Conceiving a Lean and Participative Project Management Framework Suited to Large-Scale Scientific Projects:: How to Adapt Existing Systems Engineering and Project Management Best Practices to CERN's Projects?
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The use of project management methodologies has increased within most sectors the recent years. While project management earlier was an optional asset to an organization, the discipline is increasingly acknowledged as a necessity for modern organizations. Despite this, many organizations, among them CERN, lack an appropriate framework for managing their projects. This thesis investigates the best practices of systems engineering and project management, and tries to lay the foundations for a project management methodology at CERN. Through an extensive study of literature, complemented by a case study investigating the current project management practices at CERN, the thesis adds up information on the necessary aspects for the start-up of a project management methodology. The empirical data for the case study was mainly collected by the use of semi-structured interviews and 17 experienced members of personnel at CERN contributed with their opinions. The thesis is mainly focused on the areas of project life cycles, roles and responsibilities, and documentation. The main findings suggest that incorporating the idea of a centralized methodology to the organizational culture, centralizing a life cycle for the organization on an overall level, identifying clearly the roles and responsibilities, reducing the amount of unnecessary documentation, and explicitly stating needs in the front-end, are all important aspects to consider for a successful development of a methodology. Moreover the continued use and development of the earned value management tool is believed to be advantageous for CERN. The work suggest to use these aspects as a point of departure for designing a project management methodology within the organization.