Dissertation Managing Project Complexity

The Importance of Experience in Project Managers when Managing Project Complexity – A Study into the UAE

Traditionally, the success of a project lays on the shoulders of project managers and its achievement is constantly measured by the properties of cost, time and quality, which appear to be a simple way of measuring within the construction industry. Interest for project management is becoming fundamental. Yet, projects keep on failing at an astounding rate. This research has investigated the education level of project managers in managing project complexity, by understanding the current educational level of project managers and also to understand whether advanced education is required before achieving the designation of project manager.

Managing Project Complexity
Managing Project Complexity

This dissertation also investigates the leadership qualities and skills required for project manager to handle complex project. This research was done in 2 steps; first step of the research is to review the literature. The literature review consists of project success, complexity, background experience, skills, leadership qualities and education. Second step is to conduct an online survey by preparing 20 questions and is sent to 50 selected project managers and directors of different companies and sectors. Out of 50, 31 responded to the survey.

After analyzing the results from survey, it was found that most of the project managers have not achieved any advanced education before achieving the designation and their current education emphasized more on engineering – technical aspects and less on management aspects. The project managers who had advanced education were given more importance to hard skills (which are scope, time, quality and cost) and soft skills (which are communication, social, conflict management, etc.).

In this dissertation, many project managers had different view on project complexity. However, most of them stated that the factors relating to complexity are due to financial problems, uncertain designs and no proper construction details. Finally, the dissertation has been concluded by saying that advanced education is required for project manager to manage uncertainty and complexity. However having experience is one of the most important factors in addition with education for project success.

Dissertation Objectives

  • To investigate the educational level in project managers and to understand their abilities in adapting with change in project complexity
  • To understand the skills and experience needed to become a project manager and for project success
  • To measure project success in complexity
  • To understand the leadership qualities required for project success

1 – Introduction
Background
Rationale
Aim
Objectives
Research Methodology

2 – Project Success

3 – Complexity
Introduction
Complexity in Construction
Measuring complexity in construction

4 – Project Manager’s Experience and Skills Required for Project Success
Project Manager’s Experience
Project management skills
Required skills for managing complexity

5 – Leadership in Project Managers for Project Success
Leadership in Construction Industry
Different Leadership challenges faced in Complexity
Leadership Styles and Competencies in Construction
Political skills, Leadership and Project success
Modern Leadership in Construction Industry

6 – Education for Project Managers
Challenges faced in project management training and education
Evolution of project management and project managers
Approaches in educating project managers
Advanced training in educating project manager

7 – Research Methodology and Design
Research Methodology
Survey Questionnaire

8 – Data Results and Analysis
Data Results
Data Analysis

9 – Conclusion and Recommendations
Summary
Recommendations

References

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Project Management Standardization

Standardization of Project Management

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Poor project performance has led to industry calling for Standardized Project Management tools, yet it is the organizations themselves who have chosen to overlook or ignore the tools while implementing organization strategy that exists for their assistance. This paper investigates the implications change management practices have on individuals as a result of strategy change, whilst challenging the poor Project Management knowledge and understanding of individuals within project based organizations. It also identifies the currently poor application of Project Management theory including the alarming levels of academic qualifications many practicing Project Managers currently hold. The purpose of the dissertation was to explore this call for standardization by conducting a review of the knowledge, understanding and opinions of individuals regarding: change management implications of organization strategy implementation; and organizations? application of Project Management theory.

Project Management Standardization
Project Management Standardization

However, while conducting the review, offering discussion points or arguments, it is important to recognize when talking about Project Management Standardization, it is not an exact science and there are several fundamental floors such as the theory is relatively abstract and many parameters are difficult to be measured as they are usually based upon the opinion of industry personnel with predetermined beliefs. The aim of the dissertation was to identify and understand evolving management theory and how it aligns with organization strategy as it was believed that with such a large amount of capital being spent on projects, organizations did not place a high enough level of priority on Project Management processes or academic qualifications. Whether this is a result of ignorance, or just a pure lack of understanding of the implications on the behalf of executive level management, was the basis for discussion throughout the dissertation. Finally projects are aimed solely at either increasing profit in line with organizational mission requirements or increasing efficiency through productivity. So the dissertation is written with the intention of raising awareness to improve project performance and not just to highlight organizational short comings. The dissertation aim is to investigate how evolving Project Management theory, organizational strategy and change management implementation and Project Management academic levels influence individual’s perceptions and actions within project based organizations.

Project Management Standardization Dissertation Objectives

  • To identify and introduce evolving management theory
  • To analyze the role that Project Management has within organizations strategic management processes
  • To investigate the level of understanding individuals within organizations have of Project Management processes
  • To investigate the academic levels of individuals within project based positions
  • Conduct a questionnaire based on the aims, objectives, and literature review formulating a strategic set of questions to challenge senior managers with an interview in relation to the concerning trends

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