Integrating Blockchain Technology in Project Life Cycle for efficient Project Management

Master's Thesis, 2019

44 Pages, Grade: 1.0


Table of Contents


2.1 Introduction
2.2 Blockchain for Business and Management
2.3 Distributed Ledger Technology
2.3.1 Construction Sector
2.3.2 Supply Chain Sector
2.3.3 Healthcare Sector
2.3.4 Clinical Research Sector
2.3.5 Energy Sector
2.3.6 Internet of Things (IoT)
2.4 Financial Sector
2.5 Voting System
2.6 Potential Benefits of Blockchain Technology

3.1 Planning
3.2 Searching
3.3 Screening
3.3.1 Selection Results
3.3.2 Publications Over time
3.4 Data Extraction
3.5 Assurance of Quality
3.6 Limitations

4.1 Significant Word Count
4.2 Discussions

5.1 Research Question 1
5.1.1 Blockchain Integration – Medical & Healthcare:
5.1.2 Blockchain Integration – Construction Projects
5.1.3 Blockchain Integration – Manufacturing & Supply Chain
5.2 Research Question 2
5.3 Research Question 3
5.3.1 Smart Contract in Project Management
5.3.2 Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) for Project Management
5.4 Future of Project Management



Blockchain Technology has the capability to develop as a disruptive technology in management and business domains. There is a lack of understanding also less amount of information about innovative blockchain technology and its potential future influences that hinder its academic and realistic application. Organizations it is essential to know the right influence and risk of blockchain technology adaptions also applications in order to obtain also retain economic advantages. There is no doubt such kind of revolutionary technology will have a direct effect on the conventional way of managing projects. Unless the organizations identify the shift, they will be left in the background wondering what had happened. This research study recognizes peer-reviewed journal papers also presents a systematic literature review study of the furthermost suitable blockchain technology features to be integrated into the project life cycle for efficient project management. Preliminary research shows that Blockchain technology is a, immutable, distributed ledger technology that has been implemented as an enabling system to provision cryptocurrencies. Blockchain Technology is presently resolving various issues in different domains. Such as supply chain, medical health, energy, construction, finance and manufacturing but not in project management, due to its early stages. In addition, that most of the organizations use Ethereum blockchain and smart contracts towards addressing their difficulties and enhancing efficiency in their respective fields of business and management process. Research findings shows that smart contract and distributed ledger technology are the most adapted blockchain features in current business organizations, furthermore study recommends the kind of changes need to adapted by the organizations in order to handle future projects .Finally systematic literature review research findings sheds light on future directions of research studies could contain analysis of the different approaches which Ethereum and additional decentralized blockchain technologies can be used to build efficient project management framework.

Table of figures

Figure 1:Attrition of articles through processing

Figure 2: Number of Primary studies published over time

Figure 3: Chart of Themes of Primary Journals


The project team and project owners have the responsibility towards success on each project they start. There are generally five main stages in a normal project: initiation, planning, execution, control and closure. Carried together, these stages mean a project's trajectory is commonly mentioned to as the Project Life Cycle from start to finish. (Watt, 2019). It is possible to manage projects over a prevalent range of project management processes. It is possible to apply comparable set of project management process irrespective of project type. Although all projects are special, prevalent life cycle designs still exist which can be used in comparable forms to construct deliverable.

In companies, project management has already been incorporated not only as a job method, but also as a corporate strategy. Any evolving technological advances that has the capacity to affect a corporation and its sustainability also affects the practice and procedures of project management of the company to a certain extent (Marco Iansiti, 2017). Project professionals should recognize what is exactly probable also have realize the essentials of recent developing technologies how these could be used to integrated with exiting project management process to enhance the efficiency of project life cycle.

Project managers are continuously observing better ways through project job toward to attain planned goals and promote organizational transformation. However, irrespective of the business division, project plans fail frequently or fail utterly, and due to the poor project delivery. The increase of new technologies and the change to extremely interacted value-creation models are among the forces driving an increasing percentage of projects to finance in the abilities then capacities needed towards assist their establishments tie the expensive gap between plan and value distribution.

Blockchain technology is promising to improve the efficiency of the project life cycle. Blockchain's key features, with auditability and transparency, generate an atmosphere of faith between project crews, senior administration and shareholders where individuals then organizations can behave quickly and confidently. Blockchain technology can assist project management offices and their shareholders through systematizing reconciliation, record keeping and fundamental management duties, release executives from extra difficult and value-added operations (Julia Kokina, 2017).

Blockchain technology can enhance project management in five fields: digital record storage, digital asset exchange, acceptable conduct assurance, reputation building, and intelligent contract execution. Blockchain-enabled project managers to take benefit of automation to accelerate their shift from passive operators managing scope, expenses and agendas to active, adaptive associates leading then implementing strategic projects.

These are the initial beginnings period of blockchain technology-based apps in project management, which presently focus on transactions and management of information, then can be applied through the project management life cycle. Few industries already on track to discover the use cases of blockchain technology in their business they are pharmaceuticals, construction, and the closely connected field of supply chain management (Maged N. Kamel Boulos, 2018). Primary studies show in what way blockchain can optimize the administration of such complicated project plans as scientific tests, in what way intelligent agreements could revolutionize the management of complicated development projects, and how project management offices have fresh instruments to manage transparency and build confidence. The conditions in which project managers will gain most from blockchain technology contain those by complicated and dispersed operations besides those with quality certification requirements or regulatory compliance for strict confirmation and assessing.

The long-term goal of this research study is to develop a Project Management framework using blockchain technology. Objective of the present research is to deliver systematic literature review and identification of which features of blockchain technology can be used for such kind of framework. Particularly, the study has the following sub-objectives. The main objective of the present research is to provide comprehensive systematic literature reviews and to identify which features of blockchain technology can be used for such a framework. In specific, the study has the following sub-objectives.

1. Review present business practices and studies regarding block-chain based project management.
2. Identify Block-chain technology’s potential impact in a business and its impact in project management practice and processes.
3. Analyze the features of Blockchain technology such as; Single Global Currency, Immutable documentation and Smart Contracts, in addition to that identify how these features can be integrated with project management process to enhance project life cycle efficiency.

The outcome of this research will be important for industry experts as well as related project managers to develop improved project management practices and tools for managing future projects.

Preliminary research shows that blockchain technology has been used in several other industries such as manufacturing, supply chain, energy, healthcare, finance and technology but not in project management, due to its early stages. Project management will be impacted by block-chain technology for soon, but to what extent? in what manner? is the big question for all (Mavani, 2019). Nevertheless, professionals in business organizations must take the initiative to regulate its application and manage its influence rather than let the blockchain technology control it for the Project Management profession. This technology will be effective after people start implementing it. Block-chain technology is remodeling economies, according to economic specialists (IAPM, 2018). Therefore, project management professionals should prepare themselves to employ this influential tool.

Blockchain technology can be incorporated in several businesses and officials into current project management procedures. Blockchain can modernize businesses, that's why this innovation is of considerable interest to many. There are essentially thousands of distinct techniques that are analyzed underneath the Blockchain label. Therefore, it is valuable looking more closely at the subject for project management professionals. In summary it is essential to understand the technology better and how Blockchain technology can be integrated to existing project management process, more precisely, the below research question essential to be address:

1. Identify which typical benefits are there for project managers when implementing project through blockchain technology?
2. Classify which features of blockchain technology to integrate it with existing project management process.?
3. What are the future potentials when integrating such kind of technology to project management process?

The rest of this work is organized as follows. In chapter 2, an expanded literature review of blockchain technology also its development in business process mentioned. Secondly, systematic literature review was conducted in Chapter 3. Further data analysis of the systematic literature review is discussed in Chapter 4. Finally according to the findings, conclusion and recommendations given in Chapter 5.


2.1 Introduction

Blockchain Technology is a distributed transaction archive, a database with special features. It is organized as a steadily growing list of records (blocks), each one with transaction data and a timestamp, which are cryptographically connected and protected. New blocks are implemented after verification by a peer-to-peer chain of participants. There's no central body to approve or reject transactions. The blockchain is distributed throughout all nodes of the blockchain network, allowing transfers available to all members. When inserted, blocks could not be easily changed. The Participants may only alter the transfer by adding a new block. Therefore, the blockchain contains an eternal and fully transparent history of what happened (Nakamoto, 2008).

Most importantly, the increasing drift outside cryptocurrency transactions: the blockchain technology can allow a novel generation of distributed platform technologies where it might further help to boost the productivity of projects in the future (Alain Yee Loong Chong, 2019). To recognize what study has previously been led in relative to blockchain technology and project management, it is also essential to methodically find out related scholarly works and articles. This research study pursues towards on prevailing literature work regarding the use of blockchain technology as a supportive knowledge which can be used during a project’s life cycle , including features of block chain such as smart contracts , immutable documentation and single global currency, as well as its usage in Internet of Things (IoT).

These papers main goal is to deliver an initiation for a better study of integrating blockchain technology in project life cycle for efficient project management. Toward this goal, a critical examination done on existing works and research studies related to blockchain and project management then used those insights towards advancing new directions.

2.2 Blockchain for Business and Management

Blockchain is a groundbreaking technology that demands towards to change the method people and organizations communicate across borders. The development of blockchain technology is starting to disrupt different sectors, such as banking, the supply chain, Health, energy and resource management, and several others. It is shown to have an impact on several aspects of business models. Three main methods how blockchain technology can possibly influence to change business models by validating products, disintermediating then reducing trading costs. It is suggested that managers track progresses in this area in order to make future developments in their businesses (Nowiński, 2017).

Trust, knowledge immutability, shared data exchange and cooperation without any need for centralized management or authority (Novotny, 2018). Blockchain Technology has the ability of becoming a main source of technological innovation in administration and business. There is a little amount of knowledge and awarness of blockchain technology that obstructs its educational then applied implementations. Businesspeople essential to recognize the true benefit also challenge of blockchain technologies in order to achieve and sustain advantages (White, 2017).

In 2018, through a comparative, multi-case study methodology, a study investigates block chain-inspired business concept through contemporary knowledge of blockchain enterprise applications, building on the conceptual perspective of the virtual business strategy also value formation towards to discover in what way leaders in this sector are using blockchain technology to generate then extract value . In addition, the report studied five businesses in china that have introduced blockchain programs. Through their case analyzes, the researchers extracted a categorization of five block chain-inspired business strategies, each of which represents a unique philosophy of market division (Chong, 2018).

Hickey (2019), discuss the use of blockchain for transparent arbitration and autonomous democracy and improves transparency and performance, mitigating bribery. It discusses blocks that together create a perfect accounting record of transactions and the consequences of restricting bribery could have even wider implications for giga-projects, such as refineries or nuclear power plants. It also refers to the elimination in transactions costs of daily operations now being done by the government.

2.3 Distributed Ledger Technology

Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is evolving as a major positive force in the financial services or Financial Technology (“FinTech”) sector and has attracted considerable attention among many investors. Software provides opportunity for substantial gains in efficiency also risk mitigation, but also carries new set of challenges, such as those relating to privacy then security. Others claim it could change things for the better in stocks distributed, traded also accepted, further reshape the characters of different business participants (Haimera Workie, 2017).

2.3.1 Construction Sector

At the moment, green development is facing energy usage and cost-effectiveness problems in the construction sector. A recent research argues that the advancement of evolving intelligent new technologies, such as Building Information Management and Blockchain, provides significant profits to the sector. Nonetheless, the present application of Blockchain and Building Information System in the sustainable construction and design sector focused on intelligent technology and building construction management, with few attentions paid to resolving the complexities of adapting BIM to urban design and developing solutions for the implementation of these innovations in the supervision of construction projects, in addition to that research study discusses the possible functions of the combined Blockchain Technology with BIM approach to efficient building information management. The first effort to use the Block chain - aided BIM for efficient construction teamwork and cooperation in various construction phases is identified. Reportedly, the Blockchain + BIM theoretical design for the Sustainable Construction Information Management System for construction project management was developed, evaluated and improved. The model has dual levels of form and stream. This design, which allows project participants to manage data, has the potential to deliver and guarantee the achievement of sustainable development objectives through collaborative implementation of smart contracts incorporated into the user driven Blockchain framework plus BIM also its tracking information transfer feature at 3 user-driven rates, including client, process and transaction (Liu, 2019).

Construction projects require a diverse organization of firms. The level to which the interaction between them was relational and peer-to-peer and states that, in the data-intensive periods in general, the centralization of data management is required due to technology. While using non-restrictive software, interaction habits between stakeholders demonstrate the peer-to-peer nature of the relationship. In such a scenario, blockchain technology can provide a reliable information processing system throughout all phases of life-cycle development. Even if building information modeling is used, which includes a centralized construction information system, the purpose of blockchain is to manage information about who did what and when and provide the foundation for any legal opinions that might arise. Blockchain may boost the accuracy and consistency of building paper documents, activities done, and component quantity reported on the worksite. In the recovery phase of the plant, the key benefit of blockchain is the safe processing of critical data (Redmond, 2012).

2.3.2 Supply Chain Sector

Wang Yingli (2019), released and SLR article on 2019, this article tries to examine how BC technology is expected to impact future supply chain business practices. A systematic review of both scholarly and professional studies has been undertaken. Numerous sources of blockchain implementation throughout the industry have also been reviewed in order to obtain more perspective. Conclusions Whereas blockchain technologies keep on in their evolution, they stand growing rapidly within supply chain industry, trust being the primary driver of the implementation of the technology. This work recognizes some challenges also gaps in understanding and potential aimed at further study. The main four values lie in four parts: greater transparency and traceability, digitization and disintermediation of the supply chain, enhanced data protection and smart contracts. In addition to that how to design a blockchain technology-based supply chain has been discussed from a design point of view. Nonetheless, due to the writers ' expertise and preferences, some of the blockchain studies are omitted from the review. Furthermore, this article provides important information used for supply chain domain professionals to how BC technology got the potential towards to transform current supply chain requirements as well as a variety of barriers to its efficient improvement. The article explores the potential economic and social effect of blockchain technology, and this article is unique primary research to investigate the present standing of blockchain technology integration in supply chains domains. This offers strong foundation for future work.

In a similar article related to supply chain argues that products and related materials are essential streams of the supply chain. Inventory selection has a significant influence on the quality of the supply chain sector. Supply chain data remains similarly essential for efficient product management. Label elimination, validation or termination of study is a significant element that is frequently ignored in product management. This is a serious problem for a range of strategic reasons. Blockchain technology can help to tackle knowledge problems. Blockchain technology offers traceability, accountability, protection, reliability and smart implementation, all of which can lead to brand deletion and rationalization decisions (Zhu, 2019).

There is a strong excitement about the prospects that online ledger technologies bring. for processes and supply chain management such as , including improving brand security and safety, enhancing quality assurance, mitigating illicit identity fraud, developing sustainably manageable supply chain sector, improving record management and dropping the requirement for middlemen affecting future product development and design; The nascent state of practice and study around blockchain technology implies that there is a potential for operations supply chain management scholars to study the technology in its initial periods then influence its implementation. There are several ways for companies to gain a competitive benefit through enabling usage of blockchain technology regardless of competition, allowing businesses to improve their situation in the market. Nevertheless, it is necessary for executive managers to analyze the features of their goods, products and supply chain processes in order to find whether they need or would gain significantly from the implementation of blockchain (Cole, 2019).

2.3.3 Healthcare Sector

Although blockchain has been implemented via Bitcoin, work has been underway to expand its use to multiple use cases. Health care system is another sector where blockchain technology is anticipated to have a major impact. Academic research study in this part comparatively new but increasing swiftly; therefore, medical and health information technology research teams and professionals are always struggled to keep pace with the advancement of research in this field. Nevertheless, there is a lack of enough model applications and research to assess the feasibility of the suggested use scenarios. therefore, further work needed to understand better, define then assess the advantages of blockchain in healthcare sector (Agbo, 2019).

In previous years, blockchain technology has become very common and has entered various fields, mainly due to the success of cryptocurrencies. One sector where blockchain technology has enormous potential is healthcare, due to the need for a more patient-centric solution to health services and also to integrate fragmented systems and improve the reliability of electronic medical records (Marko Hölbl, 2018). The processing of patients ' medical information is really necessary in healthcare. Such data are quite important and therefore a primary target of cyber threats. It is necessary to protect all sensitive information. Moreover, exchanging and gaining ownership of patient's health information is yet another use case that can gain from modern technologies. Blockchain technology is resilient to threats and vulnerabilities and offers a range of authentication mechanisms.

Health services should combine patient care with confidentiality, availability and completeness of data. The huge scale of the healthcare sector also increases the significance of cost reduction. The aim of blockchain technology for healthcare services, combined with application systems built on top of it, is to provide overall security while guaranteeing that specific handlers can simply link also navigate a permanent data archive. Blockchains, also known as distributed ledgers, allow a mix of cost reduction and improved access to knowledge by linking participants individually without obligations to third-party providers, theoretically providing better outcomes at reduced costs. New businesses aim to adapt blockchain solutions to solve real-world problems, including attempts to manage public health, centralize information, control and comply with orders, minimize bureaucratic overheads, and coordinate medical data from an increased number of sources (Tomasz Hyla, 2019).

2.3.4 Clinical Research Sector

The challenging process of enrolling qualified patients in clinical trials is currently underway. For example, the US-based National Cancer Institute estimates that less than 5 % of eligible adult cancer patients engage in clinical trials, even though 70 % of Americans are likely or willing to take part in such studies. One major reason is that the present recruitment approach is labor-intensive and sometimes requires hiring contract research organizations to attend physicians ' branches to find patients who are qualified and keen in engaging in a research. Under-enrollment in clinical studies is a growing problem for medical researchers. The regular need to extend the length of research is a major driver of increasing drug development expenses. The fact that a large vast majority of the people are ready to share their health information for a useful purpose, if they can maintain their privacy and safety, indicates a strong role for blockchain. One of the world's leading pharmaceutical company suggest that Blockchain can also help to resolve the common clinical research issue. It also suggests a situation where a distributed ledger for health informatics would allow patients to store their medical information confidentially, making it available to trial recruiters who will then be able to reach consenting patients if their data qualifies them for the clinical study (Stanley, 2018).

2.3.5 Energy Sector

Unique primary peer-reviewed academic research towards deliver a systematic evaluation of blockchain technology in popular energy division was discussed by Andoni, Merlinda (2019). In that study explores 140 blockchain related research studies and start-ups, which construct a idea of the opportunities also importance of blockchains for energy solutions. In addition to that possible difficulties and constraints intended for a variety of use cases, spanning since developing peer-to-peer energy exchange also Internet of Things (IoT) technologies towards Electrical automobile loading and e-mobility. The article concludes with a review of the obstacles and challenges to the industry that technology needs to tackle in order to overcome the buzz stage, to demonstrate its economic viability and eventually to be accepted in the public.

The introduction of blockchain technology to the energy industry aims in the direction of generate innovative operational frameworks focused on domestic development also sustainable practices, powered by peer-to-peer partnership with public involvement. Nevertheless, actual energy blockchains vary from traditional blockchain platforms in so far as they require to deal through energy network structure, abide by power protocols also uphold technology standards. Apparently, these extra aspects enable blockchains of world energy largely reliant on the involvement of network operators, technicians also energy suppliers.

Latest research study categorizes 131 real energy blockchain implementations to gain a better understanding of in what way blockchains technology are actually being implemented in the field of energy, what form of failure rates could be located identified from recent documented initiatives, in addition what degree of practical also conceptual information are reported intended for real-life implementations. Findings of the systematic review study shows world energy domain based blockchains are (1) increasing dramatically every year, (2) delivering comparatively low failure rates (approximately 7% percentage since 2015) and (3) showing information distribution procedures that harvest content by inadequate technological and conceptual depth (O'Donovan, 2019).

Communication and information Technologies have begun to revolutionize the energy environment, and blockchain now provides an extra chance to make the system smarter, more effective, more secure and more stable over the longer period. Key issues related to trading energy savings were: incorrectly calculating saving, information transparency between participants, and inefficient operational processes, which can be resolved via integrating with a blockchain-based smart contract platform, such Ethereum blockchain (Khatoon, 2019).

2.3.6 Internet of Things (IoT)

Blockchain technology has recently established a lot of attention to Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Main use cases are in the finance field, where Blockchain Technology provides a dynamic technology environment which can be diversified to fix privacy and security problems. Nevertheless, this new technology has potential in its most complex technical fields and can make a significant contribution to the creation of the Internet of Things in a number of ways, increasing capacity for decentralization, promoting transactions, allowing new transaction models and enabling for the autonomous collaboration of devices (Jesus, 2018).

Modern supply chains have developed into extremely complex quality chains and have become a key source of modest benefit. Nevertheless, it has developed extremely difficult to confirm the origin of resources and to preserve the transparency of goods and services when passing over the supply chain domain. The use of the IoT (Internet of Things) will benefit businesses detect, monitor and control goods, operations and procedures within their specific supply chain channels. Many IoT uses involve material tracking to automate storage and distribution operations ‚ production and transport. In conjunction with IoT, Blockchain technology will allow a wide variety of different implementation situations to improve value chain visibility and improve Business -to -Business confidence. After paired, Blockchain and Internet of Things have the probable to improve the productivity and effectiveness of conventional supply chains (Rejeb, 2019).

2.4 Financial Sector

Blockchain technology can possibly transform international economic structure, to promote sustainable growth, and use further effective technology than is currently the case. Nonetheless, several banking companies are concentrating towards blockchain technology to stimulate monetary development also fast-track expansion of renewable energies.

Towards to understanding better about the ability of blockchain technology to promote the banking domain, in 2017 a research conducted to study of the real performance of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency system, further highlighting significant limitations of it, such as major energy production because of high computer energy requirements also high equipment costs. In addition, the electric power as well as the hash-rate of the Bitcoin system were calculated over period , in addition to assess the productivity of the Bitcoin system in its real action, the research finally defined three measures: "financial efficiency," "efficient service." and "operational efficiency" (Luisanna Cocco, 2017).

From a recent research Rust (2019) argues , Tax evasion, terrorist financing and money laundering are three topics that are associated with South American and Caribbean banking unfortunately, for small, regional banks in all these regions When banks deal with foreign banks this issue cause of increased compliance and regulatory costs associated with due diligence. In 2010, the United States forced $161 million in penalties because financial institutions failed to comply with client due diligence regulations. By 2015, these penalties risen by 65 % to more than $2.6 billion. This issue discouraged U.S. banks from building relationships with financial institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Furthermore, Rust (2019) suggests that Blockchain technology can address this case in two aspects. First, blockchain can help to reduce compliance and regulatory costs while making payments more transparent, eventually encouraging banks to restructure those once productive partnerships. Second, blockchain technology, together with cryptocurrencies, may be extended to all related jump-frog banks, enabling smaller banks to connect on peer-to-peer exchanges with world markets. With its steady, permanent and centralized features, this new technology has the potential to achieve both objectives.

Comizio (2017) states that the amount of financial technology ("FinTech") companies in the U.s and the Great Britain evolved even more than 4,000 in recent ages. Additionally, global investments have increased from $1.8 billion in the past five years to $24 billion. In order to encounter also to get ahead business opportunity and difficulties, customer request, expectancies, and demographic changes, the financial services domain is undergoing swift technological fluctuations. Bitcoin expanded rapidly to the current financial ecosystem since 2008.Further he states the emergency of the possibilities not only for virtual currency buyers and sellers, but also for virtual currency business investors, and perhaps more considerably, customers, for peer to peer payment services, cash distribution, digital payment systems, and investment opportunities.


Excerpt out of 44 pages


Integrating Blockchain Technology in Project Life Cycle for efficient Project Management
MSc Project Management
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
Project Management, Blockchain technology, Cryptocurrency, Project Life Cycle, Ethereum, systematic literature review, decentralized, blockchain technologies, smart contracts
Quote paper
Luxmi Kanth Navaneethan (Author), 2019, Integrating Blockchain Technology in Project Life Cycle for efficient Project Management, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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