Diversity Framework

A Guideline for Managing Behavioral Differences in Project Teams

  • The diversity framework should support project teams in managing diversity in their projects more effectively.
  • The framework primarily deals with implicit, non-visible diversity aspects such as different work styles that are not explicit and easily manageable.
  • An essential innovation of this diversity framework is the focus on the individuals within a project team and the focus on identifying differences and commonalities between individuals’ behavior in a human-centered manner. This differentiates the framework from existing models that use certain factors, for instance nationality, to derive anticipated values and behaviors.
  • Generic: The framework is designed in a generic manner to enable its integration in various existing approaches (e.g. as add-on to software development models like the Rational Unified Process or to any international project management standards). This characteristic also allows an agile as well as a traditional application. Still, it is recommended to use the framework as a supporting development process rather than fully integrating the framework into an iterative, agile approach. For practice it is suggested to have the phases Initiation and Elaboration as part of a supporting management cycle, whereas the Implementation and especially the Re-Assessment and Learning phases could be included in the agile procedure and its feedback loops (e.g. in Scrum this part could be integrated into the retrospective meeting).
  • Tailoring: The framework can be tailored and applied flexibly. This means that not all workflow steps are necessarily essential for all projects, but project managers can use those activities that fit the project situation. Furthermore, the framework is open to be extended or adapted for organization-specific purposes.
  • Open: The framework is open to any culture. Due to a variety of procedure options it is ensured that the workflows suit any culture.
  • 8th of June, 2016: Projekte sozial lenken - Steuerung von impliziten Faktoren at 7th PM Symposium at the University of Applied Sciences bfi Vienna (FH des bfi Wien)
  • 27th of September, 2016: Ein Diversity Framework für Informatik-nahe Projekte at the Informatik 2016, Klagenfurt, Austria
  • 14th of October, 2016: Developing Diversity Awareness of Software Engineers - A Diversity Framework and its Application in an Academic and Life-Long Learning Context at the Frontiers in Education Conference 2016 (Crossroads of Engineering and Business), Erie (PA), USA

I offer workshops and support for implementing the framework and diversity analysis in your projects. Furthermore, I offer trainings for organizations that want to improve their management of social aspects in their project teams. Applying the framework in your projects will help to reduce potential for conflicts and inefficiencies, which are caused by interpersonal misunderstandings.

The research group CSLEARN - Educational Technologies of the University of Vienna is interested in research cooperation with partners from industry.
  • Download the results of an online survey published in 2016 as part of the doctoral dissertation „A Framework for Managing Diversity in ICT Projects - Processes and Techniques for Explicating Soft Facts and Dealing with Behavioral Differences“ here.
The diversity framework was developed at the University of Vienna by Christina Böhm under the supervision of Renate Motschnig.
The framework is grounded in qualitative research and literature studies and was validated in three different studies using both qualitative and quantitative research methods.

The framework is currently used to develop a practice-oriented toolkit in cooperation with The Thinking Company. This development is supported by the FFG (Austrian Research Promotion Agency).
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