The Role of Decision Makers’ Use of Visualizations in Project Portfolio Decision Making

Catherine P. Killen*, Joana Geraldi, Alexander Kock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Visualizations are increasingly used to display data for project portfolio decision making. Such decisions support the delivery of organizational strategy and aim to enhance the overall outcome from project investments. While some studies show that visualizations help data interpretation, others suggest they might bias decisions. To better understand whether and how visualizations affect project portfolio decisions, we develop and test a conceptual model that emphasizes the role of the decision maker in interpreting and using visual data. Using a dual-informant sample of 138 firms, we show a positive relationship between decision makers’ use of visualizations and project portfolio success that is mediated by decision-making success. We draw upon theories of cognitive fit and cognitive load to explain how the relationship between the use of visualizations and decision-making success is influenced by both the decision maker's tendency to use heuristics and their familiarity with visualizations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Volume38
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)267-277
Number of pages11
ISSN0263-7863
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Project portfolio management
  • Visualization
  • Decision making
  • Heuristics

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