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Adapting and Utilizing Project Portfolio Management (PPM) in the Public Sector: Developments, Trends and Tools for Making the Transition

Alternative title: Bruk av AI til forbedring av store forskningsbaserte organisasjoners evne til å realisere strategisk utvikling

Awarded: NOK 1.8 mill.

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Project Period:

2021 - 2024

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The purpose of the project is to improve the ability of large (public) knowledge-based organisations to prioritise and realise strategic development through the adapted use of project portfolio management - managing the collective portfolio of strategic development projects. In the private sector, vast amounts of research, work and experience has accumulated over the decades when it comes to the informed design, prioritisation and scaling of strategic development projects in large knowledge-based organisations. However, less work and research has been done on the successful transfer and utilisation of this knowledge to the public sector. Digitalisation significantly affects the potential development in both sectors, and value creation is increasingly organised and realised through projects. Nonetheless, the public sector is lacking behind both when it comes to research and practical experience on the topic of project portfolio management, and on how digitalisation best can support and facilitate development. Meanwhile, the issues and expected public services and solutions are becoming more complex and resources are increasingly scarce, calling for new ways of designing, prioritising, and scaling development projects in the public sector. With this project we wish to examine the potentials within development and practical use of project portfolio management in a public sector context. The goal is to examine the issue across selected comparable public organisations in Norway and Denmark to collect and analyse data from existing cases and develop new ways of working with portfolios of strategic development projects.

This project takes its point of departure in the assumption that large knowledge-based organisations operate with two primary management systems when it comes to the systematic development of the organisation - a management system that controls the economy from year to year, also known as financial management, and a management system that handles strategic development and innovation, also referred to as strategic management. In addition, most organisations actively work with linking the two primary systems, albeit often more informally or emergent. However, we hypothesise that few have succeeded in really getting the development-oriented - more radical and agile - strategic understanding to work in sync with the type of top-down financial management that is arguably still present in many large knowledge-based organisations today – both public and private. To examine this, we will use artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse relevant data points that are collected through longitudinal surveys designed with a primary offset in existing literature on the systems (financial management, strategic management and their linkage). This approach is used to move the methodological focus from expert opinions to documenting the real impact of creating a successful link between the two management systems. Such a move requires a better understanding of what financial management looks like in an uncertain world, how a link between the two systems can be designed in different scenarios and how AI can best contribute to this development.

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