Designing a Fuzzy Expert System with a Hybrid Approach to Select Operational Strategies in Project-Based Organizations with a Selected Competitive Priority

  • Received : 2016.09.16
  • Accepted : 2017.01.19
  • Published : 2017.03.30


This research was conducted in order to solve the problem of selecting an operational strategy for projects in project-based organizations by designing a fuzzy expert system. In the current research, we first determined the contributing parameters in operational strategy of project-based organizations based on existing research literature and experts' opinion. Next, we divided them into two groups of model inputs and outputs and the rules governing them were determined by referring to research literature and educational instances. In order to integrate rules, the revised Ternary Grid (revised TG) and expert opinions were applied according to a hybrid algorithm. The Ultimate rules were provided in Fuzzy Inference System format (FIS). In this FIS, proper manufacturing decisions are recommended to the user based on selected competitive priority and also project properties. This paper is the first study in which rules and relations governing the parameters contributing operational strategy in project-based organizations are acquired in a guided integrated process and in the shape of an expert system. Using the decision support system presented in this research, managers of project-based organizations can easily become informed of proper manufacturing decisions in proportion with selected competitive priority and project properties; and also be ensured that theoretical background and past experiences are considered.


  1. Baker, B. N., Murphy, D. C., and Fisher, D. (2008), Factors affecting project success, Project Management Handbook, Second Edition, 902-919.
  2. Bevilacqua, M., Ciarapica, F. E., Germani, M., Mazzuto, G., and Paciarotti, C. (2014), Relation of project managers' personality and project performance: An approach based on value stream mapping, Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, 7(4), 857.
  3. Burbidge, J. L. (1984a), A Production System Variable Connectance Model, Cranfield Institute of Technology, England.
  4. Chen, W. H. (1999), The manufacturing strategy and competitive priority of SMEs in Taiwan: A case survey, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 16(3), 331-349.
  5. Cil, I. and Evren, R. (1998), Linking of manufacturing strategy, market requirements and manufacturing attributes in technology choice: An expert system approach, The Engineering Economist, 43(3), 183-202.
  6. Cleland, D. L. and Ireland, L. R. (2006), Project management. McGraw-Hill Professional.
  7. Da Conceiao Junior, J. (2009), Achieving Breakthrough on Manufacturing Floor through Project-Based Organization, SAE Technical Paper.
  8. Diaz-Garrido, E., Martin-Pena, M. L., and Garcia-Muina, F. E. (2007), Structural and customization practices as elements of content operations strategy, International Journal of Production Research, 45(9), 2119-2140.
  9. Dvir, D., Lipovetsky, S., Shenhar, A., and Tishler, A. (1998), In search of project classification: A nonuniversal approach to project success factors, Research policy, 27(9), 915-935.
  10. El Wardani, M. A., Messner, J. I., and Horman, M. J. (2006), Comparing procurement methods for designbuild projects, Journal of construction engineering and management, 132(3), 230-238.
  11. Erdani, Y. (2005), Acquisition of Human Expert Knowledge for Rule-based Knowledge-based Systems using Ternary Grid (Doctoral dissertation, Universitat Duisburg-Essen, Fakultat fur Ingenieurwissenschaften Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik).
  12. Eriksson, P. E. and Westerberg, M. (2011), Effects of cooperative procurement procedures on construction project performance: A conceptual framework, International Journal of Project Management, 29(2), 197-208.
  13. Gagnon, S. (1999), Resource based competition and the new operation strategy, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 19(2), 125-38.
  14. Galbraith, J. R. (1971), Matrix organization designs How to combine functional and project forms, Business Horizons, 14(1), 29-40.
  15. Gareis, R. and Huemann, M. (2000), Project management competences in the project-oriented organization, Gower handbook of project management, 3.
  16. GroBler, A. (2007), A dynamic view on strategic resources and capabilities applied to an example from the manufacturing strategy literature, Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 18(3), 250-266.
  17. GroBler, A. and Grubner, A. (2006), An empirical model of the relationships between manufacturing capabilities, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 26(5), 458-485.
  18. Hayes, R. H. and Wheelwright, S. C. (1984), Restoring our Competitive Edje, Competing Through Manufacturing, John Wiley and son, New York, NY. 3-24.
  19. Hung, S.-W., Hung, S.-C., and Lin, M.-J. J. (2011), How different strategic alliances affect manufacturing competitive priority and firm performance: An empirical study of SMEs. ICSB World Conference Proceedings: Washington: International Council for Small Business.
  20. Jayaram, J. and Narasimhan, R. (2007), The influence of new product development competitive capabilities on project performance, Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on, 54(2), 241-256.
  21. Karacapilidis, N., Adamides, E., and Evangelou, C. (2006), A computerized knowledge management system for the manufacturing strategy process, Computers in Industry, 57(2), 178-188.
  22. Kruger, L. (2012), Developing operations strategies-reassessing the strength and importance of competitive operations priorities for South African businesses, South African Journal of Business Management, 43(3), 13-28.
  23. Lamvik, T., Moseng, B., and Gjerstad, T. (2003), Manufacturing Strategy Best Practices and Cases.
  24. Lee, W. S., Huang, A. Y., Chang, Y. Y., and Cheng, C. M. (2011), Analysis of Decision Making Factors for Equity Investment by DEMATEL and Analytic Network Process, Expert Systems with Applications, 38(7), 8375-8383.
  25. Lee Gan Kai, W. (2007), A decision model for manufacturing best practice adoption: Linking practices to competitive strategies, Doctoral dissertation, Cranfield University.
  26. Leong, G. K., Snyder, D. L., and Ward, P. T. (1990), Research in the process and content of manufacturing strategy, Omega, 18(2), 109-122.
  27. Levitt, R. E. (2012), The virtual design team: Designing project organizations as engineers design bridges. Journal of Organization Design, 1(2), 14-41.
  28. Love, P. E. (2002), Influence of project type and procurement method on rework costs in building construction projects, Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 128(1), 18-29.
  29. Maylor, H., Turner, N., and Murray-Webster, R. (2015), "It worked for manufacturing...!" Operations strategy in project-based operations, International Journal of Project Management, 33(1), 103-115.
  30. Miltenburg, J. (2005), Manufacturing Strategy: How to Formulate and Implement a Winning Plan. CRC Press.
  31. Muller, R. and Turner, J. R. (2007), Matching the project manager's leadership style to project type, International Journal of Project Management, 25(1), 21-32.
  32. Muller, R. and Turner, R. (2010), Leadership competency profiles of successful project managers, International Journal of Project Management, 28(5), 437-448.
  33. Mun, J., Shin, M., Wi, H., Lee, K., and Jung, M. (2008), A VO formation process of a project-based organization with trust evaluation using goal achievement probability, Paper presented at the Management of Engineering & Technology, 2008, PICMET 2008. Portland International Conference on.
  34. Oltra, M., Maroto, C., and Segura, B. (2005), Operations strategy configurations in project process firms, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 25(5), 429-448.
  35. PMBOK, A. (2000), Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, Project Management Institute, Pennsylvania USA.
  36. Sackett, P. J., Maxwell, D. J., and Lowenthal, P. A. (1997), Customizing manufacturing strategy, Integrated Manufacturing Systems, 8(6), 359-364.
  37. Soderlund, J. (2004), Building theories of project management: past research, questions for the future, International Journal of Project Management, 22(3), 183-191.
  38. Spring, M. and Dalrymple, J. F. (2000), Product customisation and manufacturing strategy, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 20(4), 441-467 .
  39. Tamura, H. (2013), Expert system for new product strategy development, Advances in Production Management Systems: Perspectives and future challenges, 303.
  40. Tan, K. and Platts, K. (2004), The connectance model revisited: a tool for manufacturing objective deployment, Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 15(2), 131-143.
  41. Theodorou, P. and Florou, G. (2008), Manufacturing strategies and financial performance-The effect of advanced information technology: CAD/CAM systems. Omega, 36(1), 107-121.
  42. Turner, J. R. (2014), The Handbook of Project-Based Management (Vol. 92), McGraw-hill.
  43. Turner, J. R. and Keegan, A. (1999), The versatile projectbased organization: Governance and operational control, European Management Journal, 17(3), 296-309.
  44. Turner, J. R. and Keegan, A. (2001), Mechanisms of governance in the project-based organization: Roles of the broker and steward, European Management Journal, 19(3), 254-267.
  45. Turner, J. R. and Muller, R. (2005), The Project Manager's Leadership Style as a Success Factor on Projects: A Literature Review, Project Management Institute.
  46. Wysocki, R. K. (2002), Building Effective Project Teams, Wiley.
  47. Wysocki, R. K. (2003), Effective Project Management: Traditional, Adaptive, Extreme, John Wiley & Sons.
  48. Zar, J. H. (1999), Bio Statistical Analysis, 4th Ed. Upper saddle river, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
  49. Zhou, Q., Huang, W., and Ying, Z. (2011), Identifying critical success factors in emergency management using a fuzzy dematel method, Safety Science, 49(2), 243-252.