A new approach to project management based on a combination of predictive and adaptive thinking

Hanif, Tahir (2011) A new approach to project management based on a combination of predictive and adaptive thinking. (PhD thesis), Kingston University, .


This thesis looks at the two main thinking types currently encountered in project management i.e. Predictive & Adaptive Project Management. Predictive project management thinking consists of the development of a schedule from a known scope and then managing the implementation of the project in accordance with that schedule. This type of thinking is also known as the traditional approach to project management and has been extensively used since the introduction of project management in the 1960s. Adaptive thinking is used for fast track projects that are going to be subjected to a high rate of change and uncertainty. Methods have been developed mainly in the IT industry to deal with the fast turn-around and demand for IT and software development projects. Projects utilising adaptive project management' thinking deliver the final product through a series of iterations and rely on high calibre and empowered individuals to make critical decisions. There is much to learn from both thinking types. This thesis looks at a selected few methods that fall under each category, to highlight the main similarities and differences. In addition to this a questionnaire survey was carried out amongst clients, promoters, project managers and team members to find out their views and perceptions about their experiences relating to project management. To supplement the research, an analysis of keywords from the International Journal of Project Management was conducted from 1983 through to 2010. This amounted to reviewing 1,863 papers over a 28 year period containing 5,776 words. Some interesting trends have emerged from this analysis. As a direct result of the keyword analysis, a new pictogram has been developed that can be used for teaching and highlighting project management principles to students, project team members, clients, stakeholders and end users. Finally the thesis concludes with a framework for implementing good project management called SixP. This framework can be used on any type of project and ensures that the right project management approach is selected, customised, implemented and maintained throughout the project life cycle. This approach was presented to delegates at the International Project Management Association (IPMA) 24th World Congress in Istanbul, Turkey on 2nd November 2010.

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