(Innovation) Project Portfolio Management in the Energy Industry

The master thesis “(Innovation) Project Portfolio Management in the Energy Industry” examines how a number of projects in an organization can be managed effectively, with the example of the energy industry. Here is the abstract:

Companies in capital-intensive industries are undertaking an increasing number of (innovation) projects competing for the same limited resources at the same time. This results in many challenges that cannot be solved by a single project management approach. Therefore, it is necessary to manage projects on a portfolio level. In the context of capital-intensive industries, most of the research to date has focused on the management of individual projects. Still, it is true that the proportion of research on project portfolio management is steadily increasing, which in turn underlines the importance of this topic. However, little research has been done on the management of innovation portfolios in the energy industry and no integrative framework exists. This thesis aims to fill this gap. It introduces an integrative project portfolio management framework that incorporates the Stage-Gate process from Cooper for the management of innovation portfolios. This framework is based on a holistic view of project portfolio management and is divided into two broad phases. The first phase deals with planning based on the strategy. This is followed by an iterative life cycle of the project portfolio characterized by constant monitoring and improvement.  The whole process is supported by enablers from the organizational context and support mechanisms. Moreover, the findings of this thesis highlight best practices by which managers can increase the probability of project portfolio success. These can be exercised at both the strategic and operation levels by individuals and organizations. Practitioners can use the results in their day-to-day work and can implement a holistic (innovation) project management into their organization. For scholars, the thesis provides a foundation for further research on the effectiveness of the framework and best practices.