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Project management by David Moulton
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Project management by David Moulton


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A presentation by David Moulton at CMI Merseyside talking about project management.

A presentation by David Moulton at CMI Merseyside talking about project management.

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  • 1. Have I forgotten something?
    Project management, a critical thinking approach.
  • 2. “it has generally been seen
    that there is no explicit
    theory of project
    Koskela & Howell (2002)
  • 3. “it is either conceded that there is
    no theory of project management,
    or it reflects the opinion that the
    theoretical is not significant from
    the point of view of project
    Koskela & Howell (2002)
  • 4. “Indeed it is the poverty of
    current theory that explains the
    other problems of project
    management, such as frequent
    project failures”
    Morris (1994)
  • 5. Common cause of project failure
    Lack of client involvement
    Unrealistic timescales/budgets
    Requirements definitions
    Scope creep
    Change control
  • 6. “an explicit theory is the
    crucial single most important
    issue for the future of the
    Project management
    Koskela & Howell (2002)
  • 7. So that’s what I forgot……….
    A theory
  • 8. Is there a single Project Management theory?
    There are lots of theories in project Management
    Aggregate planning
    Theory of Constraints
    Costing theory
    Planning theory (CPM/CPA/PERT/GERT)
    Quality theory (TQM)
  • 9. Maybe not, but there is a process
    Stages of a process
    Project Initiation
    Project Control
    Project Closure
  • 10. Each stage has a number of steps
    Project initiation
    Step 01: Project Kick Off
    Step 02: Project Objective & Scope
    Step 03: Project Schedule and Budgeting
    Step 04: Stage Schedule and Budgeting
    Step 05: Project Organization
    Step 06: Project Control Procedures
    Step 07: Business Case
    Step 08: Project Initiation Stage Assessment
  • 11. The next stage
    Project Control
    Step 01: Stage Kick Off
    Step 02: Project Board Meetings
    Step 03: Quality Control
    Step 04: Progress Control
    Step 05: Change Control
    Step 06: Issues Management
    Step 07: Exception Situation
    Step 08: Stage End Assessment
  • 12. The final stage
    Project Closure
    Step 01: Final Product Evaluation
    Step 02: Project Completion
    Step 03: Process Improvement
    Each step further breaks down in the procedure
  • 13. Lockyer & Gordon suggest 4 phases
    And there are even more complicated process models, 5, 6, 8 phases
  • 14. Developing successful project management systems
  • 15. Comments from the discussion forum
    Voltaire reminds us that;
    “Common sense is not that common”
  • 16. What is the missing link?
    If there is no single theory of project
    management but there are a number of
    concepts and models which are used in the
    project management process, how do we pull
    them together to make coherent sense?
  • 17. Is Critical Thinking the answer?
  • 18. What is Critical Thinking?
    The likes of Plato, Socrates & Aristotle (350BC)
    thought it was about exploring concepts and
    theories as things weren’t all they appeared on
    the surface.
    There are lots of concepts and models in project
    management, does this suggest it is what we do
    with them that matters?
  • 19. What is Critical Thinking?
    Dewey suggests it is the suspension of
    judgement and healthy scepticism
    Ennis is more of the opinion that it involves
    reflexive thinking, say things another way,
    rethink the outcomes
    Its about understand the elements of your decisions
  • 20. Why do we need critical thinking?
    To help reduce project failures caused by;
    The way we do things – a mind set
    There are many other areas where we don’t think
  • 21. Problems of thinking critically
    Time and pressure to complete a project;
    “Hands on” project managers
    Not having a helicopter
    I’m the project manager!
    Follow the process, no need to debate!
  • 22. Think now and save time & cost
    Identifying difficulties and problems early
    The “what if” approach, scenario planning
    Developing options
    Being ready for the future
    No surprises (at least reduce them)
  • 23. Critical Thinking approaches
    Borrowed from Six Sigma (Motorola 1986)
    Ask “Why” 5 times
    A way of reducing defects & improving quality
    Looks at the root cause of problems
    But is this enough?
  • 24. More Critical Thinking approaches
    Borrowed from Rudyard Kipling (The Elephant’s child)
    “I keep six honest serving-men
    (They taught me all I knew);
    Their names are What and Why and When
    And How and Where and Who”
    Perhaps provides a more critical approach
  • 25. Critical thinkers do…….
    Ask pertinent questions
    Assess arguments for value and objectivity
    Have curiosity
    Like to find new solutions
    Define things clearly
    Examine their beliefs & assumptions
    Listen carefully and give feedback
  • 26. Critical thinkers can…..
    Suspend judgement
    Look for evidence to support assumptions
    Adjust opinion
    Look for proof
    Examine problems closely
    Reject incorrect information
    Know critical thinking is a lifelong process
  • 27. Critical thinking in project management
    Not a system, more a way of life
    A “cultural” change
    Consider all options, even those that don’t look viable on the surface
    Discovering what we didn’t know
    Make informed justifiable decisions
  • 28. Had I forgotten anything?
    My conclusions;
    I don’t think so, it wasn’t there in the first place!
    Is critical thinking the missing theory?
    It will definitely improve the management of
    projects used in conjunction with the current
    tools and processes
  • 29. Thank you for listening
    Any questions?