A Proposal for a Mindset of a Project Manager

Joakim Eriksson, Claus Thorp Hansen

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    Abstract

    A company’s product strategy and its management of the product development process have been found to be key factors for a product’s success on the market [1]. Project managers of development projects need support to make process decisions and defining goals that are consistent with the business’s goals while bearing in mind the ability of the development team to deliver a product to the market that satisfies the customer’s expectations and needs [2]. Uncertainty is a part of the product development project’s nature, which according to Simon [3] is ill-structured, explorative and pragmatic. In product development projects it is desirable to reduce the level of uncertainty in order to make decisions without having to redo them later in the project resulting in longer lead time and higher costs. It is the project manager’s responsibility to manage this uncertainty in a complex ever-changing project environment. However, this research shows that there is unnecessary uncertainty in planning and controlling decisions when project changes occur. The uncertainty is manifested in not considering performance aspects of the project and the product in a wider organisational context. Visualization and clarification of decision situations and consequences is rarely used in practice and structured reasoning about project and product performance when making decisions is also rare. In order to enhance the project managers’ understanding of decision-making in product development projects, the objective of this paper is to propose a mindset for clarification of decision situations when changes has occurred. The proposed mindset is supposed to aid project managers when handling project changes by reducing complexity in project planning and supporting the articulation of uncertainties.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of NordDesign 2008
    EditorsLembit Roosimölder
    Number of pages391
    Place of PublicationTallinn, Estonia
    PublisherDepartment of Machinery, Tallinn University of Technology
    Publication date2008
    Pages120-130
    ISBN (Print)99-85-59840-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    EventNordDesign 2008: 7th international NordDesign conference - Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn, Estonia
    Duration: 21 Aug 200823 Aug 2008
    Conference number: 7

    Conference

    ConferenceNordDesign 2008
    Number7
    LocationTallinn University of Technology
    CountryEstonia
    CityTallinn
    Period21/08/200823/08/2008

    Keywords

    • project management
    • mindset
    • engineering design
    • decision-making

    Cite this

    Eriksson, J., & Hansen, C. T. (2008). A Proposal for a Mindset of a Project Manager. In L. Roosimölder (Ed.), Proceedings of NordDesign 2008 (pp. 120-130). Department of Machinery, Tallinn University of Technology.