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At the top of the paper provide the reference to your Journal Article. Use a scholarly source as described above. Utilizing a non-scholarly/non-peer-reviewed source will result in significant point deduction.Introduction1.Give a brief overview of the chapter 3 of Kloppenborg. Be sure to cite any reference to the text. Include the text in a reference section at the end.2.Summary (cite article when appropriate)3.Give a summary of the article or case study.4.Relevant Points (cite article when appropriate)5.Identify the relevant points of the article or case study that coincide with the chapter covered for the week.6.CritiqueProvide a balanced criticism of the article or case study. What were the strengths and weaknesses of the study? How do the findings support the field of project management? How could it have been altered to better support the field?7.Application of Concept(s)Apply the concept(s) to your career, field, industry, etc. Provide a real world application not a general statement. This section should demonstrate how you can take the findings of this article or case study and utilize them in a practical way in your career, field or practice. Make the application specific to your own experience. Do not just provide a general overview of the usefulness of the findings. Be specific; not general.Note:References (this does not count toward the required paper length)Every paper typed in this course should be in APA formatting (title page, reference page, NO abstract page, in-text citations, running head, page numbers, Times New Roman 12 font, 1 inch margins, double-spacing, etc…).


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Construction Management and Economics (May 2004) 22, 357–371
A typology for clients’ multi-project environments
School of Property, Construction & Project Management, RMIT University, PO Box 2476V, Melbourne, 3001,
Department of Building, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
Department of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU,
Department of Building & Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Received 16 December 2002; accepted 12 November 2003
Construction management research and practice is dominated by a single project paradigm. This does not reflect
the true nature of many construction clients who have large multi-project portfolios. Traditional single project
management strategies are usually adopted for managing such portfolios – with limited success. The literature
suggests that programmes, within portfolios, require different forms of management in order to optimize project
delivery. In order to better understand these portfolios and thereby allow the exploration of new forms of
management, a typology has been developed mapping out the various features of client’s construction portfolios.
The resultant typology provides a simple method for identifying the programme composition of a portfolio,
highlighting the expected features of each programme type, and thereby directing management attention to the
main aspects of each programme that can be optimized for efficiency. Six cases of client’s construction project
portfolios were studied using a highly structured, replication logic, case study methodology. A typology of
clients’ multi-project environments was developed and validated through literal and theoretical replication
between cases. Three main types emerged as descriptive of programmes within client’s construction portfolios:
bounded programmes, target programmes and rolling programmes. The distinctive features of each type suggest
that programme-specific approaches may be necessary for the successful delivery of projects within client’s
construction portfolios.
Keywords: Case studies, multi-projects, portfolio, programmes, typology
Most discussion of projects in general project management literature centres on either single projects or
multiple projects managed simultaneously (Evaristo
and Van Fenema, 1999). Authors overwhelmingly
concur that general project management literature is
heavily biased towards the single project paradigm, with
little written on the multi-project environment (for
example, Payne, 1995; Reiss, 1996; Eskerod, 1996;
Tsai and Chiu, 1996; Partington, 1996; Levy and
Globerson, 1997; Van der Merwe, 1998; Evaristo and
Van Fenema, 1999). However, many projects are part
of a programme of work or a portfolio undertaken
within a clearly identified business plan. Turner and
*Author for correspondence. E-mail:
Speiser (1992) contend that by far the greatest project
activity takes place within portfolios, or programmes of
medium to small sized projects, and not the traditional,
large projects with dedicated teams of people. The
single project paradigm that dominates the literature
of both project and construction management research
does not accurately reflect the reality of many construction clients, who have large ongoing construction
portfolios rather than one-off construction projects.
A review of the top 25 client organizations in the UK
for 1998 and 1999 conservatively shows that multiprojects accounted for 10% of the entire industry’s
output or as much as 30% of contractors’ output
(Blismas, 2001). Similar figures for 2000–2002 (Construction News, 2001–2003) show that the top clients’
multi-project construction portfolios alone continue
to procure between £7–9 bn of construction work per
Construction Management and Economics
ISSN 0144-6193 print/ISSN 1466-433X online © 2004 Taylor & Francis Ltd
DOI: 10.1080/01446190310001649047
annum. The implications for the remainder of the
industry, including SMEs, are therefore enormous.
Further secondary analysis of data from Kometa et al.
(1995) and Chinyio et al. (1998a, 1998b), demonstrate
that the majority of clients surveyed initiated numerous
construction projects annually, alluding to the suggestion that the industry operates with a significant
contingent of multi-project clients.
Despite the significance of client’s multi-project environments (MPE), there is a lack of construction-related
research on this topic. Research and academic publications on multi-project and programme management
are generally restricted to disciplines outside construction with a resultant lack of comprehensive guides to
managing multi-projects in construction. Most research
on programmes, multi-projects and portfolios emanates
from a range of disciplines such as communications,
retail, manufacture, organizational management and
software development (Abdullah and Vickridge, 1999,
2000). Theoretical underpinning of the MPE within
construction is required in order to provide the
platform for developing managerial guides to managing
portfolios of projects.
The general lack of research into multi-project environments has been largely due to the false notion that
project principles apply equally to a group as they do
to individual projects. Multi-projects have tended to
be treated as monolithic projects (Reedy, 1983), even
though unique problems, particularly regarding their
management have been identified by several authors
(for example, Reedy, 1983; Loftus, 1999; Abdullah and
Vickridge, 1999). The management of multi-projects
and programmes is not simply an aggregate of single
project efforts and as such requires unique approaches,
techniques and tools – a view asserted and expounded
by numerous authors such as Reedy (1983), Platje and
Seidel (1993), Turner (1993), De Maio et al. (1994),
Palmer (1994), Meridith and Mantel (1995), Levy and
Globerson (1997), Lonergan (1994), Sandvold (1998)
and Williams (1999). Most authors, for instance,
emphasize that scheduling and allocation of resources
is more complex than that of single projects. There
are enough differences between multi-projects and
traditional projects to question the applicability of
straight project management approaches (Olford,
1992). Attempts to aggregate single projects, often with
minor commonalities, into one large project for management and co-ordination have been unsuccessful
(Platje and Seidel, 1993). Different techniques need
to be developed to deal with the added complexity
and issues that surround portfolios of projects within
In addition to the challenges posed by project multiplicity, inter-project difficulties further contest the view
that project management is truly generic. One of the
general reasons for project failure is that management
Blismas et al.
techniques applied to a project may not always suit
the project’s requirements or characteristics. Different
types of project, within different contexts, require differentiated project management approaches (Gareis,
1991, 2000; Evaristo and Van Fenema, 1999). An
organization may have a variety of different kinds of
programmes, each oriented to one of a variety of key
resultant areas of that enterprise (Parti, 1996).
Categorization of projects (and programmes) into
types provides the basis for an organization to develop
specific planning and management tactics, as well as to
determine the effort and resources that the undertaking
would require (Ireland, 1997). Understanding project
and programme types and the influences upon them
constitutes a significant contribution to the understanding and management of these undertakings. Typologies
serve to group programmes into types that exhibit similar traits, attributes or origins. Identifying programme
types better serves the strategic objectives of an organization and improves the attainment of short-term goals
for business operations, while also enabling the application of similar principles of design, management and
This paper addresses this particular shortfall in construction management literature by providing a detailed
typology of programmes within construction client’s
multi-project environments. The broad aim of the
research, of which this typology forms one part, was to
gain a deeper understanding of the factors that influence project delivery within the multi-project environment (MPE) of construction clients. Further, it sought
to investigate the interaction between these factors,
whilst also developing a typology of the MPEs of
construction clients. Contending that the forces behind
the MPE of construction clients are different to those
traditionally viewed within the single project paradigm,
an exploratory research approach was necessary. The
research sought to uncover these factors without
the undue influence of single-project thinking, and
consequently adopted a proposition-guided inductive
research process.
Due to different, and often interchangeable, uses
of common project-related terms, it is necessary to
define how ‘multi-project environment’, ‘portfolio’ and
‘programme’ are used in this paper.
Archer and Ghasemzadeh (1999) define a project
portfolio as a group of projects that are carried out
under the sponsorship and/or management of a particular organization. This definition is extended slightly
within this paper to describe a collective group of
construction projects and programmes within an organization, with no inference to the manner in which they
are organized or managed. Multi-project environment
A typology for multi-project environments
is simply used to emphasize the multiplicity of projects
in an organization, which may not be as well conveyed
using the term portfolio.
Programmes are groupings of projects within the
broader portfolio defined above. Definitions of ‘programme’ within the multi-project context abound, yet a
survey of 19 ‘programme’ and 17 ‘programme management’ definitions revealed a diffusion of defining characteristics (see Blismas, 2001 for a detailed treatment of
project-related definitions). In general, a programme is
a framework that (a) consists of multiple interdependent projects, (b) is long-term or indefinite, (c) focuses
on the benefits or strategic aims of an organization, (d)
provides common purpose between projects; and is
usually a large undertaking. Essentially, all programmes
involve a number of projects run within groups, and
exhibit some form of interaction between projects.
Pellegrinelli’s (1997) definition draws these points
together succinctly:
A programme is a framework for grouping existing
projects or defining new projects, and for focusing all
the activities required to achieve a set of major benefits.
These projects are managed in a co-ordinated way,
either to achieve a common goal, or to extract benefits
which would otherwise not be realized if they were
managed independently.
A general literature review was undertaken to establish
previous research, identify definitions, terminology
and general construction trends. This literature review
together with exploratory interviews with managers of
consultant and client organizations helped define the
various types of projects and programmes and develop
a conceptual framework of current knowledge within
which to relate the different programme types. The
scarcity of resources on the subject within constructionrelated disciplines dictated that literature from other
disciplines formed the major proportion of the
review. Without an a piori knowledge of the nature
of the construction MPE, it was not possible to deductively propose hypotheses to guide the exploration
of the research problem. Thus, it was necessary to
devise propositions to define the boundaries of the
study, whilst also making prejudices of the researcher
explicit at the outset of the research. Existing nonconstruction project typologies and exploratory interviews were examined and abstracted to form the starting
propositional basis for a construction typology.
A multiple case study design, using replication as the
underlying logic (Eisenhardt, 1989; Yin, 1994), was
adopted. The unit-of-analysis was identified as clients’
construction portfolios, with individual programmes
forming embedded units. A highly-structured research
design was favoured to satisfy concerns of validity and
robustness of the case study approach, whilst still allowing flexibility to explore features not identified in the
literature or exploratory interviews. Six cases were
selected for the predicted literal and theoretical replications of their results. A summary of these cases is shown
in Table 1. Each case was analysed independently and
compared in cross-case analyses.
Personal semi-structured interviews, programme
documentation and published documentation formed
the primary data sources within each case. Triangulation of data was achieved through multiple intra-case
interviews, embedded unit studies and multiple data
sources. The interview data alone, once transcribed
amounted to just under 200 000 words. Together with
the electronically captured documentation, over 100
data files, representing individual interviews and documents, were produced. These data were managed and
analysed using the Nvivo™computer-aided qualitative
data analysis software. Analysis of the qualitative data
included codification, thematic grouping and causal
Matrices were used to reduce the data into a manageable format from which organizational structures,
typologies and casual networks were constructed. The
matrices were constructed from nodes produced by
the Nvivo™software. Each passage coded into the node
was carefully examined and the main themes noted.
The findings were expressed as networks and matrices.
Characteristic features of the propositions were organized into matrices and groups so that cross-case analysis
was possible.
Typology development
A review of existing literature was initiated to establish
how different projects, project types and programme
types were identified by previous researchers. Researchers have grouped projects into types that exhibit similar
traits, attributes or origins. Different researchers have
classified projects using categories such as; the origin of
projects (Hackney and Humphreys, 1992), industries
(Turner, 1993; Lock, 1996), features (Archibald, 1992;
Turner, 1993; Lock, 1996; Reiss, 1996) and orientation
of deliverables (James, 1996; McElroy, 1996; Levene
and Braganza, 1996; Reiss 1996). Others, such as
Project Management Institute’s (2000) ‘Body of
Knowledge’ attempt no classification of projects or
programmes, advocating the view that project and
project management principles are generic. The different project classifications proposed by different authors
may be considered in terms of organization-related
categories (Table 2) or project-related categories
(Table 3).
Global, but case
in South Africa
850 sites
Petrol stations of
different size,
some with shops
Graded to sales
New & rebuild sites,
of whole network,
maintenance and
Re-image 850 sites
over 3 years, peak
300 sites/year
Geographic span
of operations
Network size
5 year programme
goal, project ave
12 weeks plan
+ 3–4 weeks
works + 9–11 dys
Programme time
Accounts vary
between 3 and
4 years, ave.
project duration
12 weeks lead,
3 wks building,
2 wks signage
Ave annual budget
£2.5 million,
project range
(ave. £80K)
Overall 5 year target,
with adjustments
to rate of delivery,
Target of 350 stores
by 2001, at ave
40/year, currently
below target
105 retail outlets
(at end of 1998)
Retail outlets
(High street and
shopping centres)
Variously graded
Acquisitions in
England & Wales
Case B
Project/programme Budget
costs and budgets
projects up
to 350K,
ave. 200K
Programme and
Very well defined
project definition
finite programme,
Project numbers
and frequency
Project types
Facility type,
size and grades
Case A
Capex £52 million/yr,
project range
£300K–£1 million
(ave. between
JV well defined,
other programmes
variable and
subject to changes,
targets given every
6 months
Annual budget cycle,
JV has own
budget, service
and maintenance
contracts, ave.
project 16weeks
Variable between
years, JV – 100
sites/3 yrs,
Ave 60 rebuild/yr,
minor capital
works – ave
Global, but case
in UK and
Benelux only
1500 sites in UK
after acquisition
Petrol stations
of different size,
some with shops
Graded to sales
JV new sites,
new builds,
raise & rebuild,
minor capital
Case C
Table 1 Matrix comparing basic attributes, projects and programmes between the six cases
Case D
Case E
Entire British
Gas pipe utility
& storage facilities
Pipe extension,
Great Britain
Case F
Not applicable
as built to sell
Domestic housing,
commercial &
Speculative housing,
commercial and
English Midlands
relatively firm,
but adjusted
yearly as
5 years,
52 weeks,
Annual budget
subject to
pipeline ave.
2.5 yrs
Very stochastic
very well defined
Programmes based
on yearly target
turnover of £50 m
though phased
for flexibility
Target of
Ave 80 projects/yr
260–300 houses/year,
125 new hotels
but highly variable,
in 5 years in
ave. 12 major
UK, 20 major
pipelines/yr over
2–3 yrs, 2–3 major
per year, before
programme ave
was 1 every
16–18 months
over 5 yrs
Economy hotels range £20K–£100 m, ave. Ave. £50 million/yr
£3 m–
upper £70 m
Global, but
case in UK
80 hotels
in UK
Four grades,
room sizes
New hotel
& maintenance,
Blismas et al.
Direct facilities (for example hotel)
Hard physical products
Facilities or deliverables
Projects dimensions
Risk profile
Type of project owner
Archibald (1992)
Turner (1993) Payne (1995)
Gareis (1998)
Payne (1995)
Gareis (1998)
Reiss (1996)
Gareis (1991)
Reiss (1996); Gareis (1998)
Griffith and Headley (1995)
Reiss (1996) McElroy (1996)
James (1996)
Gareis (1998)
Levene and Braganza (1996)
Gareis (1998)
Turner (1993)
Gareis (1998)
Turner (1993)
Operating staff –
Hackney and
projects improvementHumphreys
type projects
Management projects
Lock (1996)
Management projects
Indirect facilities (for example retail)
Soft intangible deliverables, like
business change
Realization of primary process Realization of secondary process
Realization of tertiary process
Development projects
Change projects
Conception projects
Realization projects
Position of project in the life-cycle of the product produced by the facility, or in the strategic
development of the parent organization
Same client projects
Different client projects
Internal projects performed within
External projects with deliverables for a customer,
but don’t change the organization itself
Physical size
Differences in degree of Urgency
High risk or uncertainty
Low risk or uncertainty
Open, vague and ill-defined briefs
Closed, well and rigidly defined projects
Project-related categories
Differentiation criteria
Project goals
Extent of implementation
Corporate engine …
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