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Reflection on project reform—Jacob Silver

Reflection on project reform
With reasons for project failure remaining unchanged since Harvard Business School first published the common causes, organisations are faced with situations where the focus is less about what the causes of failure are but rather what the early warning signs are and what are the response mechanisms. It’s imperative that as project managers we put in place tools to recognise the early warning signs of project failure and implement strong processes to reform projects that are on the path to failure.

This paper examines the process of change that a large and complex relocation project went through during the early stages of project failure. The paper discusses several failed attempts at change and the eventual process that got the project back on track and allowed the team to achieve immediate and ongoing success. The tools used to improve success include critical reflections, the discovery of common themes through the use of affinity diagrams and the use of personality traits to assign roles. The key lessons learnt were shared and this allowed the team to continue its success and ultimately restore faith with their client and secure future business.

Author: Jacob Silver
Review status: Postgraduate assignment (University of Technology Sydney)

November 22, 2015

Social learning theory in construction—Neroshan Devakumaran

Application of social learning theory to boost technician skills and performance in a construction project
Skilled labour force is an essential part of a construction project. Every construction project has different phases. Transitioning between phases dictates the need for different skill sets and it is crucial that every organisation manages its labour resource efficiently to avoid skill gaps that could lead to its downfall in this highly competitive world. Being constrained by a limited labour force with a significant skill imbalance during the transitioning of two phases, the author had to come up with a plan to alleviate this situation by training the unskilled technicians within a short period of time due to the steady increase of tasks and multiple end dates. The author created a strategy to train them within a month while steadily increasing the pace of work. Using the modelling process of a social learning theory with other learning styles incorporated in parts, the author was able to eventually fill the skill gaps necessary for the next phase within the planned time. The author eventually provides a reflection on the methods used by him that proves that although the techniques were efficient, there is room for improvement.

Author: Neroshan Devakumaran
Review status: Postgraduate assignment (University of Technology Sydney)

November 21, 2015

Practice of effective leadership on improving the project performance—Abdulmohsin Alghifaili

Practice of effective leadership on improving the project performance
This paper will talk about improving leadership practice in an organisation and how this practice affected the project performance. The paper will talk about individual reflection on how departments in the organisation interacted and how the project team failed to reach the specified goals. This paper will also discuss how to improve the leadership practice in the organisation and how the project leadership will improve by applying tools and approaches. Further, the paper will show indicate the results of improving the practice of effective leadership.

Author: Abdulmohsin Alghifaili
Review status: Postgraduate assignment (University of Technology Sydney)

November 21, 2015

The Art of Story—Michael Morrison

The Art of Story – “An Ancient Tool for Modern Projects”
In our modern fast paced society, technology has given us so many new ways to share information with tools such as email, smartphone, social media and skype and so many reasons not to take time out to reflect. Too often we communicate electronically, we tabulate, we diarise, we list, we number, we bullet point, however too seldom in the modern world do we engage in face to face informal discussions where we share knowledge, too seldom do we reflect.

We sit bolt upright in uncomfortable chairs around rectangular tables, in dull grey vinyl boardrooms and we recite line by line information in the form of meeting minutes which have been on the agenda for weeks. Are we engaged? Are we actively listening? Do we remember anything when we walk out of the room? Do we take this explicit invaluable knowledge and use it to add value to our work for decades to come? In my experience, I would say no and that a large percentage of this knowledge and lessons learnt is lost in translation.

The paper I have written talks about how we can improve the way we practice Project Management through reflection, and how art of storytelling can be used as a tool for modern Projects. In addition, I explore how we can become more powerful leaders by using story as a way to reflect, share knowledge and get our message across, it has been said that if “a picture is worth a thousand words, a story is worth a thousand pictures” (Dan Pink). It is this improved practice of leadership through reflection and storytelling which will improve performance at an individual, project and organisational level.

Author: Michael Morrison
Review status: Postgraduate assignment (University of Technology Sydney)

November 21, 2015