Who should manage internal projects? : A case study in the Swedish mining industry

University essay from Umeå universitet/Företagsekonomi; Umeå universitet/Företagsekonomi

Abstract: Millions of people around the world consider project management as their major task in their profession, yet the demand for project managers is still increasing. To face this demand many organizations use consultants as project managers for their projects. However, the literature in project management tend to ignore potential differences between internal project managers and consultants as project managers. This thesis is written on commission for LKAB which is a Swedish mining company who conduct around 60-80 projects yearly. Projects at LKAB is managed by internal professional project managers, internal line-managers and consultants as project managers. Despite having three different categories of project managers LKAB has little knowledge about potential differences in how they manage projects. Thus, the purpose of this thesis is to make a case study on project managers at LKAB in search to answer our research question: How do internal project managers, line-workers and consultants manage projects differently? To answer our research question we developed a theoretical frame where we present research which we suggest have given an answer towards the previously discussed question if project leadership has a direct impact on project success or not. Research has found that project leadership has a direct impact on project performance which we consider crucial since it impact the relevance of our study. In our theoretical frame we also present research in outsourcing, project planning and organizing, education, perspectives in project management and theories of project management competencies and skills. There are two perspectives in project management, task perspective which focus on achieving the project objectives and the organizational perspective where they emphasize the relationship between the temporary organization and the permanent organization where main focus is to create value for the receiving organization. To gather data we conducted nine semi-structured interviews in Kiruna with three line- mangers, three internal professional project managers and three consultants which has been hired as project managers by LKAB. We found support to a previous study which showed that project managers have different perspectives towards project management. Furthermore, we found a connection between the project managers perspective and how they prioritized between project goal or effect goal. Project managers with an organizational perspective consider the effect goal to be more important than the project goal and vice versa. We also found that line-managers as project managers do not plan their projects, or manage risk in the same way as professional internal project managers or consultants.

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