A project management approach to competitive intelligence

Miguel-Ángel García-Madurga    
Miguel-Ángel Esteban-Navarro    


The research problem that this study seeks to solve is to examine the relationshipbetween competitive intelligence (CI) and project management (PM). These disciplines coincidein their threefold approach to action, collection of results, and ability to react in response toenvironmental signs. However, the academic and professional literature has not explored thepossible synergies between CI and PM, with the exception of the seminal proposals by Prescottin 1988 and 1999. The aim of this opinion article is to propose a new methodological approachfor the production and transfer of CI in accordance with the international standards of PM. Themethodology consists of an inductive reasoning process from specific observations and evidencegathered in our professional experience as CI practitioners over twenty years, contrasted withthe findings of the scientific literature, the PMBOK® Guide of the Project ManagementInstitute, and with the CI model proposed by the most relevant Spanish technical standards inR&D&I management and strategic intelligence management. The paper discusses the vision ofintelligence production and dissemination in a project with five phases or groups of processes:initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and control, and closure. Also, the responsibilities ofthe human intelligence team are exposed. This proposal could be an alternative to thedepartmental-based intelligence cycle model more aligned with the organizational culture andthe usual operational practices and business processes of companies, founded on the design anddeployment of projects with a specific beginning and end that is carried out to create a product,service or unique result. It is concluded also that there is a need for undertaking experimentalimplementation and case studies of this proposal in companies and their assessment by futureacademic studies.

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