Leading Complex ProjectsA Data-Driven Approach to Mastering the Human Side of Project Management
Quantitative analysis of outcomes vs PMs at the individual level Leading Complex Projects takes a unique approach to post-mortem analysis to provide project managers with invaluable insight. For the first time, individual PM characteristics are quantitatively linked to project outcomes through a major study investigating the role of project leadership in the success and failure of complex industrial projects; hard data on the backgrounds, education, and personality characteristics of over 100 directors of complex projects is analyzed against the backdrop of project performance to provide insight into controllable determinants of outcomes. By placing these analyses alongside their own data, PMs will gain greater insight into areas of weakness and strength, locate recurring obstacles, and identify project components in need of greater planning, oversight, or control. The role of leadership is to deliver results; in project management, this means taking responsibility for project outcomes. PMs are driven by continuous improvement, and this book provides a wealth of insight to help you achieve the next step forward. Understand why small, simple projects consistently outperform larger, more complex projects Delve into the project manager's role in generating successful outcomes Examine the data from over 100 PMs of complex industrial projects Link PM characteristics to project outcome to find areas for improvement Complex industrial projects from around the world provide a solid basis for quantitative analysis of outcomes—and the PMs who drive them. Although the majority of the data is taken from projects in the petroleum industry, the insights gleaned from analysis are widely applicable across industry lines for PMs who lead complex projects of any stripe. Leading Complex Projects provides clear, data-backed improvement guidance for anyone in a project management role.
Foreword ix Acknowledgments xi About the Authors xiii Introduction Executive Summary 1 Chapter 1 Getting Grounded 7 Foreword ix Acknowledgments xi About the Authors xiii Introduction Executive Summary 1 Chapter 1 Getting Grounded 7 Part One Chapter 2 Methodology and Data 23 Chapter 3 The Unique Demands on Complex Project Leaders 39 Chapter 4 The Traits and Skills of Effective Project Leaders 53 Chapter 5 From Personality to Practice 77 Part Two Chapter 6 Joseph Brewer 99 Chapter 7 Don Vardeman 109 Chapter 8 Nora’in MD Salleh and Dzulkarnain Azaman 125 Chapter 9 Jay Sexton 137 Chapter 10 Paul Harris 149 Chapter 11 David Young 163 Chapter 12 What Have We Learned and What Does It Mean? 179 Index 000
EDWARD W. MERROW is the founder and CEO of Independent Project Analysis, Inc. After starting his career as a professor at the University of California Los Angeles, Ed spent 15 years at the RAND Corporation, eventually directing RAND's Energy Research Program. In 1987 he founded IPA to be a unique benchmarking and research provider to the capital-intensive industries and infrastructure builders around the world. Ed has authored a number of studies and books, most recently Industrial Megaprojects (Wiley 2011). Ed's contributions to the industry have been recognized by a number of organizations and he is a member of the National Academy of Construction. NEERAJ S. NANDURDIKAR is Director of IPA's global Exploration and Production (E&P) practice. In this capacity he acts as a partner and adviser to Fortune 100 Oil and Gas executives around the world in helping find savings and efficiencies across the entire oil and gas value chain and help lift capital productivity. He has delivered several keynotes and conference presentations and is a key thought leader in the industry, working to enhance the oil and gas industry's capital projects performance and make the industry stronger and more resilient. He has an MBA from The Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MS in Petroleum Engineering from The University of Tulsa.
Traditional approaches to analyzing project outcomes tend to focus narrowly on quantifiable factors such as objectives, quality, cost, and schedules. While such approaches may provide valuable information on an individual project's strengths they provide very little in way of guidance and lessons on why some leaders are able to deliver a track record of superior projects while others, often in the same organization, cannot. This may explain why large, complex projects continue to fail at an alarming rate. While many contemporary authors on project analysis pay lip service to "intangible" factors, such as leadership, relationships, and cultural alignment, virtually all of them continue to focus doggedly on the aforementioned and traditional management processes to the exclusion of all else. Until now. In Leading Complex Projects authors Edward W. Merrow and Neeraj S. Nandurdikar unveil a revolutionary, data-driven approach to quantifying the human side of project management. More importantly, they show PMs how to apply that original approach to virtually any complex, large-scale project for outstanding outcomes and continuous improvement. In developing the approach, the authors drew upon data derived from the proprietary Independent Project Analysis, Inc. database, which includes crucial information on thousands of complex large-scale projects across a range of industries worldwide. They also conducted interviews—many of which are summarized in the interview section of this book—with hundreds of leaders of complex projects in various industries. With that information in hand, along with their decades of experience consulting executives and project leaders around the globe, they developed a rigorous framework and a set of metrics for quantifying project performance in terms of critical human factors as they relate to project leadership generally and to the personalities, habits and traits of the project leaders themselves. Thanks to the revolutionary approach described in Leading Complex Projects, "intangible" human factors, and project leader's personalities, habits of mind, behaviors and traits can, for the first time, be quantitatively linked to project outcomes. More importantly, the approach provides PMs powerful insights into their individual strengths and weaknesses as leaders. By placing the authors' analyses alongside their own project data, PMs will more accurately zero in on recurring obstacles and identify project components in need of greater planning, oversight, or control. They will learn how to better inspire, motivate, and empower their teams. And they will dramatically boost their success profiles and more fully achieve every project manager's goal of continuous improvement.
A REVOLUTIONARY APPROACH TO MEASURING AND MASTERING THE HUMAN SIDE OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT Based on a groundbreaking study of complex industrial projects around the world conducted by authors Edward W. Merrow and Neeraj S. Nandurdikar, Leading Complex Projects describes a revolutionary new approach to project analysis that, for the first time, succinctly measures project outcomes in terms of project leadership and associated human factors. Unlike other project analysis methodologies which tend to conceptualize post-mortem analysis exclusively in terms of goals, schedules, budgets, and other traditionally quantifiable factors, the data-driven approach described in this book: Addresses a range of "intangible" factors, such as relationships, cultural alignment, and motivation Develops a rigorous framework and powerful tools for quantifying human factors and their impact on project outcomes Describes how to systematically link project leaders personalities, habits, and tasks to project outcomes to define areas for improvement Provides a vista into the life of some of the most successful leaders of complex projects through leader profiles Provides companies, human resources and executives a roadmap on how to identify future leaders, what to look for in them and how to provide curated experiences for the young leader's career so that they can become successful leaders of complex projects Leadership is measured in terms of results. For project managers, this means taking responsibility for project outcomes as well as having a clear plan for delivering continuous improvement going forward. An indispensable professional resource for anyone in a project management role, Leading Complex Projects for the first time arms PMs charged with leading complex, large-scale projects with a rigorous framework and a set of sophisticated tools for measuring and mastering the human side of project management.
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