Aims and Objectives: The primary aim of this research is to explore how project managers and teams deal with changes and new technologies occurring during the project execution phase. Many projects are implemented following a plan where such basic aspects as time, costs, and actions are predetermined and scheduled. However, uncertainty is also a key characteristic of project management and execution, which means that some changes have to occur, either in the project scope or requirements. Technologies also affect the project execution in a similar manner where emerging technologies may need to be integrated either as a new project requirement or a facilitator of project completion. The research explores both the effects of these elements and how they are implemented in an ongoing project.
Methods: The research is qualitative in nature, which means textual and no-numerical data will be collected and analyzed. As a qualitative study, the primary focus is to explore the interpretations of the research problem to generate a generalized view of the various constructs. A descriptive research design is also selected because the purpose is to describe phenomena within the field of project management. Therefore, secondary sources of data will be used, which includes credible and peer-reviewed studies addressing the research topic or related aspects that meet the set inclusion criteria.
Findings: The key findings show that the primary effects of both new technologies and changes during project execution are manifested in the project costs and delayed project delivery. The project actions and schedules are also disrupted, which could change the entire outlook of a project. Several control measures are implemented to soften the effects of the disruptions, including scope clarification, confirmation of designs before change approval, and risk management practices.
Conclusion: Managing changes in project management is critical for the success of the project. Changes are inevitable, which means that even the best plans could still need to be revised. The challenge, however, is the major changes that could affect the project scope, requirements, and even the type of activities. The topic of implementing changes and new technologies during project execution still needs to be explored further. Many projects often involve a lot of funds, which means failures and delays could be extremely costly for the project stakeholders.
A large pool of literature has been dedicated to examining issues related to project management. Many issues have been explored, including the definition of terminologies, strategies and processes in project management, and uncertainty and other challenges facing project execution. Project management has been described as a continually evolving process, which requires the application of knowledge, tools, techniques, and skills in the deployment of human and non-human resources to meet project requirements (Ogunde et al., 2017, p. 2). The main aspect of this statement is that project management is dynamic and keeps fluctuating majorly as a result of changing project requirements. A successful project is the one which is able to combine and balances time, money, and tasks (Patil, 2016, p. 6019). These three elements are not constants and are the major areas in which changes can occur.
Many studies have explored the topic of project management challenges. According to Patil (2016, p. 6020-6022), the common issues that derail project completion include undefined goals, impossible deadlines, improper risk management, and changes in project scope. Project execution follows a plan, which has a well-defined scope and a set of deliverables. A change in such aspects can have massive implications on the success and completion of the project. The execution of projects is also bound to the set schedules, which present managers with another key concern. As explained by Sadkowska (2016, p. 144-145), such key aspects as funding and project planning affect the ability of project teams to follow the schedules. All these issues are observed during the project execution phase where the activities planned fail to materialize.
The uncertainty in project management necessitates the project teams to implement effective risk management mechanisms. Such approaches are focused on assessing the risk factors and mitigating them to avoid project failures. The main idea is that projects are often costly and failed undertaking mean huge financial losses. Mitigating risks is seen as a mechanism for preventing huge financial downfalls, especially from large projects. Unexpected disruptions and changes tend to increase the project cost and other key aspects, including delivery time. The main focus of the project team is on making sure that plans are followed and activities proceed as per the timelines. However, changes are inevitable, which means project execution should be flexible enough to accommodate any mandatory deviations from plans. As such, a key question that needs scholarly attention is how project managers can accommodate or implement changes that occur during project implementation.
The study background has expressed that projects and project management are dynamic. Project requirements can change alongside other feature such as scope, which means project teams have to make the necessary adaptations. Therefore, the main question is how changes can be implemented in ongoing projects. The literature on project management challenges expresses changing project scope as a major concern. However, previous studies have paid little attention to how project teams can implement the changes to assure the success and to mitigate other resulting risks, including project costs and schedules. A disruption in one of the key aspects of projects, such as time, budget, and actions, can cause them to stall. Due to the inevitability of the changes, it can be argued that managing such changes should be the real area of interest among researchers.
Another key aspect related to changes in ongoing projects is new technologies. Similar to projects, technology is highly dynamic and volatile, which means that there is a high likelihood of the current technologies being rendered obsolete. Project sponsors would be keen to make sure that the delivered project encompasses the new technologies. However, some of the technological changes can take place during project execution, which also raises the question of how project managers should respond. There is inadequate literature addressing these concerns, which makes the current study both a necessity and a challenge to the researcher.
The purpose of this research is to examine the effects of new technologies on project execution. Additionally, the study will explore the implementation of changes in ongoing projects. Therefore, the two main issues being explored are new technologies and changes. Based on the problem statement presented above, changes have been described as being inevitable, which reflects in the project execution phases. Project managers have to establish the right way to incorporate the deviations from the original plans to accomplish projects. Therefore, the two research questions that will be answered in this exploration are:
- How do projects adapt to changes introduced during project execution?
- How do companies approach the implementation of new technologies during project execution?
- To establish how projects adapt to changes introduced during project execution
- To establish how companies approach the implementation of new technologies during project execution
The second chapter of the research explores the literature available regarding the research subject. The main focus of the chapter is to examine what is currently known about the various concepts and theories, including previous studies and their findings. Key concepts regarding project management will be introduced and briefly described. Uncertainties and changes or change management in the context of project managing provides a basic understanding of the general research topic. The same focus is reflected in the examination of new technologies in project execution. A theoretical and conceptual framework will highlight the interrelationships between the key variables. Lastly, a critique of the literature will detail what previous studies have achieved and express the research gaps that need to be filled.
Project management is growing in importance to business and other organizations. As a field of research, scholars are often interested in aspects such as how projects can be effectively accomplished in light of the high costs and tight deadlines. Other challenges are also of key concern, which makes managing projects a daunting task. The term ‘project management’ has been defined by the Project Management Institute (PMI) as “the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to a broad range of activities to meet the requirements of a particular project” (Dunmade et al., 2018, p. 1). Additionally, PMI highlight 14 key areas that comprise project management: human resource, cost, time, scope, project integration, communications, quality, safety, stakeholder, financial, environmental, procurement, risk, and claim management (Demirkesen and Ozorhon, 2017, p. 1640). Such elements determine the project performance and delivery, which means project managers should plan well for them.
The project management lifecycle is another key terminology, which entails the stages involved in the creation and delivery of a project. Different types of projects can have different stages in their life cycle. As explained by Enshassi, Kochendoerfer, and Al Ghoul (2016, p. 52), construction projects have phases comprising planning and design, construction, facilities management, and decommissioning. The PMI defines five generic phases: project initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and control, and project closure (Eby, 2018). The elements of the project lifecycle tend to define the work to be accomplished, deliverables, stakeholders involved, and the control and approval needed for each phase. In this research, the phases of interest are the planning and execution phases because the former expresses what needs to be accomplished and outlines actions, budget, and timeframe. In the former, the execution means carrying out the plan and dealing with the project uncertainties. In this phase, changes and new technologies, as will be discussed in the sections below, occur which could render the plan ineffective. The costs and activities have to be observed, and any changes have to be examined in terms of their implications on the budget and schedule.
Several other constructs can be discussed within the broader subject of project management. For example, change management and risk management are all efforts undertaken to ensure timely delivery and success of projects. Many projects are commissioned by organizations and could lead to major organizational changes. Incorporation of change management in project management becomes essential as posited by (Alexandrova and Kuzmanova, 2017, p. 204). Change can also be approached from a risk management point of view whereby deviations are considered harmful and mitigation measures are implemented to take the project back on track. Lastly, the construct of technology can also be explored where the effect of technologies on projects or project management can be explored.
Project Uncertainty and Changes
Uncertainty is a defining feature in project management and all other activities involving planning for the future. The description of this concept by Ogunde et al. (2017, p. 2) that project management is an evolving process explains not only the fact that project management is dynamic but also that projects can undergo changes throughout their lifecycle. The problem of uncertainty occurs because of the level of complexity involved, especially for large projects. According to Daniel and Daniel (2018, p. 184), there are two paradigms in project management research: deterministic and non-deterministic. The former is concerned with the efficiency of the project, which means delivering efficient outputs. The latter focuses on project success, meaning accomplishing beneficial project outcomes. In the non-deterministic paradigm, complexity and uncertainty emerge as the key constructs. Complexity can be in many forms, including dynamics, pace, sociopolitical, structural, and uncertainty. The basic idea is that the nature of many projects makes it impossible to account for all elements during the planning phase. Such an anomaly will, therefore, reflect in the execution phase where changes would be necessary for project success.
Project complexity has been widely studied because it is a key contributor to project failures. Cost and time overruns are considered to be major risks associated with projects, which justifies the connection between risk management, uncertainty, and project management. Scholars such as Qazi et al. (2016, p. 1183) have proposed models for critical risk identification to help select the strategies for optimal risk mitigation. Their study can be used to illustrate the high levels of uncertainty and the different approaches for handling the complexity and uncertainty challenges. Change management becomes critical because it is the only way to make sure the project succeeds. An argument can be made that not all changes in a project are detrimental because some may be necessary to improve both the deterministic and non-deterministic paradigms of project efficiency and success respectively. Therefore, managing changes should be intended to examine how the change affects project deliverables to help implement it in a manner that supports the project goals. New methods and technologies represent the best-case scenario where better levels of efficiency and cost-saving are positive changes.
Other changes occurring during project execution can be extremely disruptive and detrimental to both efficiency and the success of the projects. An example of such changes is design alteration, either imposed or voluntary. According to Zadeh et al. (2016, p. 11), the design changes have a critical implication for the project costs and delivery timeliness in contexts such as construction and gas and oil industries. The literature used by Zadeh et al. (2016, p. 11) supports the observation that design-induced rework accounts for an estimated 70% of the total project re-works in engineering and construction projects. The effects of reworks are massive, meaning new planning for additional resources and time, as well as new project activities.
Another aspect regarding uncertainty, complexity, and changes in projects is the change order. A change order can be described as work added from or subtracted from the original scope of work. In the construction industry, change orders have become a common phenomenon, which means that only a few projects are accomplished without a single instance of modification. Researchers such as Alaryan et al. (2014, p. 1) attribute this observation to the fact that the execution phase of the project is handled by multiple parties handling different aspects. Many of the change orders may be a necessity for project success. However, the effects of change order remain similar to those of any other modification, including design changes. The costs and delivery times are also the key areas in which the impacts of change orders are felt. For example, additional work added to a project could mean new tasks, labor and budget requirements, and an alteration of the timeline to accommodate the new aspect. Depending on the source of the change order, it can be expected that cost overruns will be suffered, either by the contractors or the project sponsors.
Technology in Project Execution
Technology is a critical aspect of project management as it is incorporated throughout the entire project lifecycle. The use of technology has been studied, including how technology affects project efficiency and success. However, technology changes during project execution is a novel concept that has received little interest. An attempt to examine the impacts of technological changes on project management has been made by Magaba, Cowden, and Karodia (2014, p. 113) whose focus is on information and communication technology (ICT). The issue of project complexity has been discussed in the previous section, and it is also responsible for determining the extent to which technologies are incorporated into project management. Magers and other stakeholders are expected to communicate and, due to the constant need for information throughout the project lifecycle, easier and more effective technologies are desirable. During project execution, ICTs and other information systems are a necessity. Depending on the nature of the projects, other technologies used for different purposes are also implemented during the planning and execution phases. For example, construction projects may require various software applications in the design and testing activities.
Delivering complex projects necessitates effective management of assets and other allocated resources. The modern period can be labelled as an information era, meaning that all human activities are guided ad facilitated by the use of information. Applied on a large scale, the information yields the concept of big data, which implies the gathering, storage, retrieval, and analysis of large volumes of data. According to Whyte, Stasis, and Lindkvist (2016, p. 339), digital technologies have revolutionized project delivery through the use of mobile hardware, integrated software, and cloud computing. These technologies facilitated the automation of such aspects as data storage and retrieval. Additionally, the hardware and software are used for automated searches, simulation, and prototyping. The use of information is critical in decision-making in project management. Whyte, Stasis, and Lindkvist (2016, p. 339) insist that large projects share one key defining feature: they are capital intensive, high-tech, take long to accomplish, and require collaboration throughout and across firm boundaries. Therefore, effective information systems become a necessity because they determine the efficiency and effectiveness of decision-making.
Technological changes during project execution have not been previously studied, which makes it impossible to examine any related literature. However, it can be assumed new technologies are part of the project uncertainties that can be approached using the relevant change and risk management approaches. Technology projects, however, should be keen on making sure the project deliverables do not include obsolete technologies. In other words, projects involving the development of digital tools could be affected by new and emerging technologies. An assessment of disruptive technologies and their implications for project management should explain the extent to which new and advanced technologies offer better efficiencies and other benefits. Constant updates or scalability become a major feature in such projects. However, these opinions will require empirical backing, as they are only used to illustrate that new technologies can be part of the project changes that need to be managed. Therefore, the effects of new technologies can be similar to the effects of changes in project scope and requirements.
Theoretical and Conceptual Framework
The concept of project management has been defined in the previous sections. The main idea in project management is that all activities involving a project are subject to such management functions as planning, organizing, and controlling. The implementation of projects entails actualizing the blueprints developed during the planning stage. All resources, activities, and the time needed are all outlines. A successful project is delivered on time and within budget constraints. The concepts of uncertainty and project complexity have been used to explain the fact that the future cannot always be accurately forecasted because too many variables are present, and which can change. Besides the resources and timelines, other factors can set in to offset the project plan. For example, construction projects can be affected by unpredicted weather changes or other naturally occurring phenomena. Many aspects can remain unknown during the planning and will emerge during the execution phase. Therefore, project changes will affect those aspects that were planned for, including tasks, costs, and timeline.
New technologies are assumed to have the same effect on project execution as other types of changes. Therefore, a conceptual framework for the relationship between changes and project execution illustrates that new changes mean new project scope and requirements, which then affect such aspects as costs, time, and activities. Additionally, the change in these aspects affects both project efficiency and project success. Management efforts to address the changes can be placed between the changes and outcomes. In such a case, it implies that successful management practices mean success and efficiency are not undermined. Failed change management and related efforts such as risk management will negate both the project efficiency and success.
Critique of Literature
The critique of literature is intended to review the recent research efforts on the subject and to outline the gaps that should be addressed in the proposed research. First, it has been determined that many studies focusing on technology in the context of project management seek to underline how technology is incorporated into the project life cycle. For example, the concept of big data and its necessity in decision-making in complex projects have been studied by Whyte, Stasis, and Lindkvist (2016, p. 339). Even though their study succeeds in explaining the usefulness of information systems in project management, Whyte, Stasis, and Lindkvist (2016, p. 339) have not considered that changes could occur during project implementation, in which case the response by project managers has not been explored. Additionally, the effects of such changes cannot be derived from the findings of their study. Another study focusing on technology ha been presented by Magaba, Cowden, and Karodia (2014, p. 113), whose study links project complexity to ICT. In essence, technological changes remain unexplored despite the fact new disruptive technologies could change the entire course of a project.
However, there have been significant attempts to study changes occurring during project execution. Both the effects and management practices to mitigate the impacts have been explored. For example, Alaryan et al. (2014) explore the causes and effects of change orders in the construction industry, while Zadeh et al. (2016) examine design changes. The effects of the changes, as outlined in these studies, include growing project costs and time delays. Mechanisms to deal with these changes have included improving management competencies as explained by Zadeh et al. (2016). Other aspects include risk and cost management approaches as expressed by Schoonwinkel, Fourie, and Conradie (2016, p. 21). These efforts are, however, inadequate considering that changes in many projects are a common occurrence. Therefore, further scholarly efforts are desired both to inform management practices and to develop the relevant theories regarding the implementation of changes during project execution.
The third chapter of the research discusses how the research is conducted, including describing the methods and techniques used in the collection and analysis of data. The term ‘methodology’ is used to denote the approach used in solving the research problem and answering the study questions (Mishra and Alok, 2017, p. 1). Therefore, this chapter describes the type of research, study design, data collection and analysis, and ethical considerations.
Type of Research
Several types of research have been discussed in the literature, and the nature of the proposed study will determine which type is selected. Among the major categories discussed by Mishra and Alok (2017, p. 2-3) include qualitative versus quantitative, applied versus fundamental, conceptual versus analytical, and descriptive versus analytical. Many of these categorizations can also be described as research designs, some of which will be discussed in the section that follows. The type of research selected by the research is a qualitative study, which focuses on qualitative phenomena such as variety or quality. According to Mohajan (2018, p. 24), qualitative research collects and analyzes non-numerical, which is often intended to interpret meanings derived from the information gathered. Such studies intend to present an understanding of social life by examining the targeted population. Issues faced by particular groups of people are expressed through the opinions of the members, which means that the respondents are the main source of knowledge.
Project management is a topic that has the characteristics of a qualitative study. The research problem and research questions have been expressed qualitatively, meaning that no numerical data will be collected. The information regarding managing changes and implementing new technologies is provided by the respondents involved in such explorations. As will be discussed later, this research used secondary sources of data, which means previous studies and other published work that addresses the research question. The textual data and the general conclusions will be the qualitative data used for this exploration. As expressed by Mohajan (2018, p. 24), qualitative studies examine how people interpret the meanings of phenomena. Therefore, the application of this approach by the researchers is intended to highlight how people understand and interpret the research questions.
The term ‘research design’ can be used to express the structure in which all elements of research are held. Akhtar (2016, p. 69) explains that research design addresses issues such as the blueprint for data collection, measurement and analysis. The designed used for this study is descriptive, which simply means a fact-finding investigation. The research problem has been presented as a phenomenon that challenges key project stakeholders. The expression of the research questions and objectives are evidence that the researchers seek to find details regarding the problem to describe it and its potential solution. Mishra and Alok (2017, p. 2) define descriptive research are an investigation whose focus is to explain the set of circumstances in the context of the research problem. Therefore, it is important to emphasize that descriptive studies seek to establish what is known regarding an issue to provide a comprehensive overview.
The qualitative nature of this study makes it possible to use a descriptive design. The main issues that need to be addressed are how changes and new technologies are implemented and what their effects are on the ongoing projects. Therefore, the aspects that will be described include what changes occur, what new technologies emerge, and how project managers and teams handle changes and new technologies. Additionally, a description of the effects of both the new technologies and changes is also presented.
Data Collection and Analysis
The research design discussed above provides a hint at what data is collected for this study. It has also been expressed in the type of research section that secondary sources of data are explored. Therefore, it is important to reiterate that the current research explores previous studies and other published works for any information that answers the research question. First, the research will find all secondary materials that discuss emerging technologies in the context of project management. Secondly, change management during project execution will be searched and the relevant data gathered. As such, the main inclusion criterion for the sources used is that they have to address the broader subjects of new technologies and changes in the field of project management. The researcher acknowledges that there are not many studies have been conducted regarding this subject. Therefore, the inclusion criteria do not include a limited timeframe for the studies. However, the researcher uses their judgment to determine what sources or their content are obsolete and cannot be used for this exploration.
The internet is increasingly becoming a critical platform for research, especially online databases and other repositories used by scholars. Credible published and peer-reviewed materials are made available, which presents the researcher with an easy and cheap alternative. The search criteria for the materials will include the development of major keywords, after which the search results are filtered using the inclusion criteria selected. The data obtained from the secondary materials are compiled using methods such as taking notes.
Regarding data analysis, the textual material can be analyzed using the content or thematic analysis. Thematic analysis is described by Nowell et al. (2017, p. 2) as a foundational method of qualitative analysis used by scholars to describe, analyze, identify, and organize data. Its use in this research will involve the selection of several constructs used as themes for which all relevant content is explained. The research questions present two possible themes: the implementation and effect of changes in project execution, and the implementation and effect of new technologies during project execution. The data that offer a description of these two constructs will be presented under each of them.
Any researcher needs to observe several issues that have an ethical bearing on the study. Qualitative studies often include human respondents who are surveyed and questioned to prove the researcher with the data needed. In such cases, such issues as informed consent, anonymity, and voluntary participation have to be addressed (Arifin, 2018, p. 30). The basic idea is that the people involved should not be hurt in any way, or exposed to other risks emanating from their involvement with the undertaking. However, this research does not use people as sources of information because secondary materials are preferred. However, it does not mean that there are no challenges to encounter in the retrieval and use of such materials. The researcher will be keen to acknowledge all the sources and materials used to gather the data, which can be achieved through proper citation and referencing. The originality of the study will also be sought to avoid ethical issues such as plagiarism and duplication of previous studies.
Results and Conclusion
The focus of this chapter is to summarize the results of the study. As explained in the methodology chapter, a thematic analysis approach is selected for this research because it makes it possible to identify and describe the key issues. The two main themes are managing changes and adopting new technologies during project execution. Several materials sources were explored, majorly previous studies exploring the same subjects. However, the analysis of the research gaps reveals that these themes have received inadequate scholarly attention, which makes data limited. The situation is particularly concerning for the theme of new technologies because the available studies focus generally on the use of technology in project management. However, inferences will be made from the available literature, which will help develop a few hypotheses that could shape future empirical exploration.
Changes in the project life cycle have been labelled as inevitable in many projects, especially in the construction, gas and oil sectors. Many of the sources explored have focused on examining the causes and effects of changes and a few have explored how managers can handle such situations. Alaryan et al. (2014, p. 3) find that among the main effects of change orders include increased project costs, increased duration of tasks, delayed delivery or completion dates, delayed payments, re-works and demolitions, and reduced worker productivity. Other effects are high overhead expenses, delays in tools and materials, and disputes between contractor and project sponsor. Concerning the handling of such changes, Alaryan et al. (2014, p. 3) propose control measures for change orders, including clarifications on how change orders are to be handled. Other suggestions include ensuring changes made only after approval in writing, clarifying grey areas in contracts, and reviewing designs before approving changes. These findings have offered the clearest conclusions among the materials explored. However, they only address only the changes in orders.
More attempts to address the research subjects were observed in other materials explored. Schoonwinkel, Fourie, and Conradie (2016, p. 21) pose two questions: the potential impact of project change and the current practices in managing project change. The findings from their study conclude that changes increase costs, reduce productivity, and reduced efficiency in the implementation of the changes in case of a large number of changes. Reworks and non-productive days have also been observed among certain projects, especially in the construction industry. The current change management practices observed by Schoonwinkel, Fourie, and Conradie (2016, p. 21) include quick and robust decision-making, which majorly helps avoid delays. Effective change and risk management have also been highlighted, which means that a comprehensive analysis of the effects of project change on time and costs is done before implementing any change. Most importantly, the current practices often target the quality and costs of the project in such an analysis. However, the researchers also find that the managers fail to use the theoretical risk management frameworks and approaches to help manage the effects of the changes.
With the cost and schedules as the major aspects affected by project changes, contingency planning has been highlighted as a risk assessment approach to help mitigate the effect of changes. A study by El-Karim, El-Karim, and Abdel-Alim (2017, p. 205) identified two major contingency plans: design contingency and construction contingency, the former focuses on changes during the design phase and seeks to address such factors as an incomplete definition of project scope and inaccurate data and estimation methods. Construction contingency involves those changes occurring during the construction, and the intention is to make sure that the project is completed within the current schedule. These observations imply that project managers can leave room for changes, but only with adequate planning. Some changes can be forecasted and estimations made and all potential changes included in both the budgeting and scheduling. Such an approach ensures that cost overruns schedule changes can be effectively accommodated in a project.
Lastly, some scholars have expressed the need to improve management competence to facilitate effective management of project changes. Zadeh et al. (2016, p. 12) explain that professional competence in project management is directly related to project success. Human skills have been highlighted as the most important aspects of management competence. Zadeh et al. (2016, p. 11) also express that the main usefulness of management competence is the ability to deal with design changes in project management.
As expressed in the research materials used for this theme, there is an agreement that project changes are inevitable. Additionally, the changes tend to affect project costs and delivery schedules. In extreme cases, disagreements between the project sponsor and contractor, reworks, demolitions, and project failures can result from the project changes. In summary, the current change management practices have included contingency planning, improving management competence, reviewing contracts before approving changes, and seeking written approvals.
Adopting New Technologies
The theme of new technologies is inadequately addressed in the current literature. However, emerging technologies have been discussed by scholars such as Whyte, Stasis, and Lindkvist (2016, p. 341), who express that the major technological change involved the upsurge in the use of digital technologies. In the case of technological changes, the current management practice proposed by Whyte, Stasis, and Lindkvist (2016, p. 341) configuration management throughout the project lifecycle. Other approaches include developing interoperability across technological systems, which creates room for updates and also re-configuration of the current systems. These findings express the fact that project managers can always expect changes and plan for them. The technologies used in project management need to be designed and developed to allow possible future changes during the project implementation.
Among the key technologies used in project management are ICTs and information systems (ISs), which are majorly used for communication purposes. These systems are also used as a means of data collection, storage, and analysis for decision-making. Whyte, Stasis, and Lindkvist (2016, p. 341) highlight the need for big data and propose such strategies as data re-use and data linkages to help address technological changes. Additionally, these scholars express the need for flexibility in linking asset information with other data sets to help establish new means of developing new applications. In this case, it is argued that new applications may be necessitated by the project or technology changes during a project lifecycle.
Some businesses have adopted the nature of project-based organizations (PBOs), which means that the project dynamics can be present. In these businesses, the use of information systems and organizational changes have been addressed by Abrantes and Figueiredo (2021, p. 374), who expresses that the implementation of processes should reflect changes in the ISs. The adaptability of the PBOs has been suggested as the means to cope with the changes. Most importantly, Abrantes and Figueiredo (2021, p. 374) recommend that new PBO processes should integrate ISs as part of the change process. In the context of other projects, inferences can be made that the execution of projects should consider the newest technologies and adopt those systems that are flexible and adaptable to accommodate any future changes.
The focus of this research was to examine how changes and new technologies affect and are implemented during project execution. Secondary data has been gathered from previous studies using the criteria specified in the methods chapter. The major conclusions can be categorized into two: the effects of new technologies and changes on project execution and the current practices in the management of changes and adoption of new technologies in project execution. Regarding the effects of changes, this study finds that changes are detrimental to the project budget and schedules. Cost overruns and delayed project deliveries are among the immediate effects from which others such as inefficiency in project management and conflicts between project stakeholders emerge. Technologies have also been assumed to have similar effects on project execution.
Regarding managing changes and new technologies, this study finds that rick and change management approaches and competencies are critical. Scholars have expressed the need to implement contingency planning and making clarifications and seeking written clarifications before implementing changes. Reviewing contracts and clarifying grey areas is also a way of making sure uncertainties are minimized. Technological changes can be handled through configuration management, adaptability and flexibility in the use of ICTs and ISs. Project managers have to leave room for any technological changes because disruptive technologies could render the current ones obsolete. The findings indicate that project execution should consider potential alterations, especially in such key systems as ICTs and ISs.
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