Project management in network organizations

A network organization is a long-term arrangement among distinct but related organizations that support the included organizations in gaining or sustaining competitive advantage. Partnerships among network organizations rely on synergy, where collaborating organizations can profit more by pooling complementary resources than by relying on their own independent operations. To take advantage of complementary expertise, projects in network organizations are frequently undertaken by joint teams formed from two or more of the participating organizations. We will refer to such projects as distributed network projects.This paper explores and explains the issues relevant to project management in network organizations. There are multiple risks for a project, including technology, market, schedule, cost, legal, and political, among others. However, these risks tend to be exacerbated in distributed network projects. We outline some of the differences between internal and distributed network projects, as reported in a limited survey of network project managers. A key issue in distributed network projects is building and maintaining inter-organizational relationships and supporting knowledge exchange between organizations involved in common projects. Because of the distributed nature of network projects, virtual project management is the norm. Planning and managing joint projects requires a significant increase in attention to risk mitigation, including major decisions on issues such as co-location of the project team.
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