Project Management Institute

Inter-team coordination patterns and outcomes in multi-team projects

Coordination in projects integrates people with different competencies, backgrounds, and experiences to achieve complex and often innovative outcomes in the forms of either products or services. This paper examines what kinds of patterns of mechanisms can be applied in the coordination of several inter-related project teams. It aims to take a step toward increasing the understanding of inter-team coordination in multi-team projects and to build a contingency theory of coordination practices in temporary organizations. Specifically, the authors examine the following research questions: (1) Which coordination practices are used in large multi-team projects and are these practices combined in typical coordination patterns? (2) Which task characteristics of the multi-team project explain the use of the coordination practices and their combination in typical patterns? (3) How do the coordination practices and patterns influence the performance of multi-team projects?
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