Project Managers in a Futuristic Environment paper ( SDB’s comments)

The authors of this article (Kashiwagi, D., Sullivan, M., Kashiwagi, J. and Sullivan, K. T. 2008) are not clear of their assumptions but it appears that the target field here is construction projects/programme and that the delivery is being outsourced.

It triggers, for me, confusion as the paper tends to extrapolate based on these assumptions. In 2006, Morledge, Smith and Kashiwagi wrote in Building Procurement that even if the US government recommends the usage of Best Value and performance contracting for construction, it has been unsuccessful mainly due to little understanding of how to use performance information without bias. So the same author confirms that this futuristic way of managing project is not effectively nor efficiently used in the field.

Harold Kezner in Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling referring to the 4th edition of the PMBoK and define the phases of Contract management (including procurement management) i.e. plan, conduct, administer and close. This looks similar to what is defined in the paper, as an example of this similarity, Kezner also explains that contract management is also a vehicle to move from one phase of the project to the next but it does not replace the project management framework which is encompassing a bigger scope. The proposed method is therefore basically treating the contract and procurement part of project management as we know traditionally.

The authors also swing the pendulum to an extreme stating that if BV PIPS is not Implemented it means micromanagement and lack of leadership, etc… It looks extreme as existing guidelines about e.g. waterfall, lean, agile project management, leave freedom to the PM to drive their project and how to best manage contracts and this could indeed include a best value component. I personally used multiple methods and frameworks but the common point with all of them was the usage of a Quality Assurance and Quality Control component to review all entry and exit criteria for suppliers but also for internal components of the delivery. Quality is a key component for all projects to fulfill the triple constraint. So what is described in the article is common sense in not only how to manage contracts but also how to deal with in-house teams deliverables.

In terms of risk management, nothing new here vs. a traditional ways of implementing risk management in projects. In conclusion, this article is giving emphasis on contract and procurement in a project management environment.

KASHIWAGI, D., SULLIVAN, M., KASHIWAGI, J., SULLIVAN, K. T., 2008, Project Managers in a Futuristic Environment, Vol X, Issue VIII

KEZNER, H., 2009, Project management : a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling, Hoboken, N.J. : John Wiley & Sons

MORLEDGE, R., SMITH, A. and KASHIWAGI, D., 2006, Building Procurement, 1st ed., UK: Wiley-Blackwell

Categories: Project Management

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