Finding the expertise to handle complex, knowledge-intensive team projects is challenging. That’s where a project network comes in.
Projects that are nonroutine, complex and require sophisticated knowledge are a challenge to managers in organizations today. The required expertise to tackle such knowledge-intensive projects is often unexpected, complicated, subjective and distributed across the organization. Managers in organizations often assemble project teams to work on such tasks, since day-to-day work by an individual employee is less likely to achieve the desired results. To research the factors that affect the success of teams working on knowledge-intensive projects, we studied an established companywide recognition program for project teams at a large multinational food company. As part of that study, we surveyed 1,304 members of project teams in the company to identify key characteristics that promote success in knowledge-intensive work. We then compared responses from the project teams regarding how they went about their work with the company’s assessment — through the judging of the team recognition program — on the significance of the projects’ outcome.