Desining project management for next generation project managers

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Project management education seems still to be mainly focused on training in usingprescriptive instruments such as PMBOK, PRINCE etc. while the increasingcomplexity of projects requires also a different set of competences. Our purpose is torefocus education from learning the systems of project management to learning howto be a project manager. It is our view that project managers are above all expertproblem solvers, and that project management is an appropriate field for theapplication of Design Thinking. We first review the literature on Design Thinking inmanagement and project management. Followed by a review literature on projectmanagement education. We then introduce the ADaPteR Cycle consisting of theelements: Awareness, Design, Performance and Reflection. As a means to helpstudents and young project managers to develop their skills in design thinking andhabits of thought that will help them develop into expert project managers.To explore the validity of the ADaPteR Cycle for project management we conductedan interview study of project managers. We then interpreted an existing data set ofobservations of a project manager in his daily work to identify elements of theADaPteR Cycle in practice. For this study ante-narratives were constructed extractingcoherent stories from the messy data of everyday practice. Both studies demonstratethat the elements of the ADaPteR Cycle are recognizable in practice. Further thatcycle can be identified at different levels of problems or situations in projectmanagement work.Finally we conclude from literature and our research that the ADaPteR Cycle canserve in training designing project management for the next generation of expertproject managers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 16th Engineering Project Organization Conference (EPOC 2018)
Subtitle of host publicationBrijuni, Croatia
EditorsBryan Franz, Iva Kovacic
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event16th Engineering Project Organization Conference 2018: (Re)Organizing in an Uncertain Climate - Brijuni, Croatia
Duration: 25 Jun 201827 Jun 2018


Conference16th Engineering Project Organization Conference 2018
Abbreviated titleEPOC 2018


  • project management theory
  • expert intuition
  • design thinking
  • project management education


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