Week 5- Reading Summary- Leting Zhang
Project managers’ ability always affects the performance of software project directly, especially in the case of offshored software projects which spans locational and organizational boundaries, engendering greater information gaps and higher uncertainties, practical intelligence (PI) of PMs can be significantly helpful in solving difficulties and challenges.
The paper considers projects from an information processing perspective. Specifically, offshored software projects are prone to gaps between information processing needs and capabilities that pose severe management challenges, often lead to unexpected impediments to project success. In order to mitigate the negative effects of incomplete information, projects can use approaches like standard project management techniques, select appropriate PMs and team members.
Then the authors adopt the taxonomy of PI for IT professionals to that for PMs. They use four metrics to evaluate it, tasks, career, self, and others. Then, they consider that PM’PI may benefit projects differently based on the projects’ features. One of them is project complexity which consists of technological complexity and organizational complexity. A more complex project impose more severe information processing challenges, therefore requiring a higher PI for PM. Specifically, higher project complexity would increase the information needs of a project; In contrast, higher familiarity with the task and between stakeholders would increase the information capabilities in a project. Project complexity consists of technological complexity and organizational complexity.
The authors conduct a field study at a leading software outsourcing vendor in India. Then, they use the critical incidents approach to assess PM’S PI and collect data on more than 500 software outsourcing projects, those data including the complexity, familiarity, outcomes of each project and a series of control variables. OLS regression models are established to test hypotheses, results support most of the hypotheses.
This paper has several contributions. It demonstrates the project performance effects of PI and in the certain context of offshore outsourcing, it also conceptualizes and quantifying PM’s PI, and examine its efficacy in different contexts.It also has practical implications in choosing and training PM.