Strategic organization in projects and firms through software integration
Whyte, J. (2010) Strategic organization in projects and firms through software integration. In: Engineering Project Organization Conference (EPOC), November 4-6 2010, Stanford Sierra, Lake Tahoe, CA.
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As integrated software solutions reshape project delivery, they alter the bases for collaboration and competition across firms in complex industries. This paper synthesises and extends literatures on strategy in project-based industries and digitally-integrated work to understand how project-based firms interact with digital infrastructures for project delivery. Four identified strategies are to: 1) develop and use capabilities to shape the integrated software solutions that are used in projects; 2) co-specialize, developing complementary assets to work repeatedly with a particular integrator firm; 3) retain flexibility by developing and maintaining capabilities in multiple digital technologies and processes; and 4) manage interfaces, translating work into project formats for coordination while hiding proprietary data and capabilities in internal systems. The paper articulates the strategic importance of digital infrastructures for delivery as well as product architectures. It concludes by discussing managerial implications of the identified strategies and areas for further research.