Designing Project Management

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In this paper we introduce the concept of Designing Project Management. On the basis of our earlier work, we suggest that there is still a gap between what is known from recent project management literature and what project managers can structurally help in the effectiveness of their work. Assuming that project management is a form of solving wicked problems, we propose a designerly way to solve these problems. To this end, we introduce the Project Design Cycle, consisting of the elements Awareness, Design, Performance and Reflection. This cycle has been studied in a purely exploratory study. Result of the study is that these elements are sometimes recognized, sometimes not, that the order of these elements has been hardly recognized, that the difference between Reflection-in-action and Reflection-after-Action has been recognized and a distinction seems to occur between a 'large' Project Design Cycle through the overall project management and a 'small' Project Design Cycle in the daily management. We finally conclude that more training in the cycle is necessary because this will possibly lead to a more effective project management.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWBC16 Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationBuilding Up Business Operations and Their Logic Shaping Materials and Technologies
EditorsA. Saari, P. Huovinen
PublisherTampere University of Technology
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)978-952-15-3743-1
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2016
EventCIB World Building Congress 2016 - Tampere, Finland
Duration: 30 May 20163 Jun 2016


ConferenceCIB World Building Congress 2016
Abbreviated titleWBC16


  • project management theory
  • project management education
  • design thinking


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