nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2009‒07‒28
seven papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Parnu College - Tartu University

  1. Using Resource Scarceness Characteristics to Solve the Multi-Mode Resource-Constrained Project Scheduling Problem By V. VAN PETEGHEM; M. VANHOUCKE
  2. Starting an R&D project under uncertainty By S. DOBBELAERE; R. I. LUTTENS; B. PETERS
  3. Team Formation in a Network By Markus Kinateder
  4. Procurement in infrastructure : what does theory tell us ? By Estache, Antonio; Iimi, Atsushi; Ruzzier, Christian
  5. Métodos ágeis: características, pontos fortes e fracos e possibilidades de aplicação [Agile methods: features, strong and weak aspects and application possibilities] By Mário Rui Tomás
  6. Infrastructure for large-scale survey measurement: Cooperation between academic research and private-sector agencies By Peter Ph. Mohler; Bernhard von Rosenbladt
  7. Evaluating the impact of Egyptian social fund for development programs By Abou-Ali, Hala; El-Azony, Hesham; El-Laithy, Heba; Haughton, Jonathan; Khandker, Shahidur R.

    Abstract: In the past decades, resource parameters have been introduced in project scheduling literature to measure the scarceness of resources of a project instance. In this paper, we use these resource scarceness parameters to dierentiate in the search process needed to solve the multi-mode resource constrained project scheduling problem, in which multiple execution modes are available for each activity in the project. Therefore, we propose a scatter search algorithm, which is executed with dierent improvement methods, each tailored to the specic characteristics of dierent renewable and nonrenewable resource scarceness values. Computational results prove the eectiveness of the improvement methods and reveal that the procedure is among the most competitive algorithms in the open literature.
    Keywords: project scheduling, scatter search, multi-mode RCPSP, resource scarceness matrix
    Date: 2009–06
    Abstract: We study a two-stage R&D project with an abandonment option. Two types of uncertainty influence the decision to start R&D. Demand uncertainty is modelled as a lottery between a proportional increase and decrease in demand. Technical uncertainty is modelled as a lottery between a decrease and increase in the cost to continue R&D. We relate differences in uncertainty to differences in risk premia. We deduct testable hypotheses on the basis of which we empirically analyze the impact of uncertainty on the decision to start an R&D project. Using data for about 4000 German firms in manufacturing and services (CIS IV), our model predictions are strongly confirmed.
    Keywords: Investment under uncertainty, R&D, demand uncertainty, technical uncertainty,entry threat
    JEL: D21 D81 L12 O31
    Date: 2009–05
  3. By: Markus Kinateder (Universidad de Navarra)
    Abstract: Two project leaders (or entrepreneurs) in a network, which captures social relations, recruit players in a strategic, competitive and time-limited process. Each team has an optimal size depending on the project’s quality. This is a random variable with a commonly known distribution. Only the corresponding project leader observes its realization. Any decision is only observed by the involved agents. The set of pure strategy Sequential Equilibria is characterized by giving an algorithm that selects one equilibrium at a time. An agent’s expected payoff is related to his position in the network, though no centrality measure in the literature captures this relation. A social planner frequently would achieve a higher welfare.
    Keywords: Dynamic Competitive Group Formation, Imperfect Information
    JEL: C72 C73 D85
    Date: 2009–05
  4. By: Estache, Antonio; Iimi, Atsushi; Ruzzier, Christian
    Abstract: Infrastructure has particular challenges in public procurement, because it is highly complex and customized and often requires economic, political and social considerations from a long time horizon. To deliver public infrastructure services to citizens or taxpayers, there are a series of decisions that governments have to make. The paper provides a minimum package of important economic theories that could guide governments to wise decision-making at each stage. Theory suggests that in general it would be a good option to contract out infrastructure to the private sector under high-powered incentive mechanisms, such as fixed-price contracts. However, this holds under certain conditions. Theory also shows that ownership should be aligned with the ultimate responsibility for or objective of infrastructure provision. Public and private ownership have different advantages and can deal with different problems. It is also shown that it would be a better option to integrate more than one public task (for example, investment and operation) into the same ownership, whether public or private, if they exhibit positive externalities.
    Keywords: Public Sector Economics&Finance,Debt Markets,Infrastructure Economics,Contract Law,Transport Economics Policy&Planning
    Date: 2009–07–01
  5. By: Mário Rui Tomás (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia)
    Abstract: Agile methods are increasingly being discussed by companies, and many are afraid to adopt this approach due to the difficulties in organizational restructuring. In this working paper some characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of this approach will be discussed, as well as when it should be chosen, and the IT tools that help to implement it. It will be reinforced that this method has practical application and that it will gain more followers in the near future. This is, par excellence, the method for small-and medium-sized projects for the Web, and many companies are investing in the creation of tools for applying these concepts. These tools must be based on monitoring the status of tasks and functionalities for a given 'release' and the distribution of these tasks and functionalities to work teams. It is also essential to allow the client to help in an integrated manner with the application to capture the application requirements to be solved by work teams.
    Keywords: Agile methods, organizational restructuring
    JEL: O31
    Date: 2009–07
  6. By: Peter Ph. Mohler; Bernhard von Rosenbladt
    Abstract: High-quality data from large-scale surveys provide a solid basis for outstanding research in the social sciences. Because of the unique demands of survey measurement in terms of the resources and skills required, it should be viewed as a specific sector of the research data infrastructure. In Germany, large-scale surveys have been established both within and outside academia, and major new projects are underway. Clearly, the sector is expanding. There is a need to discuss future challenges, not only with a focus on individual large projects, but with a view to the sector of large-scale survey measurement in general. One aspect is the segmentation of large-scale survey measurement in Germany along institutional lines (statistical offices, ministerial or government agency research (Ressortforschung), public research institutions, and the academic community). Here, we recommend that an overall framework be developed covering all sub-sectors. A second aspect is the infrastructure required for largescale, high-quality data collection. In Germany (outside the sector of Statistical Offices), this infrastructure is provided by private survey organisations. We argue that these should be recognised as relevant actors within the research data infrastructure. They have to invest in technological and human resources in order to provide the professional services required, and they need conditions and forms of cooperation that encourage this investment.
    Keywords: survey research, research infrastructure, Germany, quality, data collection, private public partnership
    Date: 2009
  7. By: Abou-Ali, Hala; El-Azony, Hesham; El-Laithy, Heba; Haughton, Jonathan; Khandker, Shahidur R.
    Abstract: The Egyptian Social Fund for Development was established in 1991 with a mandate to reduce poverty. Since its inception, it has disbursed about $2.5 billion, of which nearly two-fifths was devoted to supporting microcredit and financing community development and infrastructure. This paper investigates the size of the impact of the Fund’s interventions, whether the benefits have been commensurate with the costs, and whether the programs have been targeted successfully to the poor. The core of the impact evaluation applies propensity-score matching to data from the 2004/2005 national Household Income, Expenditure and Consumption Survey. The authors find that Egypt’s Social Fund for Development programs have had clear and measurable effects, in the expected direction, for all of the programs considered: educational interventions have reduced illiteracy, health and potable water programs have lowered household spending on health, sanitation interventions have cut household spending on sanitation and lowered poverty, and road projects have reduced household transportation costs by 20 percent. Microcredit is associated with higher household expenditures in metropolitan areas and urban Upper Egypt, but not elsewhere. The Social Fund for Development’s road projects generate benefits that, by some estimates, exceed the costs, as do health and potable water interventions; this is less evident for interventions in education and sanitation. The Fund argues that its mission is primarily social, and so should not be judged using a cost-benefit analysis. The Fund support for microcredit is strongly pro-poor; the other programs analyzed have a more modest pro-poor orientation.
    Keywords: Health Monitoring&Evaluation,,Rural Poverty Reduction,Housing&Human Habitats,Population Policies
    Date: 2009–07–01

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