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The effect of human agent in project management

Jan Bartoska () and Tomas Subrt ()

Central European Journal of Operations Research, 2012, vol. 20, issue 3, 369-382

Abstract: The article deals with the effect of a human agent on the activity realization in a project. It does so from the perspective of the Theory of Constraints where the weakest point is the deadline of partial activity. Every existing activity in any project is, to a higher or lower extent, determined by the effect of the human agent. The inefficiency of a number of projects in practice is largely caused by an unsuccessful realization of partial activities. The effect of the human agent is in this respect fundamental. The human agent, as an allocated resource in the activity, is liable to a number of non-specified impacts and stimuli, and as such s/he is rather versatile in his/her behaviour. The versatility of the human agent in projects can be described by the “Student Syndrome” phenomenon and by the first “Parkinson’s law”. Both these qualitative phenomena create a starting point for the introduced theoretical and quantitative research. The findings in this article are based on the set of real data of work effort of the students of daily study programme on one university in the Czech Republic. The article presents, as the authors’ own theoretical contribution, a mathematical model for the “Student Syndrome” phenomenon with a practical use in quantitative methods of project management. This model was derived analytically from a performed data analysis and we can assume that it will be useful for further theoretical development of quantitative methods in project management. In the article we deduce the theoretical differentiation of the “Student Syndrome” phenomenon in work effort into three terminable phases during three different types of resource work allocation. We can regard this original viewpoint as suggestive for the area of human resources management in projects. Its contribution lies in delimitation of time-targeted resource stimulation, which may lead to lower project costs, besides higher work efficiency and compliance with time-targeted deadlines of activity termination. The article brings the quantification of qualitative features of the human agent in project management. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2012

Keywords: Project management; Student Syndrome; Parkinson‘s law; Mathematical model; Work effort; Resource stimulation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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DOI: 10.1007/s10100-011-0209-4

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Central European Journal of Operations Research is currently edited by Ulrike Leopold-Wildburger

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