Strategic planning, a standard activity for project management in different areas and types of organisations, can contribute to improving the dynamics of collaboration in academia, and specifically in research processes. This paper joins the still scarce studies on strategic planning within research groups, contributing to the field of both team science and organisational management from a social sciences perspective and “strategy-as-practice” paradigm. Through the case study of an action research group, after the experimental co-creation of its long-term strategy involving different participatory design methodologies, we quantitatively analyze how this process influenced communication and group relations, both internally and in relation to its participation in the ecosystem with other stakeholders. Thus, as a result of a detailed content analysis in the different communication channels and tools of the group, we address its impact on the team’s agile project management (APM), adopted in a novel way by its members. Data compared between periods, once the strategic plan was co-created, suggest that this type of approach to co-created strategic thinking can improve coordination, cohesion and joint vision among participants. In agreement with emerging academic literature in this field, pertaining to the need to understand strategic planning as a process of socialization and dialogue, other relevant results of the study point to the particular suitability of this type of planning in research environments interested not only in its academic, but also social and ecosystemic impact. The results obtained and discussed also provide elements of assessment when considering the applicability of this type of strategic co-creation process in other areas of knowledge and disciplines.
Senabre Hidalgo, E., & Fuster Morell, M. (2019). Co-designed strategic planning and agile project management in academia: case study of an action research group. Palgrave Communications, 5(1), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-019-0364-0