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Associate Professor Catherine Killen

Biography

Catherine Killen is an Associate Professor in the School of Systems, Management and Leadership in the Faculty of Engineering and IT at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia. Catherine conducts research on innovation project processes with a focus on project portfolio management and has published more than 60 journal articles, conference papers and book chapters in the area. Her current research themes include the relationship between strategy and the project portfolio, organisational project management, capabilities for survival in dynamic environments, and the management of project interdependencies within a project portfolio.

Catherine maintains strong links with industry and convenes a project portfolio management special interest group with more than 80 industry-based members. She is regularly invited to speak about innovation and project portfolio management at conferences, seminars and industry events. She also delivers corporate workshops on technology management tools and assists organisations benchmark and improve their innovation processes. 

As the coordinator for innovation programs, Catherine develops and teaches courses and programs on technological innovation to undergraduate and postgraduate engineering students. She also supervises research students ranging from doctoral candidates to undergraduate students completing final year projects.  

Catherine has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia (USA) with high distinction, a Master of Engineering Management from the University of Technology, Sydney (awarded the MEM prize), and a PhD from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM) in Sydney, Australia. 

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Professional

Editor (project portfolio management and innovation), Project Management Journal (PMJ)

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Image of Catherine Killen
Associate Professor, School of Systems, Management and Leadership
Core Member, CMOS - Centre for Management and Organisational Studies
BSME (U.Va.), MEM (UTS), PhD
 
Phone
+61 2 9514 1830

Research Interests

Research themes include the strategic management of projects through project portfolio management, multi-project management or similar approaches, the alignment of project strategy with organisational strategy, organisational project management in dynamic environments, methods to manage project interdependencies within a project portfolio, and how perceptions of value affect decisions about project investments. 

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Can supervise: Yes
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Undergraduate subjects for the Innovation Major (also popular as electives for students in other majors):

Introduction to Innovation: technological change; innovation project processes, commercialisation of technological innovations; innovative cultures and approaches; financial considerations for innovation; management of innovation

Innovation Processes: engineering processes for new product and service development; technology forecasting and decision making, project and portfolio management

Postgraduate - 49016 Technology and Innovation Management

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Chapters

Killen, C.P. 2015, 'Organizational Agility through Project Portfolio Management' in Levin, G. & Wyzalek, J. (eds), Portfolio Management: A Strategic Approach, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis, Boca Raton, pp. 1-14.
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In dynamic environments, organizational agility is essential for survival; organizations must be able to adapt to change in order to succeed. In project-based organizations, a dynamic project portfolio management (PPM) capability can enhance organizational agility. PPM is an important organizational capability that enables organizations to manage and balance the portfolio holistically, to align projects with strategy, and to ensure adequate resourcing for projects in order to maximize the benefits from project investments. A dynamic PPM capability enables organizations to be agile and flexible by facilitating adjustments to the project portfolio and reallocating resources in response to the changes in the environment. In order for the PPM capability to remain relevant, it must evolve to reflect changes in the environment. Examples of aspects of PPM that enhance organizational agility are outlined in this paper to provide guidance for practitioners.
Killen, C.P., Jugdev, K., Drouin, N. & Petit, Y. 2013, 'Translational approaches: applying strategic management theories to OPM research' in Drouin, N., Muller, R. & Sankaran, S. (eds), Novel Approaches to Organizational Project Management Research: Translational and Transformational, Copenhagen Business School Press, Koege, Denmark, pp. 348-380.
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Killen, C.P. & Hunt, R. 2012, 'Widening the perspective on organisational capabilities for project portfolio management' in Linger, H. & Owen, J. (eds), The Project as a Social System. Asia-Pacific Perspectives on Project Management, Monash University Publishing, Clayton, Vic, Australia, pp. 112-130.
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Killen, C.P., Hunt, R. & Kleinschmidt, E. 2008, 'The Human Factor in Innovation Project Portfolio Management' in NA (ed), Inside the innovation matrix: Finding the hidden human dimension, Australian Business Foundation, North Sydney, Sydney, pp. 158-177.

Conferences

Ang, K.C., Killen, C.P. & Sankaran, S. 2015, 'Value constructs in multi-stakeholder environments that influence project portfolio decision making', Euram'15 Uncertainty is a great opportunity - Programme Book and E-proceedings, 15th Annual Conference of the European Academy of Management (Euram) Conference 2015, European Academy of Management, Warsaw, Poland.
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Abstract: A key goal for project portfolio management (PPM) is to maximize strategic value across the portfolio. In certain industries, particularly in the context of non-commercial sectors, the 'value' generated by the portfolio may not always fit with typical PPM frameworks that emphasize financial value. Furthermore project and portfolio 'value' are complex phenomena due to the multiple and sometimes contradicting expectations demanded by multiple stakeholders that participate in and influence the ways that PPM decisions incorporate value. This paper draws on organization, business, stakeholder and project management literature to consider different perspectives of value, and integrates stakeholder theory and sensemaking in its investigation of value in multi-stakeholder portfolio environments. It highlights the key question 'Value for whom, value by whom' and proposes that multiple case-studies of a diverse sample of project-based organizations would be useful to address this question. A Hybrid Delphi study using expert panels is also proposed to triangulate the findings. Keywords: project portfolio management, value, stakeholders, sensemaking, decision making
Ang, K.C.S., Killen, C.P. & Sankaran, S. 2015, 'Unanticipated value creation: Sensemaking and the value spectrum in partnership projects', Proceedings of IRNOP 2015, International Research Network on Organising by Projects, IRNOP 2015, International Research Network on Organising by Projects, International Research Network on Organizing by Projects (IRNOP), London, UK.
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This paper explores the dimensions of value across a partnership project (that requires collaboration from two or more organisations), and highlights how unanticipated values from a project can add value to the overall portfolio. Insights into the complexities of defining and managing value derive from a study investigating managerial decisions to persist with a partnership project despite indications of possible failure, and how value was ultimately created. The study highlights a variety of valuable outcomes from project and portfolio activities. Sensemaking processes are illustrated and a value spectrum model is presented to provide guidance for portfolio decision makers involved in partnership projects.
Killen, C.P., Clegg, S., Biesenthal, C. & Sankaran, S. 2015, 'Time to make space for practice-based research in project portfolio management', Asia Pacific Researchers in Organisational Studies (APROS) / European Group for Organization Studies (EGOS), Sydney, Australia.
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Practice-based research is extending understanding in the disciplines of strategy and project management, in part as a result of strong advocacy of research from 'strategy-as-practice' and 'projects-as-practice' perspectives. Such perspectives provide holistic contextual information and reveal the evolutionary and responsive nature of project and strategy processes. As environments shift and become more complex, dynamic capabilities are required for projects to flourish. Normative project management approaches are being challenged and practice-based project portfolio management (PPM) research is emerging. Increasingly, PPM defines the space between strategy and project management, with a key project focus on temporality. There is a need for further development and encouragement of practice-based approaches in PPM research that are alert to the becoming of projects as spatial manifestations that unfold in (different conceptions of) time. We identify three themes in project and portfolio management research that employ practice-based and strategically anchored perspectives. We illustrate the trajectory of early work on strategy and the front end of projects through to the development and application of increasingly sophisticated theoretical perspectives in project portfolio management (PPM) research. The dynamic capabilities perspective is shown to provide a strong theoretical foundation for investigating PPM and its role in implementing and informing strategy through projects. Theoretically grounded and practice-based research represents the interplay between structure and practice, with these reciprocally and recursively shaping each other over time. Building on these examples we call for practice-based research in PPM, and we suggest a convergence of strategy-as-practice perspectives and practice-based PPM research.
Logan, J. & Killen, C.P. 2014, 'A comparison of the effectiveness of entrepreneurial education approaches', Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange Conference, Queensland University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, pp. 709-729.
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Entrepreneurship education is usually taught with the intention of increasing entrepreneurial activity. Entrepreneurial intention is thought to predict entrepreneurial behaviour and is linked to a type of self confidence called 'self-efficacy'. Increases in entrepreneurial 'self-efficacy' are linked with increased entrepreneurial intent and ultimately the desire to start a business. Numerous studies suggest enterprise education increases 'self efficacy' through teaching pedagogies that include opportunities for a combination of four elements: mastery experiences, modeling, social persuasion, and judgments of our own physiological states. Whilst there is research about the combination of these pedagogies little has been done to evaluate the four key methodologies individually to understand the influence of each. The research reported in this paper provides insights into how different pedagogies contribute to the development of self-efficacy. This exploratory study reports on the experiences of three groups of post-graduate students who experienced similar entrepreneurship and innovation management courses with similar content but who were taught using different pedagogies. Given the importance of entrepreneurship and the high levels of investment in entrepreneurship education, these insights on the effectiveness of teaching pedagogies are valuable and fill an important gap in the literature.
Kopmann, J., Kock, A., Killen, C.P. & Gemuenden, H.G. 2014, 'Business Case Control: The Key to Project Portfolio Success or Merely a Matter of Form?', EURAM 2014 WAVES AND WINDS OF STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP FOR SUSTAINABLE COMPETITIVENESS, European Academy of Management (EURAM), European Academy of Management, Valencia, Spain, pp. 1-40.
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Practitioner and professional organization literature places strong emphasis on business cases with the expectation that the use of business cases to inform and drive investment decisions will produce better results. In particular, from a project portfolio perspective the business case of a project may provide the underlying rationale for value-oriented management. However, academic research regarding the use of business cases at a project portfolio level is scarce. By exploring the facets of business case control – encompassing the initial review of project business cases, the ongoing monitoring during project execution, and the post-project tracking until the business case is realized – this study investigates the relationship between business control and project portfolio success. Furthermore, we analyze critical enablers and relevant contingencies for the application of business case control. The results are based on a cross-industry sample of 183 medium-sized and large companies and rely on two informants from each firm. We found significant evidence for the positive relationship between business case control and project portfolio success. In addition, accountability for business case realization and corresponding incentive systems increase this positive effect. Finally, we found that contingencies (portfolio size and external turbulence) also have a moderating effect. This study contributes to research and practice by developing and validating a multi-dimensional construct for business case control, providing evidence for its effectiveness and enabling conditions.
Kopmann, J., Kock, A., Killen, C.P. & Gemuenden, H.G. 2014, 'The Role of Innovation Portfolio Management in the Nexus between Deliberate and Emergent Innovation Strategies', 21st International Product Development Management Conference (IPDMC), International Product Development Management Conference, EIASM, Limerick, pp. 1-24.
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Planning and implementing innovation strategies are typically considered to be top-down processes and innovation portfolio management plays a decisive role in this context by aligning the project portfolio to the firm's strategy. However, in strategic management research it is well accepted that strategies are not solely deliberate but can also be emergent. Thus, between top-down innovation strategy formulation and its implementation, responding dialectic elements are required to sense emerging strategic impetuses and cope with changing environmental conditions. This paper addresses the role of portfolio management in the nexus between strategy formulation and implementation. Using a sample of 182 medium and large firms with two informants, we show that portfolio management not only fosters the implementation of intended innovation strategies through vertical integration but also discloses strategic opportunities by unveiling emerging patterns. The findings show that portfolio management contributes to innovation portfolio success by supporting both the implementation of deliberate and emergent strategies through vertical integration and strategic disclosure. The effects are complementary in that both activities increase the positive effects of the other. Furthermore we find that strategic control (i.e. premise control, implementation control, and strategic surveillance) on a portfolio level indirectly contributes to success mediated by vertical integration and strategic disclosure. Finally, we show that the influence of vertical integration on innovation portfolio success is reduced under high environmental turbulence.
Urhahn, C., Spieth, P. & Killen, C.P. 2013, 'Centered or dispersed? Supporting innovation strategy through a deeper understanding of perceived innovativeness in product portfolios', Proceedings of EURAM, 13th Annual conference of the European Academy of Management, EURAM 2013, Galatasaray University and European Academy of Management, Istanbul, pp. 1-31.
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To support the successful implementation of product innovation strategies, we investigate the role of perceived product portfolio innovativeness (PPPI) and its relationship to a firms brand equity. Besides the overall level of PPPI, our analysis additionally reflects direct and moderating effects of the variation of product innovativeness across the portfolio (DPPPI) and hence offers novel insights into an unexplored aspect of portfolio innovativeness. Moreover, in contrast to previous studies, we apply a novel, consumer-centric measurement approach and overcome potential shortcomings of expert-based methods. The hypothesized relationships are tested on survey-data from 691 respondents. Our results imply a strong positive correlation between PPPI and brand equity which is mitigated by DPPPI. Managerial implications of this finding are discussed.
Urhahn, C., Spieth, P. & Killen, C.P. 2013, 'The influence of perceived innovativeness in product portfolios', The Proceedings of The XXIV ISPIM Conference - Innovating in Global Markets: Challenges for Sustainable Growth Conference, XXIV ISPIM Conference, ISPIM, Helsinki, Finland, pp. 1-17.
To support the successful implementation of product innovation strategies, we investigate the role of perceived product portfolio innovativeness (PPPI) as an antecedent to a brand-related and a consumer-related success measure. Thereby, we address shortcomings in extant research by applying a novel, consumer-centric measurement approach which can help to overcome prevalent expert-based measurement methods. Based on a consumer experiment, the effects of PPPI on brand equity and on adoption intention are analyzed. Our study reflects the multidimensional nature of PPPI and explores how technological PPPI affects product judgment and adoption intention through a direct and an indirect route. Increasing technological PPPI is found to support product judgment directly and indirectly via market PPPI. Market PPPI in turn deploys positive and negative consequences through its sub-dimensions product superiority and adoption difficulty. Implications for scholars and management practitioners are discussed and directions for future research are provided
Killen, C.P. 2012, 'Evaluation of project interdependency visualizations through decision scenario experimentation', Proceedings of the EURAM 2012 International Congress, European Academy of Management (EURAM), Rotterdam, pp. 1-40.
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The interdependence between projects in complex portfolios sharpens the challenge of project portfolio decision making. Methods that assist with the evaluation of data can address decision challenges such as information overload and time pressure. A decision simulation in a controlled experiment explored the use of visual representations of project interdependency data to support project portfolio decision making. Dependency matrices and network mapping were compared with non-graphical lists of dependency data. The findings show that the type of tool used may influence the quality of the resulting decision. Using visual tools, particularly network mapping displays, is correlated with the best results. The research provides a practical example of experimentation in project and portfolio management research and illustrates how such studies can complement organization-based research. Findings of interest to management include the importance of ensuring adequate time for decision processes and the potential benefits from using visual representations of project interdependence.
Killen, C.P. 2012, 'Organizational agility through project portfolio management', Congreso Internacional de Dirección de Proyectos PMI, PMI, Lima, Peru, pp. 1-10.
Killen, C.P., Du Plessis, M.P. & Young, M. 2012, 'Valuing Non-commercial Projects for Portfolio Decision Making', Proceedings of the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) Conference, AIPM National Conference 2012, AIPM, Melbourne, pp. 1-10.
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Organisations involved with non-commercial projects are under increasing pressure to improve the value, transparency and accountability in their management and funding of projects. The outcomes from non-commercial projects often have significant benefits to society, however resources are limited and organisations are under pressure to deliver the expected value from non-commercial projects. Project Portfolio Management (PPM) approaches, where portfolio value is managed holistically, have strong appeal as methods to improve the overall value and meet governance requirements in non-commercial settings. There is strong interest in PPM in the non-commercial sector and scope for PPM to make a large positive contribution, however methods to define value in most existing PPM frameworks are tailored for commercial contexts. This paper reports on non-financial and non-commercial value measurement approaches to inform the tailoring of PPM approaches for non-commercial project contexts.
Killen, C.P. & Kjaer, C. 2011, 'Visual Project Mapping of Project Interdependencies', Proceedings of the Annual Project Management Australia Conference (PMOz): Project Management at the Speed of Light, PMOZ 8th Annual Project Management Australia Conference, Project Management Australia, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-7.
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Killen, C.P., Drouin, N., Jugdev, K., Petit, Y. & Söderlund, J. 2011, 'Panel: Advancing project management research with strategic management theories on resources, competencies and capabilities', Proceedings of IRNOP (International Research Network on Organising by Projects) 2011, Coop University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM), Montreal, Canada, pp. 1-1.
Al-Kilidar, H., Davis, S., Kutay, C. & Killen, C.P. 2011, 'Towards Project Portfolio Management for Sustainable Outcomes in the Construction Industry', Proceedings of the Annual Project Management Australia Conference (PMOz): Project Management at the Speed of Light, PMOZ 8th Annual Project Management Australia Conference, Project Management Australia, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-7.
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Killen, C.P. & Kjaer, C. 2011, 'Understanding project interdependencies: The role of visual representation, environment and process', Proceedings of IRNOP (International Research Network on Organising by Projects) 2011, International Research Network on Organising by Projects, Coop University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM), Montreal, Canada, pp. 1-26.
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Project portfolio management (PPM) is cnetral to many organisations' strategic processes and requires consideration of multiple factors and inputs and the ability to envision alternative future consequences to support strategic decision making. Complex project portfolios with multiple project interdependencies are characteristic of many project environments, yet existing methods and tools do not provide the clear understanding of project interdependencies that is required to support strategic project portfolio decision making. The exploratory research reported here introduces a new type of visual representaion and provides insights into the facots affecting an organisation's ability to understand prject interdependencies. Visual project mapping (VPM), the creation of graphical network displays of projects and their interdependencies, is shown to provide benefits by supporting communication and strategic portfolio decision making. The research also highlights the importance of the enivronment and the processes, and indicates that they both play an important role in an organisation's understanding of project portfolio interdependencies.
Young, M., Killen, C.P. & Young, R. 2011, 'Eyes Wide Shut: Expanding the view of portfolio management', IPMA World Congress Proceedings 2011, Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM), Brisbane, Australia, pp. 1-13.
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This conceptual paper examines our existing world-view portfolio is defined the management of that portfolios from that of project and new product development portfolios to other portfolios that exist in an organisation, such as the asset portfolio, resource portfolio and ideas portfolio. Portfolios do not exist in isolation in an organisational context, but instead overlap and interact. This paper argues that there is a need to move another step higher, and examine the relationships between portfolios of projects and related activities across an organisation in order to optimise outcomes across the organisation. We propose the need for `enterprise portfolio management and suggest that this approach has the potential to improve organisational efficiency, and in the longer term could be a source of competitive advantage.
Killen, C.P., Levin, G., Kwak, Y.H. & Sankaran, S. 2010, 'Project Portfolio Management (PPM) - Strategic and Operational Agility Through Projects', PMI® Research & Education Conference 2010: Defining the Future of Project Management, Defining the Future of Project Management - Research & Education Conference 2010, Project Management Institute (PMI), Washington D.C., USA, pp. 1-1.
Killen, C.P., Krumbeck, B. & Kjaer, C. 2010, 'Visualising project interdependencies for enhanced project portfolio decision-making', 2010 Conference: Project Management - Creating a Future (AIPM2010), International Project Management Association Congress, Australian Institute Project Management (AIPM), Darwin, Australia, pp. 1-13.
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Project management (PM) and project portfolio management (PPM) communities face challenges in the management of complex and highly interdependent project portfolios, as these interdependencies must be understood and managed for best project and portfolio outcomes. The research reported in this paper provides benefits to the global PM and PPM community by introducing a new tool and by providing insights into the factors affecting an organisationâs ability to understand project interdependencies (PI). Visual project mapping (VPM), the creation of graphical displays of projects and their interdependencies as a network of nodes and arrows, is shown to provide benefits by supporting communication and strategic portfolio decision making. The research also highlights the importance of the environment and culture as well as processes and tools and indicates that they work together to improve an organisationâs understanding of project portfolio interdependencies
Krumbeck, B. & Killen, C.P. 2010, 'A System Dynamics Approach for Strategic Analysis of Project Portfolio Interdependencies', 2010 Conference: Project Management - Creating a Future (AIPM2010), Project Management - Creating a Future, Australian Institute Project Management (AIPM), Darwin, Australia, pp. 1-10.
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Understanding project portfolio interdependencies is essential in order to manage projects in complex and dynamic environments. Project environments across the globe are becoming increasingly complex, creating heightened challenges for project management (PM) and project portfolio management (PPM). Current research indicates that organisations globally fall short of understanding how project interdependencies affect portfolio outcomes. The literature on System Dynamics (SD) suggests that SD may be a suitable tool to encapsulate the âbigger pictureâ of PPM interdependencies. This research applies a client interactive approach using SD modelling techniques to represent interdependencies within a project portfolio. A case study was conducted with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) to investigate SD as a potential tool for the management of project portfolio interdependencies The outcomes of the case study suggest that SD has the ability to challenge an organisationâs perceptions of their project portfolio interdependencies and to enhance strategic decisionmaking capabilities.
Killen, C.P. & Hunt, R. 2010, 'Dynamic capability: Understanding the Relationship Between Project Portfolio Management Capability and Competitive Advantage', PMI® Research & Education Conference 2010: Defining the Future of Project Management, Defining the Future of Project Management - Research & Education Conference, Project Management Institute (PMI), Washington D.C., USA, pp. 1-34.
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This research employs the dynamic capabilities framework to improve understanding of the relationship between organizational project portfolio management (PPM) capabilities and competitive advantage. A growing stream of literature on PPM includes best practice studies that show correlations between PPM practices and project portfolio outcomes; however, these studies are not theoretically grounded and do not provide explanations about the mechanisms that may lead to the correlations. The research reported in this paper employs a multiple-case study to provide indepth understanding of organizational PPM capabilities. The research investigates the management of new product development (NPD) project portfolios at six diverse organizations, including three from the rapidly growing and increasingly important service sector. The findings illustrate that an organizational PPM capability goes beyond the processes and procedures used; organizational structures and human dimensions are important components of the capability. PPM is shown to contribute to competitive advantage through the mechanisms of a dynamic capability by enabling organizations to reconfigure the resource base to respond to changes in the environment. Organizational learning is found to be instrumental for a dynamic PPM capability and insights are provided into the ways that organizations establish and evolve their PPM capabilities. The findings also contribute to the understanding of how PPM is tailored to environments through an analysis of differences between service and manufacturing industries; PPM is largely similar in the service and manufacturing environments studied, but exhibits differences related to the differing levels and types of dynamism in the environments, differing levels of flexibility in resources and the ongoing trend towards a service focus in manufacturing industries.
Killen, C.P. 2009, 'Trends in product innovation: how manufacturing and services blend', Proceedings of the 23rd ANZAM Conference 2009 'Sustainability Management and Marketing', Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference, Promaco Conventions Pt Ltd, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-18.
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As the boundary between manufacturing and service industries continues to blur, product innovation often takes the form of blended product offerings consisting of both manufactured and service elements. Organisational innovation processes and strategies have traditionally been based on either a âmanufacturingâ or a âserviceâ mindset, which may not be suitable for optimal innovation in a blended offering. This paper combines findings from an empirical study with literature from service and manufacturing perspectives to enhance understanding of the nature of blended offerings. A typology of blended product offerings is proposed that integrates previously identified blending mechanisms with new findings on current trends and types of blended innovations. Implications for innovation management are discussed and directions for future research are suggested.
Killen, C.P. & Hunt, R. 2009, 'Project portfolio management maturity model for dynamic environments', 'Modernisation in Project Management: Flexibility, Risk, Integration and Sustainability': Proceedings of the 2009 AIPM Project Management Conference, Australian Institute of Project Management conference, The Australian Institute of Project Management, Adelaide, Australia, pp. 1-9.
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Project portfolio management (PPM) capabilities provide a holistic decision-making framework to align projects with strategy and to ensure resource sufficiency for the project portfolio. PPM capabilities are shown to evolve in response to dynamic environments in six case studies. Capability Maturity Models (CMMs) are often used to outline the maturity paths for the establishment and evolution of PPM capabilities. This paper presents a PPM CMM that improves upon existing CMMs by incorporating organisational learning capabilities, by recognising antecedents for maturity stages that build upon other capabilities and by paying explicit attention to capabilities that assist in balancing exploration and exploitation projects.
Killen, C.P., Krumbeck, B., Kjaer, C. & Durant-Law, G.A. 2009, 'Managing project interdependencies: exploring new approaches', Asia Pacific Expert Seminar (APES2009): Managing Projects, Programs And Ventures In Times Of Uncertainty And Disruptive Change, Asia Pacific Expert Seminar, APIC, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-8.
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The interdependencies between projects create complexities for the management of project portfolios within organisations. In times of uncertainty this challenge is even greater due to the difficulties in predicting the flow-on effects from changes to projects in the portfolio. Hence, in times of disruptive change a good understanding of project interdependencies is particularly important. This paper outlines two related studies that aim to improve the understanding and management of interdependencies within project portfolios. The paper first defines project portfolio management (PPM) and highlights its growing importance for optimising organisational outcomes, especially in dynamic environments. Project portfolio complexity and interdependencies between projects in a portfolio are then overviewed, highlighting the challenges that these interdependencies create for effective PPM, and introducing some of the methods used for understanding and managing these interdependencies including the dependency matrix and the related design structure matrix. Network analysis and mapping tools are then introduced and suggested as a novel method for improving understanding and managing project interdependencies. Finally, an example of the use of this type of method is presented and the current research projects are overviewed.
Paternoster, G.J., Hunt, R. & Killen, C.P. 2009, 'Exploring Project Portfolio Management Decisions: The role of intuition and entrepreneurship in project portfolio outcomes', Asia Pacific Expert Seminar (APES2009): Managing Projects, Programs and Ventures in Times of Uncertainty and Disruptive Change, Asia Pacific Expert Seminar, Asia Pacific International College, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-8.
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Hunt, R. & Killen, C.P. 2009, 'Development of a Virtual Professional Learning Laboratory for Quality Function Deployment', Proceedings of the 15th International Symposium on Quality Function Deployment, International Symposium on Quality Function Deployment, QFD Latin American Society, Monterrey, Mexico, pp. 102-108.
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Killen, C.P., Walker, M. & Hunt, R. 2009, 'QFD: Solving the Fuzzy Front End of Strategy', Proceedings of the 15th International Symposium on Quality Function Deployment, International Symposium on Quality Function Deployment, QFD Latin American Society, Monterrey, Mexico, pp. 154-163.
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Killen, C.P., Hunt, R. & Kleinschmidt, E. 2008, 'New product project portfolio management: cases from diverse industries', Proceedings of the 17th IAMOT Conference, International Conference on Management of Technology, International Association for Management of Technology (IAMOT), Dubai, UAE, pp. 1-20.
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Killen, C.P., Hunt, R. & Kleinschmidt, E. 2007, 'Managing the New Product Development Project Portfolio: A Review of the Literature and Empirical Evidence', Management of Converging Technologies, PICMET, Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology, Portland, Oregon, USA, pp. 1864-1874.
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Empirical evidence on project portfolio management practices and outcomes with meta literature review of the field
Killen, C.P., Hunt, R. & Kleinschmidt, E. 2007, 'Strategic Capabilities for Innovation Projects', Continuous Innovation - Opportunities and Challenges, International CINet Conference, CINet Continuous Innovation Network, Gothenberg, Sweden, pp. 320-330.
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Killen, C.P., Hunt, R. & Kleinschmidt, E. 2007, 'Dynamic Capabilities: Innovation Project Portfolio Management', Proceedings of the 21st ANZAM 2007 Conference: Managing Our Intellectual and Social Capital, Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference, ANZAM, Sydney Australia, pp. 1-15.
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Killen, C.P., Hunt, R. & Kleinschmidt, E. 2006, 'Project portfolio management and enterprise decision making: Benchmarking practices and outcomes', Proceedings Of The 11Th Annual Conference Of Asia Pacific Decision Sciences Institute - Innovation & Service Excellence For Competitive Advantage In The Global Environment, Asia Pacific Decision Science Institute Conference, Asia Pacific Decision Sciences Institute, Kowloon, PEOPLES R CHINA, pp. 354-357.
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Effective decision making within the innovation project portfolio process is increasingly important to organizational survival. Large sums are invested in innovation projects, however a significant proportion of these do not result in successful new prod
Killen, C.P., Hunt, R. & Kleinschmidt, E. 2006, 'Benchmarking Innovation Portfolio Management Practices: Methods and Outcomes', East Meets West: Challenge and Opportunities in the Era of Globalization, proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Management of Technology, International Conference on Management of Technology, Research Centre for Technological Innovation, Tsinghua University, On CD, pp. 1-10.
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Killen, C.P., Hunt, R. & Kleinschmidt, E. 2006, 'Project Portfolio Management in Australia', Transformative Project and Program Management for the Advancement of Organisations, through Government Agencies and Communities: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Project Management (ProMAC20060), Project Management conference, Project Management Institute, on CD, pp. 1-8.
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Killen, C.P., Hunt, R. & Kleinschmidt, E. 2006, 'Innovation Portfolio Management: Relating Practices to Outcomes', Proceedings of the 13th International Product Development Management Conference, 13th International Product Development Management Conference, EIASM European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management, Milan, Italy, pp. 639-653.
McLaughlan, R.G., Killen, C.P., Soetendorp, R., Roach, J. & Childs, W.G. 2005, 'Engineering Enterprise through IP Education: What is needed?', Proceedings of 4th ASEE/AAEE Global Colloquium on Engineering Education, ASEE Global Colloquium of Engineering Education, University of Queensland, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-8.
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Killen, C.P., Hunt, R. & Kleinschmidt, E. 2005, 'Benchmarking portfolio management practices in Australia.Preliminary Findings', Proceedings of 8th QMOD Conference: Creating Values for People, Organisations and Societies, QMOD Conference, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy, pp. 593-603.
Killen, C.P. & Ford, M. 2005, 'Innovation in Cross-Faculty Education: Engineering and Science', Proceedings of 4th ASEE/AaeE Global Colloquium on Engineering Education, ASEE Global Colloquium of Engineering Education, University of Queensland, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-10.
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Killen, C.P. & Hunt, R. 2004, 'Australian Cluster Policy and Electronics Cluster Development', Proceedings of the 5th International CINet Conference, 5th International CINet Conference, CINet, Sydney, Australia, pp. 664-672.
Killen, C.P. & Hunt, R. 2004, 'Cooperative Competitive Strategies: Australian Electronics Cluster Development', Proceedings of the 13th Conference for the International Association for Management of Technology, International Conference on Management of Technology, IAMOT, Washington DC, USA, pp. 1-11.
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Killen, C.P., Walker, M. & Hunt, R. 2004, 'Strategy: Solving the Fuzzy Front End', Management Challenge of the New Millenium, Quality Management and Organisational Development Conference 7th International Conference (QMOD 2004), Tecnologico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico, pp. 229-238.
Killen, C.P. 1997, 'The non-technical side of manufacturing change: Australian case studies', INNOVATION IN TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT - THE KEY TO GLOBAL LEADERSHIP, pp. 657-659.
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Journal articles

Killen, C.P. 2015, 'Three dimensions of learning: experiential activity for engineering innovation education and research', European Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 40, no. 5, pp. 476-498.
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This paper outlines a novel approach to engineering education research that provides three dimensions of learning through an experiential class activity. A simulated decision activity brought current research into the classroom, explored the effect of experiential activity on learning outcomes and contributed to the research on innovation decision making. The 'decision task' was undertaken by more than 480 engineering students. It increased their reported measures of learning and retention by an average of 0.66 on a five-point Likert scale, and revealed positive correlations between attention, enjoyment, ongoing interest and learning and retention. The study also contributed to innovation management research by revealing the influence of different data visualisation methods on decision quality, providing an example of research-integrated education that forms part of the research process. Such a dovetailing of different research studies demonstrates how engineering educators can enhance educational impact while multiplying the outcomes from their research efforts.
Kopmann, J., Kock, A., Killen, C.P. & Gemuenden, H.G. 2015, 'Business Case Control in Project Portfolios-An Empirical Investigation of Performance Consequences and Moderating Effects', IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ENGINEERING MANAGEMENT, vol. 62, no. 4, pp. 529-543.
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Killen, C.P. 2014, 'Value management in project portfolios: identifying and assessing strategic value', Project Management Journal.
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Killen, C.P. & Hunt, R. 2013, 'Robust project portfolio management: Capability evolution and maturity', International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 131-151.
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding of project portfolio management (PPM) capability evolution, in order to guide the implementation and ongoing development of robust capabilities. Design/methodology/approach This research adopts a dynamic capabilities perspective and draws on organizational learning theory to investigate the path-dependent nature of PPM implementation and development. It employs a multiple-case study of six organizations. Findings Each of the case organizations reported a high level of evolution and change within their PPM capabilities, both purposeful and unintended. Potential fragilities are identified, such as the emergence of a success trap that inhibits explorative innovation and difficulties in stopping poor projects to reallocate resources. Based on findings from the literature and the multiple-case study, a capability maturity model is proposed to assist in the development of robust PPM capabilities that will continue to evolve and stay relevant in dynamic environments.
Killen, C.P. 2013, 'Evaluation of project interdependency visualizations through decision scenario experimentation', International Journal of Project Management, vol. 31, no. 6, pp. 804-816.
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The interdependence between projects in complex portfolios sharpens the challenge of project portfolio decision making. Methods that assist with the evaluation of data can address decision challenges such as information overload and time pressure. A decision simulation in a controlled experiment explored the use of visual representations of project interdependency data to support project portfolio decision making. Dependency matrices and network mapping were compared with non-graphical lists of dependency data. The findings show that the type of tool used may influence the quality of the resulting decision. Using visual tools, particularly network mapping displays, is correlated with the best results. The research provides a practical example of experimentation in project and portfolio management research and illustrates how such studies can complement organization-based research. Findings of interest to management include the importance of ensuring adequate time for decision processes and the potential benefits from using visual representations of project interdependence.
Du Plessis, M.P. & Killen, C.P. 2013, 'Valuing Water Industry R&D: A framework for valuing water R&D investments in financial and non-financial terms', Water, vol. 2013, no. 6, pp. 63-67.
Killen, C.P. & Kjaer, C. 2012, 'Understanding Project Interdependencies: The Role Of Visual Representation, Culture And Process', International Journal of Project Management, vol. 30, no. 5, pp. 554-566.
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Project portfolio management is central to many organizations' strategic processes and requires consideration of multiple factors and the ability to envision alternative future consequences to support strategic project portfolio decision making. Complex
Killen, C.P., Jugdev, K., Drouin, N. & Petit, Y. 2012, 'Advancing Project And Portfolio Management Research: Applying Strategic Management Theories', International Journal of Project Management, vol. 30, no. 5, pp. 525-538.
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This paper focuses on the application of strategic management theories to Project Management and Project Portfolio Management research, specifically the Resource-Based View, Dynamic Capabilities, and Absorptive Capacity. A literature review and four rese
Killen, C.P. & Hunt, R. 2010, 'Dynamic capability through project portfolio management in service and manufacturing industries', International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 157-169.
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The purpose of this paper is to summarise a recent doctoral thesis on the relationship between project portfolio management (PPM) and competitive advantage in service and manufacturing organisations. This paper adopts a âdynamic capabilitiesâ perspective, drawing on organisational learning theory to explain the path-dependent nature of PPM capability development and how PPM capabilities work with the resource base to enhance competitive advantage. Findings support prior PPM studies and suggest a positive relationship between structured PPM capabilities and improved outcomes. The research compares service and manufacturing environments; future challenges are likely to result from the increasing blurring of the boundaries between service and manufacturing industries. The research has four main practical outcomes: development of a model representing the overall PPM capability; a benchmark for and guidance on specific PPM processes and methods; guidance on the types of organisational learning investments that enhance the establishment and evolution of PPM capabilities; and the initial development of an outcomes and learning-based maturity model for PPM capabilities. This paper produces the first benchmark of innovation PPM capabilities in Australia, and is the first to include service product-focused portfolios. It is the first study that identifies PPM capabilities as dynamic capability, allowing existing research to be viewed through the dynamic capability lens and, more importantly, providing a theoretical underpinning that may influence future research and practice.
Killen, C.P. & Hunt, R. 2008, 'Best practice project portfolio management', International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 5-9.
Killen, C.P., Hunt, R. & Kleinschmidt, E. 2008, 'Learning investments and organizational capabilities: case studies on the development of project portfolio management capabilities', International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 334-351.
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to improve understanding and provide guidance for investments in organizational learning mechanisms for the establishment and evolution of organizational capabilities such as project portfolio management (PPM) and project management capabilities. Design/methodology/approach A multiple-case study research project investigates the development of PPM capabilities in six successful organizations across diverse industries. Findings The research indicates that PPM and organizational learning are dynamic capabilities that enhance an organization's ability to achieve and maintain competitive advantage in dynamic environments. PPM capabilities are shown to co-evolve through a combination of tacit experience accumulation, explicit knowledge articulation and explicit knowledge codification learning mechanisms. Although all three learning mechanisms are important throughout the establishment and evolution of PPM capability development, the research indicates that the development of an effective PPM capability will require particularly strong investments in enhancing tacit experience accumulation mechanisms and explicit knowledge codification mechanisms during the initial establishment or during periods of radical change to the PPM process.
Killen, C.P., Hunt, R. & Kleinschmidt, E. 2008, 'Project portfolio management for product innovation', International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 24-38.
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The purpose of this paper is to create a benchmark and identify best practices for Project Portfolio Management (PPM) for both tangible product-based and service product-based development project portfolios. A questionnaire was developed to gather data to compare the PPM methods used, PPM performance, PPM challenges, and resulting new product success measures in 60 Australian organisations in a diverse range of service and manufacturing industries. The paper finds that PPM practices are shown to be very similar for service product development project portfolios and tangible product development project portfolios. New product success rates show strong correlation with measures of PPM performance and the use of some PPM methods is correlated with specific PPM performance outcomes. The findings in this paper are based on a survey of a diverse sample of 60 Australian organisations. The results are strengthened by comparisons with similar North American research; however, they may not be representative of all environments. Research in other regions would further qualify the findings. As each organisation's PPM process is unique, case study methods are recommended for future studies to capture more of the complexity in the environment. The paper shows that PPM practitioners and executives who make decisions about the development of tangible products and/or service products will benefit from the findings. This paper extends the existing understanding of PPM practices to include service development project portfolios as well as tangible product development project portfolios and strengthens the links between PPM practices and outcomes.
Killen, C.P., Hunt, R.A. & Kleinschmidt, E.J. 2008, 'Project portfolio management for product innovation', International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 24-38.
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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to create a benchmark and identify best practices for Project Portfolio Management (PPM) for both tangible product-based and service product-based development project portfolios. Design/methodology/approach - A questionnaire was developed to gather data to compare the PPM methods used, PPM performance, PPM challenges, and resulting new product success measures in 60 Australian organisations in a diverse range of service and manufacturing industries. Findings - The paper finds that PPM practices are shown to be very similar for service product development project portfolios and tangible product development project portfolios. New product success rates show strong correlation with measures of PPM performance and the use of some PPM methods is correlated with specific PPM performance outcomes. Research limitations/implications - The findings in this paper are based on a survey of a diverse sample of 60 Australian organisations. The results are strengthened by comparisons with similar North American research; however, they may not be representative of all environments. Research in other regions would further qualify the findings. As each organisation's PPM process is unique, case study methods are recommended for future studies to capture more of the complexity in the environment. Practical implications - The paper shows that PPM practitioners and executives who make decisions about the development of tangible products and/or service products will benefit from the findings. Originality/value - This paper extends the existing understanding of PPM practices to include service development project portfolios as well as tangible product development project portfolios and strengthens the links between PPM practices and outcomes. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Killen, C.P., Walker, M. & Hunt, R. 2005, 'Strategic Planning Using QFD', International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, vol. 22(1), no. 1, pp. 17-29.
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Hunt, R. & Killen, C.P. 2005, 'Guest Editorial', International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 6-9.
Killen, C.P., Walker, M. & Hunt, R.A. 2005, 'Strategic planning using QFD', International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, vol. 22, no. 1 SPEC. ISS., pp. 17-29.
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Purpose - This paper outlines the use of quality function deployment (QFD) for strategic planning. QFD provides a comprehensive process for defining the issues facing an organisation in terms of customer and stakeholder outcomes, natural segments and key strategic opportunities. Design/methodology/approach - An explanation and overview of the two core stages of strategic planning using QFD are followed by three case examples. Findings - Strategic QFD avoids complex matrix analysis and instead moves directly to concept generation and evaluation. One of the main benefits of strategic QFD is the level of commitment and support for the resulting strategy throughout the organisation. This paper also shows how strategic QFD can be used to identify and optimise internal capabilities and to find and address specific customer opportunities. Practical implications - Strategic planners will find that QFD-based philosophy and methods are useful tools for the creation of a customer-driven strategy. Originality/value - This paper provides insight for practitioners and academics into how strategic QFD systematically translates vision into action, targeting opportunities and creating innovative strategies that are stable even in fast-changing environments. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Hunt, R. & Killen, C.P. 2004, 'Best Practice Quality Function Deployment: Cases', The International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, vol. 21, no. 9, pp. 920-1032.
Killen, C.P., Hunt, R., Ayres, B. & Janssen, C. 2004, 'Cooperative Competitive Strategies: An Australian Case Study', Brazilian Journal of Operations and Production Management, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 11-27.
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Killen, C.P., Hunt, R., Janssen, C. & Ayres, B. 2002, 'Stategic alliances for world competitiveness', International Journal of Technology Management, vol. 24, no. 5,6, pp. 569-582.
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Selected Peer-Assessed Projects
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