Janet Smart

Janet Smart

Reader in Operations Management

Saïd Business School
University of Oxford
Park End Street


Janet's areas of expertise include systems engineering, complex systems, big science projects, and programme management.


She researches cultures of project management, currently in museums and Big Science projects, especially radio-astronomy and particle physics.

Janet joined Saïd Business School in 2007 to work within the BT Centre for Major Programme Management, which she helped establish along with the MSc in Major Programme Management. This course admitted its first students in 2009, and has since grown to be one of the most successful programmes of its kind in the world.

Janet’s research and teaching are in the area of systems engineering and in the design, delivery and management of large, complex projects. Her key interest is in the adaptation of project management methods to suit the circumstances of particular projects and organizations. She is currently working with two contrasting sectors - big science projects and museums.

Before joining the School, Janet spent almost twenty years in the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford. Her research there was in measuring and modelling the complexity of manufacturing systems, and in developing and applying an information-theoretic approach to the structural and dynamic complexity of manufacturing systems and supply chains. She supervised several DPhil and Masters theses, and she and her co-workers continue to publish on this topic.

With Felix Reed-Tsochas (Saïd Business School) and Professor Neil Johnson (then Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford), Janet set up the CABDyN research cluster in 2003, to investigate complex agent-based dynamic networks. CABDyN has become a world-leading centre for research on complex systems, gaining many substantial national and international grants, under the leadership of Reed-Tsochas.

Janet took her undergraduate degree in Physics at the University of Oxford, and her PhD in computing at the University of Durham.


  • Project and programme management 
  • Big science projects
  • Manufacturing systems
  • Systems engineering
  • Complex systems
  • The ecology of IT projects
  • Servitisation for manufacturing organisations
  • Backlogs in museum catalogues


Janet conducts research on operations management and project management, in the context of big science projects, and the management of museums.

She is interested in the management of large, multi-national science projects, and the management of IT projects. Recently, her work has extended to the servitization in manufacturing organisations. Janet’s interest in operations management has led to a project on the maintenance of museum catalogues.

Janet’s research has led to a number of papers and book chapters on manufacturing systems and complex networks. Before she joined the Said Business School, she was a Reader in Oxford’s Department of Engineering Science.

Servitisation in UK Engineering companies

Companies are combining services with their manufactured products, from after-sales repair and replacement to collaborative research and development. Janet is working with consultancy company Pcubed to explore the business models and competences that enable UK engineering companies to adopt servitization. They will be surveying companies through an online questionnaire, one to one interviews and workshops.   

If you work for a UK engineering company and would like to get involved, get in touch.


  • Suja Sivadasan,
  • Janet Smart,
  • Luisa Huaccho Huatuco,
  • Anisoara Calinescu
Mega Project Management
Technology and Operations Management

A method for analysing operational complexity in supply chains(opens in new window)

  • YR Wu,
  • LH Huatuco,
  • G Frizelle,
  • J Smart
Mega Project Management
Technology and Operations Management

Extending the information-theoretic measures of the dynamic complexity of manufacturing systems(opens in new window)

  • J Smart,
  • A Calinescu,
  • L Huaccho Huatuco
Mega Project Management
Technology and Operations Management
  • J Smart,
  • M Scott,
  • JB McCarthy,
  • KT Tan,
  • P Argyrakis,
  • S Bishop,
  • R Conte,
  • S Havlin,
  • M San Miguel,
  • D Stauffacher
Mega Project Management
Technology and Operations Management

Operational complexity and supplier-customer integration: case study insights and complexity rebound(opens in new window)

  • S Sivadasan,
  • J Smart,
  • L Huaccho Huatuco,
  • A Calinescu
Mega Project Management
Technology and Operations Management
See more publications


Janet has been a member of Oxford University’s Programme Assurance Group for four years.

This group reviews large projects in the University’s portfolio of IT projects to help develop auditing and planning methods to improve the quality and outcome of the University’s IT.


Janet teaches on:

  • MBA
  • Economics & Management undergraduate programme
  • MSc in Major Programme Management
  • Major Projects Leadership Academy
  • Executive MBA.

Janet was awarded an OXTALENT prize for Innovation in Digital Teaching in 2017 for her work on using video in her undergraduate course.