New product development projects and project manager skill sets in the telecommunications industry
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 16:16 authored by Mustafa Kosaroglu
The telecommunications industry ('Telco'), a service provider business, is undergoing significant changes such as deregulations, technology changes and increasing competition. Managers face increased pressure to bring new products with the latest technology into the market faster. Few previous studies have analysed New Product Development (NPD) projects in this hypercompetitive industry. This research addresses this gap by investigating Telco NPD projects and the associated skill sets needed by successful project managers.--The study evaluated how project managers' various skills contribute to project management success. Incorporating clear definitions grounded in the recent literature on NPD, management and leadership, the research proposed a new organising framework of four groups of skill sets: technical, leadership, managerial and administrative. Technical skills are the knowledge of technologies on which the project work is based. Leadership skills involve influencing project stakeholders to deliver a quality product within time and budget. Managerial skills are needed to develop and execute project plans and to get project work done. Administrative skills include understanding an organisation's structure, culture, policies, processes, methods and tools.--Previous classifications for Telco NPD projects have over-emphasised product innovation and undervalued the process aspects. While small projects provide fewer management challenges, this study found that project managers of large and complex projects require all four skill sets. Managerial skills are mandatory. Technical and administrative skills enhance understanding of the technology and business processes. Leadership skills are limited at an operational level. Managerial and administrative skills are essential for developing and implementing project plans; technical skills are important in the initial project stages; leadership skills are needed from the beginning until delivering a new product.--The research outcomes can be used when hiring and developing NPD project manager professionals in the Telco industry to complement current project manager competency standards, which do not cover all the skill sets. Findings may be applicable to Telco companies in other countries new to such market conditions. Furthermore, other industries may adapt the skill set framework to suit their own particular requirements.