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Defended PhD on planning complex projects


Defended PhD on planning complex projects

We are proud to announce that our reasearcher Kristina Kjersem successfully has defended her PhD in Logistics. She has studied planning complex projects at Molde University College, Norway. Her findings may help improve both processes and project outcomes in all branches applying Engineer-To-Order strategies.

Her trial lecture was titled: "Similarities and differences of ETO implementation in four industries: (1) ship building, (2) civil engineering, (3) manufacturing, and (4) performing arts." Main supervisor Associate Professor Jan Emblemsvåg, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Aalesund. Co-supervisors: Associate Professor (Professorstipendiat) Lise L. Halse and Associate Professor Bjørn Guvåg at Molde University College.

Here is a summary of her thesis:
Most Norwegian shipyards deliver customized vessels by applying an Engineer-To-Order (ETO) strategy where the customer is involved in establishing the main features of the final product from the design and engineering phases all the way to delivery. This dissertation contributes to solving a project planning paradox in the ETO environment by analyzing the process of generating and following a project plan.

The paradox refers to the fact that even though most ETO companies acknowledge that planning is essential, very few of them focus on the process that makes it efficient. Kjersem’s idea was to bring awareness to the importance of the planning process since this facilitates the completion of project activities as planned.

As shown in her research, organizing well-structured planning meetings is dependant on proper training and understanding of the context of an ETO project. This can enable a more effective planning process, which in turn contributes to better project outcome. The idea is well summarized by D., Eisenhower, who, more than seventy years ago stated: “Plans are nothing - planning is everything”.
PhD Kjersem's findings might contribute to a wide range of industries. Kristina Kjersem may be contacted here: