Temporal boundary objects in megaprojects: Mapping the system with the Integrated Master Schedule
Recently, a stream of project management research has recognized the critical role of boundary objects in the organization of projects. In this paper, we investigate how one advanced scheduling tool, the Integrated Master Schedule (IMS), is used as a temporal boundary object at various stages of complex projects. The IMS is critical to megaprojects which typically span long periods of time and face a high degree of complexity and uncertainty. In this paper, we conceptualize projects of this type as complex adaptive systems (CAS). We report the findings of four case projects on how the IMS mapped interactions, interdependencies, constraints, and fractal patterns of these emerging projects, and how the process of IMS visualization enabled communication and negotiation of project realities. This paper highlights that this advanced timeline tool acts as a boundary object and elicits shared understanding of complex projects from their stakeholders. âº We examine how advanced timeline tools can be used as a temporal boundary object. âº The Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) is used as an example. âº IMS can act as a powerful enabler of collective sensemaking in complex projects. âº IMS can contribute to disentangling the domains of complex adaptive systems.