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Minimising the effects of dysfunctional corporate culture in estimation and evaluation processes: A constructively simple approach

Published on Feb 1, 2006in International Journal of Project Management4.69
· DOI :10.1016/j.ijproman.2005.08.004
Chris Chapman22
Estimated H-index: 22
(University of Southampton),
Stephen Ward22
Estimated H-index: 22
(University of Southampton),
I.A. Harwood13
Estimated H-index: 13
(University of Southampton)
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Abstract
This paper explores connections between subjective judgements about uncertainty and corporate culture which are relevant to everyone interested in estimating project parameters or interpreting estimates prepared by others. The basis of the discussion is a simple example, drawn from an actual case. It involves estimating the uncertain duration of a project activity in an organisation with two common cultural conditions: a ‘conspiracy of optimism’, and ‘irrational objectivity’. After considering some conventional approaches, the paper goes on to suggest a ‘constructively simple’ approach to estimation which is responsive to the emerging analysis and which also incorporates end-user adjustments to counter culturally driven uncertainties and bias.
  • References (21)
  • Citations (22)
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References21
Newest
Published on Apr 1, 2004in International Journal of Project Management4.69
Anna Kadefors10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Chalmers University of Technology)
Using the general theory of trust in inter-organisational relations, this paper discusses factors that influence development of trust and co-operation in client–contractor relationships in construction projects. Formal contractual rules are found to bring about and legitimise behaviours and strategies at odds with common-sense perceptions as to how trustworthy and co-operative exchange partners should act. Contractual incentives and close monitoring of contractor performance may induce opportuni...
Published on Oct 1, 2003in Journal of the Operational Research Society1.75
Chris Chapman22
Estimated H-index: 22
(University of Southampton),
Stephen Ward22
Estimated H-index: 22
(University of Southampton)
A 'constructively simple' approach to estimating uses a decision support modelling paradigm based on project risk management and operational research concepts. It employs probability models selected from a set of alternative stochastic models of uncertainty with a view to maximising the insight provided, given an appropriate level of complexity. It addresses issues that include the joint use of subjective and objective probabilities, subjectivity of model data and structure, bias, data acquisiti...
Published on Feb 1, 2003in International Journal of Project Management4.69
Stephen Ward22
Estimated H-index: 22
(University of Southampton),
Chris Chapman22
Estimated H-index: 22
(University of Southampton)
This paper argues that all current project risk management processes induce a restricted focus on the management of project uncertainty. In part this is because the term ‘risk’ encourages a threat perspective. In part this is because the term ‘risk’ has become associated with ‘events’ rather than more general sources of significant uncertainty. The paper discusses the reasons for this view, and argues that a focus on ‘uncertainty’ rather than risk could enhance project risk management, providing...
Published on Jan 1, 2003
J U M Smith1
Estimated H-index: 1
Based on sound conceptual foundations yet developed to meet practical concerns, Project Risk Management has become recognized as a standard work on its subject. It sets out the key issues and concepts involved in effective risk and uncertainty management in a clear and accessible way, providing a comprehensive discussion of risk management processes set firmly in the context of the project management task as a whole and focused on improving performance.
Published on Oct 11, 2002
Chris Chapman22
Estimated H-index: 22
,
Stephen Ward22
Estimated H-index: 22
This title confidently puts forward a practical, new approach to decision making in an uncertain business world. Many variables are accounted for and the authors are innovative in integrating previous types of decision-making approaches with a more fluid, and therefore realistic model that can be applied across a wide range of contexts and decisions. A new title on a important topic that not only stands well on its own, but also complements Chapman and Ward's previous title Project Risk Manageme...
Published on Jan 1, 2002
Terry Williams30
Estimated H-index: 30
It is widely acknowledged that traditional Project Management techniques are no longer sufficient, as projects become more complex and client's demand reduced timescales. Problems that arise include inadequate planning and risk analysis, ineffective project monitoring and control, and uninformed post-mortem analysis. Effective modelling techniques, which capture the complexities of such projects, are therefore necessary for adequate project management. This book looks at those issues, describes ...
Published on Dec 1, 2000in International Journal of Project Management4.69
Chris Chapman22
Estimated H-index: 22
(University of Southampton),
Stephen Ward22
Estimated H-index: 22
(University of Southampton)
This paper describes an approach to the estimation and evaluation of uncertainty designed for ease of use. It is designed to be easier to use than probability impact grid based approaches, and it links qualitative approaches in this format to quantitative approaches. It is based on a general view of uncertainty which incorporates ambiguity as well as variability and lack of data. A concern for identifying sources of uncertainty is one characteristic of the approach which flows from this perspect...
Published on Oct 1, 1999in Risk Management0.81
Margaret Greenwood6
Estimated H-index: 6
,
S. Cicmil23
Estimated H-index: 23
Cited By22
Newest
Purpose Risk management and uncertainty in megaprojects is a flourishing topic in project management, while the unexpected is still a neglected matter. The purpose of this paper is to offer conceptual clarifications of the unexpected based on second-order-cybernetics and systems theory. While transferring findings from organisation theory to project management, the article provides fresh insights into managing the unexpected in megaprojects. Design/methodology/approach Being grounded on construc...
James Prater1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
Konstantinos Kirytopoulos13
Estimated H-index: 13
,
Tony Ma6
Estimated H-index: 6
Purpose One of the major challenges for any project is to prepare and develop an achievable baseline schedule and thus set the project up for success, rather than failure. The purpose of this paper is to explore and investigate research outputs in one of the major causes, optimism bias, to identify problems with developing baseline schedules and analyse mitigation techniques and their effectiveness recommended by research to minimise the impact of this bias. Design/methodology/approach A systema...
Published on Feb 1, 2017in International Journal of Project Management4.69
Verena Stingl4
Estimated H-index: 4
(DTU: Technical University of Denmark),
Joana Geraldi16
Estimated H-index: 16
(DTU: Technical University of Denmark)
Abstract This paper provides a systematic review of the literature on behavioural decision making in projects. The field is blooming, and given the relevance of decisions in projects and the strong theoretical foundations of behavioural decision making, it offers to contribute to practice and theory in projects and beyond. However, the literature is fragmented and draws only on a fraction of the recent, insightful, and relevant developments on behavioural decision making. This paper organizes cu...
Published on Oct 20, 2016in Administrative Sciences
Olav Torp5
Estimated H-index: 5
,
Ole Jonny Klakegg11
Estimated H-index: 11
Cost estimation is an important part of project planning. Over the years different approaches have developed, taking uncertainty into account in the cost estimation processes in order to tackle the dynamic nature of projects. However, when implementing these approaches, some challenges have been revealed. The aim in a cost estimation process is to establish a realistic overview of the total project costs and its uncertainties. Even though tools and methods for taking uncertainty into account are...
Published on Sep 1, 2016in Systems Research and Behavioral Science1.05
Louis Klein1
Estimated H-index: 1
The Anthropocene calls for systemic change which requires much more than good ideas, stakeholder activism and self-organization. Successful change is managed in the form of a project. However, project management itself needs to learn to cope with the systemic complexity of the real world, especially with social complexity. Hence, this paper explores the paradox of reintroducing complexity within a discipline that has professionalized the reduction of complexity. Acknowledging the inevitability o...
Published on Apr 1, 2016in International Journal of Project Management4.69
Alfons van Marrewijk9
Estimated H-index: 9
(VU: VU University Amsterdam),
Karen Smits3
Estimated H-index: 3
(VU: VU University Amsterdam)
The academic debate on governance in project management is dominated by research that looks at the structure of governance regimes, but there is very little research on the micro-practices of governance as it actually takes place. This paper fills this gap by focusing on the governance practices of project employees and looking at megaprojects as cultural phenomena. Therefore, a one-year ethnographic field study of the Panama Canal Expansion Megaproject was conducted to examine the cultural prac...
Published on Jan 1, 2015in Procedia Computer Science
Bassam A. Hussein4
Estimated H-index: 4
(NTNU: Norwegian University of Science and Technology),
Saad B.S. Ahmad2
Estimated H-index: 2
(NTNU: Norwegian University of Science and Technology),
Youcef J-T. Zidane4
Estimated H-index: 4
(NTNU: Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
Abstract The paper establishes the relation between the problems associated with defining the project success criteria at the project initiation phase to the potential challenges when it comes to the project execution and close out. A targeted literature review identified; 1) basing the definition on narrow set of criteria, 2) using ambiguous criteria, 3) having competing or conflicting criteria, 4) in adequate or incomplete set of criteria, 5) using unrealistic criteria and 6) Considering all t...
Bassam A. Hussein4
Estimated H-index: 4
(NTNU: Norwegian University of Science and Technology),
Ole Jonny Klakegg11
Estimated H-index: 11
(NTNU: Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
A survey was conducted in order to collect empirical data about the frequency of occurrence of several risk factors associated with success criteria. On the basis of the statistical correlation we may conclude that there are four risk factors in the initiation phase that, if occurring, will lead to the occurrence of risk factors in the implementation and evaluation phase. These risk factors are; 1) Failing to identify all success criteria due to lack of knowledge about stakeholders, 2) Having co...
Published on Sep 1, 2013 in IDAACS (Intelligent Data Acquisition and Advanced Computing Systems: Technology and Applications)
Bassam A. Hussein4
Estimated H-index: 4
(NTNU: Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
This paper uses a literature review to present the risk factors that are most common to project success criteria through a project's entire life cycle. Empirical investigation and statistical analysis examined correlations between these factors. On the basis of the statistical correlations found we conclude that there are four factors in the initiation phase that could lead to the occurrence of additional risks factors in the implementation and evaluation phases. These are 1) having an incomplet...
View next paperFundamental uncertainties in projects and the scope of project management