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					Project Management Network for Excellence in Learning & Teaching




      Rethinking Project Management

                    Miles Shepherd
                    Visiting Fellow
              Bournemouth Business School
Project Management Network for Excellence in Learning & Teaching

              Background to Network
 • National need for programme and project
   management skills,
 • Growth and increasing complexity in project work,
 • Growing importance of projects in organisations &
   government,
 • Increasing membership of associations,
 • Perceptions of the failure of projects,
 • Dissatisfaction with the discipline and profession.
Project Management Network for Excellence in Learning & Teaching

                       Focus Areas
 1.   Shaping & Planning the Network
 2.   Making sense of the field (context)
 3.   Making sense of PM practice
 4.   PM in different sectors
 5.   Rethinking the foundations
 6.   New research directions
 7.   Messages for Industry
Project Management Network for Excellence in Learning & Teaching

                        Meetings
 1.   UMIST – Content, context and process
 2.   UCL – Emerging themes and new perspectives
 3.   Newcastle – Projects Across Different Sectors
 4.   London – Projectification & Managing Multiple Projects
 5.   Strathclyde – Actuality & Uncertainty
 6.   Bath – The Profession and Practitioner Development
 7.   Manchester – Research Topics, Industry Messages &
      Network Review
Project Management Network for Excellence in Learning & Teaching

   Practitioner Development Concerns
 • The recognition of the multiplicity of project
   management roles and competencies.
 • Project management requires a wider range of
   knowledge than conceived in the past - How can it be
   brought to bear in practice?
 • Thinking about uncertainty needs to be more
   sophisticated.
 • There are some contexts for which the APM Body of
   Knowledge (BoK) is wrong.
Project Management Network for Excellence in Learning & Teaching

   Concerning „Practitioner Development‟:

 • How practitioners learn and develop.
 • Reclaiming the knowledge – professional
   associations vs academic institutions.
Project Management Network for Excellence in Learning & Teaching

          Reclaiming the knowledge
   There is excessive focus on what to do - methods and
   tools (Prince2) - and an unhelpful separation of training
   and practice. More attention is required to address: front
   end definition, „soft‟ skills, understanding of types of
   knowledge, social processes (CoP), learning in context,
   development of judgement, the need for „educated‟ senior
   managers. Soft skills to address: „reading‟, perception,
   self-awareness, judgement, engaging with complexity
   and uncertainty, intuition. Consideration should be given
   to: simulation, coaching, double-loop learning, combined
   individual and group learning, and combining individual
   development with and organisational development.
Project Management Network for Excellence in Learning & Teaching

           Practitioner Development
 • The process of professionalisation
 • Knowledge issues
 • Implications for academia
Project Management Network for Excellence in Learning & Teaching

           Professionalisation Issues
 • the excessive focus on what to do - methods and
   tools – rather than craft knowledge
 • the dislocation between training, development
   and practice
 • the excessive focus on knowledge acquisition at
   the expense of capability development.
Project Management Network for Excellence in Learning & Teaching

    The process of professionalisation
 • The role of the professional associations.
 • The relationship between BoKs, practitioners and
   certification.
 • Scope: breadth of project management
   knowledge.
 • Contexts – whether there are any contexts where
   BoKs are inappropriate.
Project Management Network for Excellence in Learning & Teaching

                       BoK Issues
 • understanding what the BoK is for, and the
   clarity of the definition of the profession,
 • the ethical stance to be taken – whether client-
   orientated or contractual,
 • the underlying theory of project management,
 • the research design – being based on opinions
   rather than investigation.
Project Management Network for Excellence in Learning & Teaching

    Network view on BoK as Standard
 • It is reasonable that governments should demand or impose standards,
   since they suffer from gross wastage on projects. However it is not
   logical that they should limit this regulation to project execution.
 • We should query whether the trend and process whereby BoKs become
   established and hard to change is inevitable.
 • That the APM may need to rethink its policy of coupling BoK and
   professional certification. Other profession (eg GMC) leave knowledge
   ownership to the universities.
 • It is essential that academia fulfils its role to describe things as they see
   them – to go beyond the formal BoK and similar. There is a need for
   independent research based knowledge.
 • Practitioners will welcome the rethinking of boundaries and expansion
   of the curricula, but will resist changes to the certification levels.
Project Management Network for Excellence in Learning & Teaching

             Areas for Consideration
 • The need to consider how the BoK is used in
   practice, and how practitioners relate to it, use it,
   ignore it, work round it etc
 • The value and limitations of codified knowledge,
   and whether it is beneficial or detrimental to
   practitioner development.
 • Whether BoKs are adequate for guiding
   practitioners.
Project Management Network for Excellence in Learning & Teaching

          Areas for Consideration - 2
 • The distinction between a BoK and a “guide to
   the BoK” (PMI).
 • The distinction between a formal BoK and a
   wider less defined „bok‟.
 • The distinction between a BoK (defining) and
   „models‟ (for use).
 • The wider body of management knowledge that
   is relevant.
Project Management Network for Excellence in Learning & Teaching

          Areas for Consideration - 3
 • That in other disciplines there are restrictions on
   practice by those who cannot prove their
   knowledge.
 • The need or otherwise for project management to
   have a code of ethics.
 • Auditable following of procedures vs the
   application of professional judgement.
Project Management Network for Excellence in Learning & Teaching

          Areas for Consideration - 4
 • Whether project management professionals are
   equivalent to others – professionals whose decisions and
   actions can be trusted in complex situations.
 • The means by which professional groups use BoK to
   close off alternative approaches.
 • The value, or otherwise, of certification of professional
   groups by nation states.
 • The importance of developing the capabilities of project
   clients – client development.
Project Management Network for Excellence in Learning & Teaching

             Reclaiming Knowledge
   In traditional professions, knowledge is claimed
   by academic institutions while practice remains in
   the domain of the practitioner. In PM, both are
   claimed by the associations.
   This stultifies innovation and leads to conflicts of
   interest – equivalent to protection by a guild. A
   preferable cycle is for academics to carry out
   research, and then codify knowledge which is
   dispersed in the public domain..
Project Management Network for Excellence in Learning & Teaching

     Reclaiming Knowledge – Current Issues
 •   Intellectual ownership (cross-disciplinary)
 •   Resourcing and funding,
 •   Handling pluralism,
 •   The function of project management,
 •   The nature of knowledge and the role of
     government
Project Management Network for Excellence in Learning & Teaching

              Further information…

 Papers from all meetings are available from:

               www.rethinkingpm.org.uk