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Managing change in complex projects: configuration management, asset information and big data

Whyte, J., Stasis, A. and Lindkvist, C. (2016) Managing change in complex projects: configuration management, asset information and big data. International Journal of Project Management, 34 (2). pp. 339-351. ISSN 0263-7863

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.ijproman.2015.02.006


As we enter an era of ‘big data’, asset information is becoming a deliverable of complex projects. Prior research suggests digital technologies enable rapid, flexible forms of project organizing. This research analyses practices of managing change in Airbus, CERN and Crossrail, through desk-based review, interviews, visits and a cross-case workshop. These organizations deliver complex projects, rely on digital technologies to manage large data-sets; and use configuration management, a systems engineering approach with mid-20th century origins, to establish and maintain integrity. In them, configuration management has become more, rather than less, important. Asset information is structured, with change managed through digital systems, using relatively hierarchical, asynchronous and sequential processes. The paper contributes by uncovering limits to flexibility in complex projects where integrity is important. Challenges of managing change are discussed, considering the evolving nature of configuration management; potential use of analytics on complex projects; and implications for research and practice.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment
ID Code:39445


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