KPM the new Japanese Project Management

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To overcome the issue, the new context symbolized by KPM (Kaikaku Project Management) has been launched, and its thinking and methodology are being applied. Most papers are written in either the contemporary or the new context or both, because they belong more or less to Kaikaku-type project management, which is further segmented to include areas of Kakusin (innovation), Kaihatsu (development), and Kaizen (improvement) solutions. KPM depicts the new knowledge framework improved from P2M by further clarifying the interface and linkage to strategy, role and competency model for mindset change, and knowledge platform in terms of the organizational view. All the papers in this volume cover, relate to, or paraphrase KPM partially or totally. The volume consists of six parts, titled as follows:

Part 1: Framework of Contemporary Japanese Project Management

The history and extensive applications of project management in Japan are overviewed. The paradigm shift from technical to value creation is explained as the birth of KPM version rooted in the first standard of P2M in Japan. In P2M/KPM, a mission-driven approach is adopted, which differs from the orthodox goal-driven approach. A "mission" is defined here as the expectation of realizing a future vision proposed by the owner's initiative for kaikaku which is linked to a strategy. In P2M/KPM, the methodology is exhibited in 3S reference project models of scheme, system and service for expanded lifecycle program management. However, conservatism and bureaucracy resulted in frequent slowdowns. The mismatching of human resource allocation had discouraged team motivation in the experiences. In KPM, the new organizational consideration is introduced in 3K thinking of Kakusin (innovation), Kaihatsu (development), and Kaizen (improvement) as aforementioned. KPM thinking and methodology have proved effective and successful so far in improving company-wide learning opportunities, enhancing participation, and motivating consensus and awareness of core leaders.

Part 2: KPM in the Information and Communications Industry

Japan's information industry is a growing industry with a market size of ¥40 trillion combining hardware and software products. In the IT industry, project management has been used for quite a while as a methodology for building technical systems. Nevertheless, it is facing two critical issues. The first issue is the low productivity in the simultaneous management of numerous small to mid-size projects. The second issue refers to development risks and inter-customer relationships. The former is about decision-making on internal authority and its role in a matrix organization. The latter is about mutual understanding of project context between organizations. Concerning these two issues, KPM suggests from a project governance perspective a framework for information sharing, integration by program managers, project business models, platform design, etc., and explains its own framework.

Part 3: Project Management for Business Reforms Linked to Strategy

Business executives are seeking solutions for resource allocation and overall evaluation in reform projects. There are two issues involved here. One is the resource allocation of project value and the overall evaluation during the planning of reform strategies. The other is the evaluation of the performance of the strategy and its results. KPM proposes "project management that can recoup the investment" as its methodology and suggests an evaluation method using project balance scorecards and a control method using the Key Performance Indicator (KPI). Such control not only serves as a financial indicator, but also aims to establish a management approach that makes the reform successful because of multiple factors including the project owner, high learning ability across the organization, and business growth.

Part 4: Project Management for Knowledge-Based Development Strategy

For many years, project management for development has been used to manage technology development in research institutions, but it has not evolved into an independent PM paradigm. In strategic management of intellectual property and development projects in industry-government-academia collaboration, people are trying to overcome such management trend. While we live in a matured knowledge-based information society, new project management ideas and methodologies are increasingly receiving attention. KPM aims to be a comprehensive management solution while promoting the paradigm shift from the technical system to a "value system" and considering development, execution and implementation as a total lifecycle. Thus, the new KPM is used for the long-term, strategic development of technologies in the public sector, the development of new drugs, and the development of environment-friendly products.

Part 5: Application of KPM for New Value-Creating Activity

To solve a complex social problem, we need to take an interdisciplinary scientific approach because an individual science cannot solve such a problem. In KPM thinking, project management is categorized in the new disciplines as a holistic creative solution. The view is insightful by constructivist thinking rather than analytical by positivist thinking. Perception has to interact with logic for realizing innovation into reality. The constructivist interpretation is guided by the mission-driven approach and ba collaboration platform. To link practice and science, KPM recommends and applies the simulation, agent-based modeling and methodology for hypothesizing, visualizing, and testing practices for logical supports. Here, research on the public project of superhighway and the customized product development of networked team are presented in KPM paradigm. The former research advances the methodology for complex project missions by demonstrating simulation of feasible or optimal toll rate calculation. The latter research deals with a networked project team working on frame boxes for personal computers. The project members in distant locations were obliged to exchange opinions frequently on profiling configuration and specification from design to manufacture stage of the lifecycle. The development process has been traced for project-based learning and modeling. Readers may be interested in media tools of CAD and groupware, and further attracted by progressive description of facts in digital and face-to-face communications.

Part 6: Project Management Infrastructures for Evolving the Standard

The most important elements of the infrastructure for advancing project management are threefold: standardization system, international use and organization-wide education. By strengthening these elements, the cycle of research, implementation and standardization will be ensured. As a result, the infrastructure and the promotion of knowledge become inseparable. Especially in colleges and universities, which have a dual role of research and education, KPM has recently been taught in their programs designed to train future reform leaders. Because of the advancement of global supply chains, more Japanese companies are becoming multinational. To do business in countries whose cultures, customs and languages are different from each other, it is essential to promote KPM so that we can make a complex context of business models adjusted to these countries to speed up business operations.

Volume Editor Shigenobu Ohara

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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  • Swen
    How do japanese developers project manage?
    10 months ago

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