Project management by David Moulton


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

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Project management by David Moulton

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