Young Researcher Winners

This IPMA Young Researcher Award is managed in partnership between IPMA Young Crew and the IPMA Awards Board. On this page we celebrate the winners, from 2007-2016!


IPMA Young Researcher Award Winner 2016

Maxim MiterevPhoto_miterev

Maxim Miterev was awarded the IPMA Young Researcher Award 2016 for his research“Exploring program management competences for various program types”. The aim of the research was to empirically explore how various program management competences are associated with successful program management. The research results have been published in the International Journal of Project Management.

The study challenges the implicit ‘one-size-fits-all’ assumption that dominates mainstream program management competence literature. Findings from case studies of ten programs executed in a large pharmaceutical company suggest that different programs require managers to utilize different competences. In addition, the findings highlight program content as a significant contingency variable for understanding program management dynamics. Overall, the study contributes to the emerging contingency stream within program management literature.

To synthesize the findings, the study puts forward the 3C model that connects three distinct competence profiles (i.e. Coordinator, Commander, and Convincer) to three program types of a popular program typology. The resulting conceptual framework details specific management competences for each profile and could be applied to appointment decisions, staff assessments and organizational development.

The research was a part of a PhD program. Maxim is a double-degree PhD Candidate in the Department of Industrial Economics and Management at KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden) and the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering at Politecnico di Milano (Italy). The PhD project is a part of the EMJD Programme European Doctorate in Industrial Management (EDIM) funded by the European Commission, Erasmus Mundus Action 1.

Prior to joining academia, Maxim had been working as a management consultant both with Roland Berger Strategy Consultants GmbH and independently, as well as assumed various analytical and managerial positions at Strategy departments and PMOs across a range of industries. He holds a triple MSc with distinction in Strategic Project Management (European) from Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh, UK), MIP – Politecnico di Milano (Milan, Italy) and Umeå University (Umeå, Sweden) and an MSc cum laude in Applied Mathematics and Physics from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (State University).

Video “Exploring program management competences for various program types” by Maxim Miterev


IPMA Young Researcher Award Winner 2015

Anna Hulda

Anna HuldaAnna Hulda Olafsdottir was awarded the IPMA Young Researcher award 2015 for her research “A system dynamic approach to quality management in the construction industry”.

In the research system dynamics are applied to evaluate aspects of a quality management in the construction industry. The main research questions covered are the following: 1) What variables are necessary to form a dynamic model of quality management in the construction industry? 2) How can the concept of an active quality management system be defined in relation to the construction industry? 3) What is the value of stakeholder GMB approach to form a causal loop diagrams in a messy non-corporative problem? 4) Can a system dynamic model be used to assist policy making for capital investments in a quality management system?

Results were reached with a three layered study, i.e. with a quantitative background study in the Icelandic construction industry, with a stakeholder group model building sessions with highly influential stakeholders and with a case study of a construction project in Iceland. The core model was created in the second layer, in the GMB sessions. It was then adapted and illustrated with a case study of a construction work in Iceland. The model was used to assess the benefits of processes related to the quality management system.

The research was funded by the Research center for Engineering Management Science at the Engineering Research Institution, a research unit within the School of Engineering and Natural Science at the University of Iceland.


IPMA Young Researcher Award Winner 2014aw_ning yan
Ning Yan

Dr. Ning Yan was awarded the IPMA Young Researcher Award 2014 for his research “Boosting public construction project outcomes through relational transactions.” Drawing upon the Relational Contracts theory and the theory of Network Embeddedness, this research aimed to investigate whether the relational transactions lead to better performance in public construction projects. A two-pronged research design (i.e., questionnaire-survey and interviews) was applied.

The results found that public projects do benefit from relational transactions. The results also showed that relational transactions give rise to better relationships; good relationships further contribute to project outcomes. This research contributes to the knowledge by integrating Relational Contracts Theory and Network Embeddedness Theory into a new framework and testing it empirically. The newly created model explains associations between relational transactions, project outcomes and relationship quality in public projects. The findings could inform project management professionals that besides formal controls, relational transactions may also be a possible strategy to improve public project outcomes.

The research was a part of his Ph.D. study undertaken at the National University of Singapore. The research was funded by the Singapore Ministry of Education’s Academic Research Fund Tier 2 funding.


IPMA Young Researcher Award Winner 2013aw_Muhammad_Ehsan_Khan
Muhammad Ehsan Khan

Dr. Muhammad Ehsan Khan PgMP, PMP is a pracademic and consultant. Ehsan was selected as the Valedictorian\Major de Promotion at the graduation event of PhD in Strategy, Programme and Project Management at SKEMA Business School, France. He is awarded the IPMA Outstanding Research Contribution of a Young Researcher 2013 for his research on “Relationship between Project Attributes, Project Performance and Project Governance Dimensions – A Project Governor Perspective”.

The results of his research study show that certain project attributes, i.e. project strategic value and project uncertainty, have an influence on project governance dimensions. These attributes should be considered while designing the governance frameworks. As the project attributes change during the course of the project, the project governance framework should be re-evaluated and revised if it is not aligned with the project attributes. Along with this the overall project performance and its underlying dimensions, i.e. meeting constraints and stakeholder expectations, meeting design goals and expectations, and adherence to process, have an influence on project governance dimensions. As the project performance changes during the course of the project, the project governance framework should be re-evaluated and revised. This will ensure that an economical, effective and efficient governance framework is in place during the course of the project, which will result in improved project results.

Outstanding Research Contributions by Young Researchers 2013aw_Solvita_Berzisa
Solvita Berzisa

Dr. Solvita Berzisa is awarded the IPMA Outstanding Research Contribution by a Young Researcher 2013 for her research on “Application of Knowledge and Best Practices in Configuration of Project Management Information System”. The objective of her research was to automate configuration of PMIS (Project Management Information Systems) according to the specific project management requirements. These requirements depend upon given project management circumstances and methodologies used in project planning and execution. The automated configuration approach developed includes: the standardized definition of the PMIS configuration requirements; application of the best practices and project management knowledge during identification of the appropriate PMIS configuration; and automated setup of project management software.

The PMIS configuration result is a project management system adapted to the needs of the particular project and project team. That improves PMIS usability, data quality, process execution efficiency and PMIS acceptance among the stakeholders. These characteristics significantly contribute to efficient project planning and control and decision-making, and successful project completion. The research findings were validated using empirical project management data from Latvian software development companies.

The research was a part of her PhD thesis elaborated at the Department of Management Information Technology, Riga Technical University, Latvia. Currently, she is a lecturer at the Riga Technical University and also works as an IT project manager at the software development company Exigen Services Latvia.

Outstanding Research Contributions by Young Researchers 2013aw_Sabin_Srivannaboon
Srivannaboon Sabin

Dr. Srivannaboon Sabin, Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, is awarded the IPMA Outstanding Research Contribution of a Young Researcher 2013 for his research on “Linking Project Management to Business Strategy”.

His research findings and contributions focus on the alignment between project management and business strategy, an area in which little is known and new perspectives are needed. This research project has resulted in a series of publications whose purpose is to help organizations better understand how to effectively and efficiently manage projects to achieve overall business strategies. It addresses the strategic aspect of projects by focusing on how to ensure the quality of such alignment throughout the project life cycle, including the adaptation of appropriate project management styles to different types of business strategy and the continuous process of the alignment/ re-alignment, in order to deliver overall values based on the organization’s competitive advantages and the rapidly changing market environments.


aw_Research-Winners2012_Neil_Turner_bigIPMA Young Researcher Award Winner 2012
Neil Turner

Dr. Neil Turner, Cranfield University, UK, is awarded the IPMA Young Researcher Award 2012 for his research in “The management of ambidexterity – an intellectual capital perspective “. His work addressed a managerial problem (how to manage knowledge and learning), and a theoretical one (how to conceptualize ambidexterity-in-action). For practitioners, its objective was greater understanding of an increasingly ‘hot topic’. For theory, it joins an existing conversation taking place in the organisational studies and management learning literatures.

The first stage involved interviewing project managers in a large IT-services company to identify how they used their skills and knowledge (operationalized in terms of intellectual capital elements). The second stage used 8 case studies in different business units of the company to investigate the practices by which managers in projects support the orchestration of ambidexterity. The findings showed multiple, complicated, forms of knowledge interaction at the individual, group and process level. Additionally, the cases showed different configurations of ambidextrous operation, and key managerial practices that enable ambidexterity at the project level.

aw_Research-Winners20122_Unger-Barbara_bigOutstanding Research Contributions by Young Researchers 2012
Barbara Natalie Unger

Dr. Barbara Natalie Unger was awarded the IPMA Outstanding Research Contribution by a Young Researcher 2012 for her research on “Towards a theory of project portfolio governance: Three key elements of project portfolio steering”. The aim of her research was to investigate steering mechanisms for project portfolios and to contribute towards a theory of project portfolio governance. Despite the acknowledged importance of standard processes, procedures and actors in managing project portfolios, the steering/process-perspective had been neglected in previous governance-related research.

In her research she focused on three key steering elements: (1) senior management involvement, (2) strategic project management offices and (3) process formalization. This research was part of Barbara’s PhD at the Chair of Technology and Innovation Management, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany. Her doctoral studies were partial funded by a Doctoral Research Grant of Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF).

aw_Research-Winners2012_lavagnon-ika-_bigOutstanding Research Contributions by Young Researchers 2012
Lavagnon Ika

Prof. Lavagnon Ika, PhD, Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa, Canada, is awarded the IPMA Outstanding Research Contribution of a Young Researcher 2012 for his research on “Project Success Factors and Dimensions in The International Development Field: The Perspectives of World Bank Project Supervisors and Managers”.

The research proffers that project practitioners in any industrial sector have a lot to learn from other sectors, and that they may take advantage of the power of benchmarking for success. It also lays the foundation for a reciprocal contribution between the fields of Project Management and International Development.

aw_Research-Winners2012_Robert-Muir_bigOutstanding Research Contributions by Young Researchers 2012
Robert Muir

Prof. Robert Muir, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA, is awarded the IPMA Outstanding Research Contribution of a Young Researchers 2012 for his research on “The Highway Project Performance (HPP) Study” examined empirical data collected from 65 projects completed by 10 public highway agencies across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States.

The research process and findings provide the motivation for fundamental change within highway agencies to reduce the risk of duration escalation and present the necessary tools with which to implement a formalized risk management program. It also illustrates the importance of trust and communication as enablers of positive project performance.

Outstanding Research Contributions by Young Researchers 2012
Karel de Bakker

Dr. Karel de Bakker, PBLQ Het Expertise Centrum, The Hague, The Netherlands, is awarded the IPMA Outstanding Research Contribution of a Young Researcher 2012 for his research on “Dialogue on Risk – Effects of Project Risk Management on Project Success”

Does project risk management contribute to project success; more specifically to success in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation projects? The answer is provided in the PhD thesis “Dialogue on Risk – Effects of Project Risk Management on Project Success” by conducting a combination of literature investigation, case studies and an experiment.


IPMA Young Researcher Award Winner 2011
Mehmood Alam

Dr Mehmood Alam was awarded the IPMA Young Researcher Award 2011
for his research in “Benefit Metrics of Project Management Professional Development”. The aim of this research project was to assess the value of professional development programmes to the effectiveness, efficiency and profitability of recipient organisations. Being typical of an MSc provision in the UK, the research empirically examined the effectiveness of the case study modular distance learning programme: The Project Management Professional Development Programme (PMPDP). It is an academic-industrial collaboration between The University of Manchester and Rolls-Royce, AMEC, Goodrich and EDS with some guest organisations also. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative research instruments, five interrelated research studies were undertaken; each investigating different elements of the case study programme (PMPDP) in light of the Phillips (2003) Return on Investment (ROI) model. The research project was part of his PhD. Today, Mehmood is a Project Manager at AMEC United Kingdom and also a Research Fellow at The University of Manchester.

The main findings of the research “Benefit Metrics of Project Management Professional Development” show the following: CPD programmes are likely to develop professional students into more knowledgeable employees able to initiate changes in their work behaviours. Knowledge gained from such programmes is reasonably well applied in the work environment, benefiting the companies. Evidence is provided that suggests direct improvements in the individual job performance of employees from the case study programme. Some positive effects of CPD programmes similar to PMPDP are apparent in business and corporate performances as well. The research explored a variety of benefits to individuals, projects, business units and possibly corporate level. It was concluded that most of the benefits from the activities of education and training are intangible and central to individuals that lead to tangible as well as intangible improvements in project/ business unit and/ or corporate performance.

The research establishes the widely debated link between investment in project management education and benefits to individuals, projects, business units and the corporate level. It adds value to the field of project management by exploring the concept of Benefit Metrics towards evaluation of CPD programmes. It tests the viability of Phillips (2003) ROI model and explores a new CPD evaluation model, encompassing the capability to measure both the ROI (Return on Investment) and ROV (Return on Value). It explores factors that influence organisational performance and adds value to the body of knowledge by exploring the PM skills considered essential by project professionals. University education in project management is subject to critical debate by many researchers for placing greater emphasis on hard skills only. The research project contributes to management learning and education theory by contradicting to this claim. The overriding success of this research is the pathway that equates investment with the return on value from professional development programmes.

Outstanding Research Contributions by Young Researchers 2011
Kirsi Aaaltonen

Kirsi Aaltonen was awarded the IPMA Outstanding Research Contribution
2011 for her research on “Stakeholder management in international projects”. The objective of the research was to explore external project stakeholder behavior and a focal project’s stakeholder management activities in the context of multi-firm international projects that are implemented in challenging institutional environments. Despite the acknowledged importance of stakeholder management, project research
still lacks both theoretical knowledge and empirical evidence concerning various project stakeholder related phenomena. The research was part of Kirsi Aaltonen’s PhD undertaken at the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Aalto University School of Science, Finland. Today, Kirsi holds a position as senior lecturer and researcher in Project Business Research Group at Aalto University, Finland.

The research on “Stakeholder management in international projects”. analyzed how external stakeholders try to influence the project and how a focal project may try to manage these influences in diverse international project cases. As a result of the research different stakeholder influence strategies that external stakeholders may use to increase their salience were identified and described. Furthermore, propositions concerning external stakeholders’ potential to take action and influence the project management’s decision making during the different phases of the project lifecycle were developed. The research also identified and analyzed in-depth different stakeholder analysis practices and response strategies that focal projects may employ with respect to external stakeholder influences. Finally, the results illustrate how a focal project’s local stakeholder relationships are associated with the emergence and management of unexpected events.

The findings of the research project highlight the importance of external stakeholder management in international projects. Ultimately, the new knowledge of external stakeholders’ influence strategies and better understanding of how a focal project can deal with stakeholder influences, supports project managers in the development of effective project stakeholder management approaches.

Outstanding Research Contributions by Young Researchers 2011
Rene Bakker

Rene Bakker was awarded the IPMA Outstanding Research Contribution
by a Young Researcher 2011 for his research on Time and Learning in
inter-organizational projects. The overarching theme behind the 3,5 year research project was to contribute to the ongoing development of project management (PM) as a scholarly discipline by linking PM to the field of organization science. Within this broad theme, the specific objectives were to:
1) Bolster the theoretical base of project management by building on theories in organization science with a particular emphasis on how organizations learn and develop through projects over time;
2) Disseminate the findings from the research in both specialist project management journals and mainstream organization science journals, and both project management conferences and mainstream management conferences;
3) Undertake a large scale multi-method study of project-based learning that established linkages between PM and the more mature field of organization science and general management.

Research Question, Approach and Findings of Study research on “Time and Learning in inter-organizational projects”. The main question that drove the focal research project was: how do organizations learn and evolve through projects? And to what extent do these processes differ between different kinds of project contexts? Using a multi-method approach, we first analyzed an original sample of 1,500 small and medium size enterprises with a latent class clustering analysis to empirically develop a taxonomy of different types of inter-firm projects. Second, by means of in-depth comparative case study of actual projects in each of the configurations, we studied and compared the specific learning mechanisms that emerged in each type.

Taken together, the findings offer a novel perspective on theories of project-based learning by 1) pinpointing the specific project contexts in which learning mechanisms like experience accumulation, knowledge articulation, and knowledge codification are more or less effective for small firms, and 2) by calling attention to emergent situated learning processes, namely unintended learning, insulating and knowledge leakage. Drawing on evolutionary economics, the research project starts to question the uniform, deliberate and pro-active nature of project-based learning that has been central to theory development thus far.

Outstanding Research Contributions by Young Researchers 2011
Jingting Shao

Jingting Shao was awarded the IPMA Outstanding Research Contribution
of a Young Researchers 2011 for her research impact of program managers’ leadership competences on program success and its moderation through program context. The aim of the research is to investigate the relationship between the program managers’ leadership competences and program success and how program context influences the relationship. The research was part of her PhD, which she earned at Northwestern Polytechnical University (China) in Management Science and Engineering and SKEMA Business School (Lille, France) in Strategy, Programme and Project Management. She previously earned her master degree at Northwestern Polytechnical University.

To achieve the research aim, the measurement constructs of program context and program success had to be developed first. So the achievements of the research mainly lie in two parts: a) operationalization of program context and program success; b) testing the relationship between the three variables: leadership competences, program context and program success. She found that the program managers’ leadership competences, in terms of their intelligence competence (IQ), managerial competence (MQ) and emotional competence (EQ), are positively correlated with program success, and program context positively moderates the relationships between IQ/MQ and program success, but not EQ and program success, which implies that EQ is a pre-requisite for the role of program managers. Based on these results, she developed a leadership competence based theory of program success, which enriches the project management success school and leadership competency theory.

The practical implications of the research mainly lie in two parts: a) it can help program managers develop required leadership competences, and shaping appropriate program context in order to achieve program success; b) it can help senior managers to choose appropriate program managers, and facilitate a favourable program context for program success.

Outstanding Research Contributions by Young Researchers 2011
Daniel Jonas

Daniel Jonas was awarded the IPMA Outstanding Research Contribution
of a Young Researcher 2011 for his research “Project Portfolio Management – Management Involvement and Performance of Multiple-Project Organizations”. The objective of his research project was to explore the performance impact of the interplay between the different managerial roles involved in the portfolio management process on portfolio success. The overall thread through the research framework consists of coping with the involvement by the different management roles, their potential tensions and resistance that might appear due to the change from a ‘line supported by projects’ towards a ‘projects supported by line’ organization. The research was part of Daniel’s PhD at the Chair of Technology and Innovation Management, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany. Today, Daniel is a post-doctoral researcher at the Technische Universität Berlin, where he investigates the challenges and success factors of managing complex project landscapes.

In particular, this research defines and empirically tests the focal constructs in project portfolio management that describe the management system as a whole. It further analyses how the managerial activities and the degree of middle management involvement relate to each other in their influence on project portfolio success. It finally describes how the quality of the portfolio management process impacts success. The research framework was tested based on scientific methods and building a longitudinal sample of quantitative data from more than 250 companies across several industries. The project was supposed to be framed as a benchmarking study in order to deliver valuable outcome for both scholars and practitioners.

Results stress that project portfolio management is first of all a mutually collaborative process. It is not assumed to be successful when dominated by a single managerial role; rather, it requires high role clarity, cooperation across multiple managerial roles, and horizontal and vertical organizational integration. Altogether, the research project imply the importance of WHAT is done by projects, but also WHO is doing it and to what overall quality it is done during the process of project portfolio management.


IPMA Young Research Award Winner 2010
Alexander Kock

Alexander Kock was awarded the IPMA Young Researcher Award 2010 for his research “Innovativeness and Innovation Success”. The objective of the research project was to explore the performance impact of the innovativeness of new product development (NPD) projects. In particular, this research investigated how different dimensions of project success are affected by the interplay of different innovativeness dimensions (such as technological, market, organizational, and environmental innovativeness). The research framework was tested using a quantitative meta-analysis of existing literature and a quantitative longtitudinal study of NPD projects.

Results suggest that process and structural changes in the organization and its environment are notoriously underestimated and present the biggest implementation barriers. Therefore, a continuous assessment of innovativeness at the beginning and during the development process helps to address possible implementation barriers early-on. Pursuing projects with high innovativeness for its own sake should be avoided because risk and complexity will increase disproportionately. Rather, portfolio managers should try to strike the right balance when selecting new product proposals in order to achieve a risk-optimized project portfolio. Further, managers should not set operational goals too narrowly for more innovative projects because it might lead to rejection or termination of innovative projects that otherwise could have led to successful new products.

The research was part of his PhD at the Chair of Technology and Innovation Management, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany. Today, Alexander is a post-doctoral researcher at the Technische Universität Berlin, where he investigates the challenges and success factors of managing complex project landscapes and innovation systems.

IPMA Outstanding Research Contribution 2010
Mladen Vukomanovic

Mladen Vukomanović is a research and teaching assistant at University of Zagreb, Faculty of Civil Engineering. He was involved in two research projects which have resulted in circa 30 publications, among which one is a text book. He has participated in many international conferences and has held three keynote speeches. He leads an IT project for developing software for construction management: GALA and a research project: Business Excellence in the Construction Industry in Croatia. From 2009 he obtains the function of the managing editor of international scientific journal: Organization, Management and Technology on Construction.

This research has, for the first time, integrated EFQM Excellence model and the Balanced Scorecard into one integral framework. The framework helps companies in evaluating competitive surroundings, finding the best practice, defining areas of improvement; selecting strategy aligned KPIs, communicating KPIs to lower levels and initiating strategic control. These features have been found extremely important for fast changing environments (especially during the recession period) and represent a new concept in managing organizations. Although the research results (gained from 34 middle and large construction companies) have justified original EFQM presumptions (criteria weights), they also have identified areas that need some further improvement (in Consultant and Investor type organizations). This represents a step forward because whilst in previous studies EFQM was validated only through semi-structured surveys (or similar methods), this research validated the EFQM model through EFQM self-assessment results of the construction industry in South East Europe. The awarded research was a part of Mladen’s PhD studies at University of Zagreb, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Croatia.

IPMA Outstanding Research Contribution 2010
Jürgen Staadt

Jürgen Staadt was awarded the IPMA Outstanding Research Contribution for his research on “Redesigning a project-oriented organization using complex systems perspective and soft systems methodology approach” which was part of his PhD undertaken at the Skema Business School, France. The research was aimed at understanding the problematic situation of a public housing provider so as to be able to constantly adapt and learn in an ever growing complexity. The results reveal that the activation of the learning cycle is feasible as well as desirable but jeopardized by politics and power.

This emphasises the need for leaders in the public domain to better understand social systems as well as their behaviour which calls for some kind of adaptation within the educational system. The results also demonstrate that the discipline of project management should further develop towards an equal appreciation of hard as well as soft systems thinking which emphasises a critical systems thinking approach. The research project was managed by means of three different research phases whereby each part of the process was informed by the analysis of the preceding one, thus creating a documented learning process.

IPMA Outstanding Research Contribution 2010
Can Ersen Fırat

Can Ersen Fırat was awarded the IPMA Young Researcher Award 2010 for his research on”Advanced Line of Balance (ALoB) in model-based scheduling in residential building projects.” The objective of the research project was to find out how a location-based scheduling technique such as Advanced Line of Balance (ALoB) can be used as a scheduling method in model-based master scheduling in building construction. “Model-based” scheduling is a computer aided scheduling technique that automatically processes information retrieved from information models and creates a dynamic scheduling platform. Model-based master scheduling can be performed by integrating Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Advanced Line of Balance (ALoB) with the input of an interactive planner. Hence, this project addresses the use of a scheduling technique i.e., a location-based scheduling such as Advanced Line of Balance (ALoB). The primary objective is to introduce a methodology that can be used to set up the master schedule of a residential building project based on a building information model and to refine this master schedule such that it satisfies the conditions in a particular project. The proposed methodology involves setting up a “model-based” schedule by using Advanced Line of Balance (ALoB) and using historical company specific data to adjust it. It is also aimed to investigate the relationship between 4D modeling and model-based scheduling.

This research was part of the doctorate work of the corresponding young researcher undertaken at the Department of Structural Engineering and Building Technology in Construction Management and Economics (Aalto/CME) unit, Aalto University School of Science and Technology, Helsinki, Finland. The title of the research work is “Novel model-based (master) scheduling in building projects”. Today, Ersen holds a position as a reseacrher in CME at Aalto University, Finland.

There is a need for more profound research investigating ways to minimize planner’s input into the first draft master schedule. Attempts to automate schedule has recently been in the agenda of some researchers and increasing interest from the industry has been observed. However, what is missing is a clarified and abstract representation i.e., process model of the scheduling itself. Project managers exert only limited control over the quality of work schedules. However, a semi-automated model-based master schedule that is adjusted by project manager input can be a viable alternative to existing practice. Human and computer model interaction can be used to form a scheduling culture that makes use of a master schedule adjusted later by a project manager. Hence the results of this research enhances project management by creating an effective planning discipline based on information technology tools and pushes construction project management into a revolutionary professional platform that combines IT and experience. Decision making in construction project management is expected to improve tremendously in terms of quality and speed through the combination of innovative project management skills and IT tools.

This research is excellent because the results address the growing interest towards location-based scheduling in Europe and the U.S. as well as integrating location-based scheduling with current state-of-the-art in 4D modeling and BIM. The research is also valuable because it is a joint collaboration between a Finnish and a U.S. university, supervised by two pioneer professors in the field of location-based scheduling i.e., Prof. Juhani Kiiras of Aalto University School of Science and Technology in Helsinki and Prof. David Arditi of Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. It is also (co-)supervised by Dr. Kalle Kähkönen from VTT, Technical Research Centre of Finland. This research has significant practical implications since it is supported by Skanska, one of the biggest contractors in the world. The research results are consistently tested in Skanska’s production processes. Because the primary objective of this research is to improve process models, the results address one of the biggest gap in production in construction.


IPMA Young Research Award Winner 2009
Karin Bredin

Karin Bredin was awarded the IPMA Young Researcher Award 2009 for her research on “Human Resource Management in Project-Based Organisations”. The objective of the research project was to explore the challenges and changes for human resource management (HRM) in project-based organisations and, based on that, to suggest how HRM in project-based organisations can be conceptualised and analysed.

This research gives insights into an important aspect of project-based organising and project management that many practitioners are aware of and struggle with in their every-day work. However, very few companies have emphasised the need to adapt people management systems to the project-based setting, and there is still quite little research that can give them tools and inspiration for how this adaptation can be made.

This research project indicates important challenges that project-intensive organisations need to be aware of. Moreover it highlights changes in traditional role structures that is related to the increased use of project-based structures, and it develops a theoretical framework for ‘People Capability’ in project-based organisations, which could inspire companies to identify important HR roles on an operative level and analyse their opportunities to contribute to improved people management systems and improved HRM.

The research was part of her PhD undertaken at the Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, Sweden. Today, Karin holds a position as Assistant Professor in Business Administration at Linköping University, Sweden.

IPMA Outstanding Research Contribution 2009
Edivandro Carlos Conforto

Edivandro Carlos Conforto was awarded the IPMA Young Research Honour 2009 for research on “Development of an agile project management method applied to product development in small technology-based companies”. The research was a part of his master sponsored by FAPESP undertaken in project management applied to new product development at São Carlos Engineering School, University of São Paulo.

The research project comprised the development of an agile project management method to be applied in innovative and complex product development projects carried out in technology-based companies. Research achievements demonstrated the applicability of some principles explored on Agile Project Management (APM) theory and also provided practical relevance to the companies under study. From the theory perspective this research advanced the investigation of agile project management principles and practices by presenting empirical results of their application on product development projects in turbulent and dynamic project environment.

IPMA Outstanding Research Contribution 2009
Olga Perminova

Olga Perminova (M. Sc.) is a researcher at PBI – Research Institute for Project Based Industry ( Her areas of expertise include project management, specifically risk and uncertainty management; insurance, foreign economic relations. The awarded research project is “A study of risk, opportunity and uncertainty management practices at the warranty phase of industrial projects” with the aim to investigate how risks, opportunities and uncertainty are understood and managed during the warranty period using the example of 20 projects delivered by one global industrial solution provider.

The results of this research indicate that managing uncertainty in all project phases, including warranty, has a significant impact on the performance of project-based companies both in financial terms and in terms of customer satisfaction. This study explained the differences between risks, opportunities and uncertainty and justified the practical relevance of such differences. In addition to showing the elements affecting uncertainty, an uncertainty management process has been developed and tested in industrial projects of the supplier.
The practical relevance of the research is justified by the fact that the results of this research project (the tool and the process of uncertainty management) are being implemented by the solution provider that participated in the study. The awarded research was a part of Olga’s PhD studies at Åbo Akademi University, Laboratory of Industrial Management, Finland.


IPMA Young Research Award Winner 2008
Joana Giraldi

Joana G. Geraldi was awarded the IPMA Young Researcher Award 2008 for research on “Reconciling Order and Chaos in Multi-Project Firms”. The research project was aimed at understanding how multi-project firms reconcile order (control, efficiency, standardisation of tools and processes, reliability) and chaos (creativity, innovation, flexibility to adapt to contingencies in projects). The research developed a framework to identify potential issues in the organizational design of companies, and ascertain key dynamics that lead companies away and towards a reconciliation of order and chaos.

The research was part of her PhD undertaken in the Management Internationaler Projekte, University of Siegen, Germany. Today, Joana is at the International Centre for Programme Management, in Cranfield School of Management, UK.


IPMA Young Research Award Winner 2007
Eva Füssinger

Eva Füssinger is awarded for project orientation [Austria], a research project with the aim to analyze and benchmark project-oriented companies in Austria. The project-oriented nation Austria was analyzed and strategies for the further development of Austria were developed.

The research project was part of the research programme project orientation [international] and was conducted by the Projektmanagement Group, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Austria.


IPMA Outstanding Research Contribution of Young Researchers 2007
Johanna Kirsilä

Johanna Kirsilä, Åbo Akademi University and PBI Research Institute for Project-Based Industry, Finland is honoured with the IPMA Outstanding Research Contribution of a Young Researcher 2007 for her research “Integration as a project management concept”.

The research analyzed integration as a project management concept in industrial system deliveries. Attention was given to the aspect of integrating products and services as a functional whole, i.e. as a solution, by emphasizing “how” the integration is managed and carried out in different phases of a project life-cycle. Large engineering and high capital delivery projects constituted the context of this research. Download research description (pdf).

IPMA Outstanding Research Contribution of Young Researchers 2007
Daan Vermeer

Daan Vermeer, Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of Architecture, Building and Planning, the Netherlands is honoured with the IPMA Outstanding Research Contribution of a Young Researcher 2007 for his research: “The effectiveness of performance requirements in ‘Building Schools for the Future’ projects”.

This research discusses a perceived lack of clarity by private sector organisations over the definition of Best Value for Money and Long-term Partnerships in relation to the performance requirements in the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme in England. Two research objectives are formulated in relation to private sector organisations.