"The Myth and Reality of Project Management"featuring
Dr. Aaron J. Shenhar
Institute Professor of Management - Stevens Institute of Technology
Co-author of “Reinventing
Ranked among the Top Five Best Business Books of 2007
May 20th, 2008
The Myth and Reality of Project Management
Many project teams today realize that they need to develop their own solutions on top of the standard techniques in order to cope with their project’s dynamic changes, uncertainty, or complexity. In fact, research shows that although the conventional approach to project management provides the necessary basic guidelines for managing projects, it is not enough to guarantee a project’s success. We will present the current myths in the traditional guidelines, and contrast them with the dynamic realities of today’s projects.
The conventional approach to project management is based on a predictable, fixed, relatively simple, and certain model. It is also often decoupled from changes in the market, technology, or business environment. However, only few projects today are fixed, certain, or simple. Rather, they are unpredictable, changing, and involve a great deal of uncertainty and complexity. We will offer a framework to deal with such projects in a highly flexible and adaptive way. We will also show that this model can be applied on top of the current organizational processes to increase the chances of project success. These ideas formed the motivation for the book: Reinventing Project Management: The Diamond Approach to Successful Growth and Innovation, by Aaron Shenhar and Dov Dvir, Harvard Business School Press, 2007. The book was ranked among the top five best business books of 2007.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Shenhar is the Institute Professor of Management and the founder of the Project Management Program at Stevens Institute of Technology. He is also the CEO of the Technological Leadership Institute, a consulting and training company in technology and project leadership. Dr Shenhar holds five academic degrees in engineering and management from Stanford University and the Technion in Israel. He is a visiting professor at the Technion as well as Tel-Aviv University. He is the recipient of the Engineering Manager of the Year Award of IEEE, and the first PMI Research Achievement Award.
Dr. Shenhar accumulated over 20 years of technical and management experience as an executive in a leading high-tech organization in the defense industry in Israel. In his academic career, he published over 150 publications in innovation management, project management, and the management of professionals in technology-based organizations. He served as a consultant to leading high-technology organizations such as 3M, Honeywell, Dow Jones, NASA, BMI, Liz Claiborne, IAI, and the US Army. With more than 150 publications to his credit, his writings have influenced project management research and education throughout the world.
Prior to his academic career, he was involved in managing projects, innovation, R&D, and high technology businesses for almost 20 years. Working for the Israel defense industry, he participated in all phases of engineering and management — from project manager up through the highest executive posts. As executive at Rafael, the Armament Development Authority of Israel, he was appointed Corporate Vice President, Human Resources, and later, President of the Electronic Systems Division, leading over 1000 engineers and scientists.
In his second career, in academia, Dr. Shenhar's work focuses on research, teaching, and consulting in project management, strategic project leadership, technology and innovation management, product development, and the leadership of professionals in technology-based organizations.