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terry.williams's blog | Project Research Institute

terry.williams's blog

What's the reach of BoKs in understanding what management a project needs?

This has been a series of ten blogs starting with the 2005 paper referenced below. We have looked at how projects behave, sometimes in quite different ways to how the normal project management discourse says they should. We’ve looked at how elements of projects come together in often quite complex ways, in causal chains (often involving quite “soft” factors) and in combinations, to produce results that are often not obvious and sometimes quite counter-intuitive.

Understanding projects by 'getting' the people


We said in the very first blog that models to explain how projects behave need to include “soft” factors. 'Soft factors'  can be the most important links in the chains of causality that set up feedback loops and thus can be critical in determining project behaviour. This is quite different from the common discourse about projects, which is very “positivist”, seeing reality as concrete and “out there”, ready to be measured and controlled.

Understanding projects (and their causal structures) by sharing project stories.


My last blog on understanding causes  to really understand your project reminds me of one particular aspect of learning from past projects which I think is really important. 

Understanding project behaviours that could get you ahead in your project management

Those reading my blogs will know that I’m interested in understanding project behaviour in the complexity of real-life, when issues and events come together and compound each other, in the heat of projects where project managers are trying to make good decisions in the face of changing events. Perhaps the one time when practitioners can sit down and reflect on how their projects have gone is in the post-project review.

The complicated world of under-estimation


A key point I have mentioned previously is that underestimating at the planning stage is one of most common triggers for cost escalation as we try to chase an increasingly impossible target. Let’s explore this a bit further.

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