Holistic Project and Supply Chain Management

Successful project management is defined by the ability to deliver on time, on budget, and with the quality and specifications required. In its simplest form, projects can be viewed as a series of activities. In large-scale complex systems, project activities involve a multi-tier and distributed network of development processes, resources, material and information flows, managerial mental models, and decision making. Mismanaging parts of this network may lead to knock-on or ripple effects on the project’s behavior and performance, such as risks of budget overruns and major delays.

Effective project management needs to be informed by a good understanding of the project’s underpinning activities (i.e. macro-level) as well as the networks (i.e. supply chains) that feed into these activities (micro-level), and implications to the project’s performance. A holistic approach, which extends project management to include the whole supply chain management, opens the opportunities for improving the project’s visibility, better integration among the project’s actors, and more efficient and effective delivery of products.

A holistic approach for project and supply chain management represents a novel research area for theoretical and applied advances that address the following questions:

  • How does the integration of a supply chain view into managing complex projects improve the project’s performance under uncertainty conditions?
  • What are the conceptual architectures required to describe the multi-tier relationships and feedback interactions among project activities and underpinning supply chains?
  • What are the barriers and enablers (e.g. technological, contractual, and organizational) for implementing a holistic project and supply chain management approach?
  • What are the computational and data analysis techniques required to support a holistic project and supply chain management approach?