsequently, this might result in a temporarily lower throughput in the business processes and thus a potential loss of profitability. As a result, project scheduling and resource management have a clear impact on the planning and execution of the daily operations. In case that the deterministic estimates of project durations and costs are used, without accounting for risk and uncertainty, project delays are highly likely. Given the relation between project and business resource allocation, project delays might lead to difficulties in meeting targets in the daily operations. This paper presents an approach to incorporate the above effect in the decision-making process of portfolio management, i.e. the choice to initiate a project given the negative impact on the business processes. The decision-making process that results from this fundamental trade-off is demonstrated using a real-life project, which could provide valuable insights to project managers in small and medium enterprises.
This paper is an invited request to describe the main research challenges in the domain of resource-constrained project scheduling. The paper is split up in three parts. In today’s challenges, research endeavors that have received a significant, but still not enough, attention have been described. In tomorrow’s research challenges, some promising research avenues for future research have been given. Finally, in yesterday’s challenge, a research topic that started decades ago, is said to have still a huge potential in tomorrow’s research agenda. This paper does not intend to give a full literature overview, nor a summary of all possible research paths. Instead, it is inspired from the author’s experience in academic research and practical consultancy and it serves as a personal opinion on a non-exhaustive set of promising research avenues, rather than giving a full literature-based advice for future research directions.
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