Lancaster professor calls for new mind-set in project management


21 May 2019 10:18
Professor Darren Dalcher
Professor Darren Dalcher

A Lancaster University Professor is advocating a new approach to project management that overhauls entrenched practices and calls for new mind-sets, concepts and approaches to treating people within them.

Darren Dalcher, Professor in Strategic Project Management at Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) and Director of the National Centre for Project Management, wants to rejuvenate thinking and encourage innovation in project management.

His new book, Leading the Project Revolution: Reframing the Human Dynamics of Successful Projects, aims to develop fresh insights, perspectives and approaches for practitioners looking to deliver projects and change initiatives successfully. He says the role of people in projects has been neglected – and this needs to be addressed to ensure their success.

“Projects increasingly take place in demanding contexts replete with conflict, ambiguity, emergence and uncertainty,” said Professor Dalcher. “Such turbulent times demand the elaboration of approaches that extend beyond the established disciplines of progress through engagement with the new dynamics related to people, teams and organisations.

“Turbulent times also present an opportunity for revolutionaries, the disaffected and the under-represented to challenge orthodoxy, overhaul entrenched practice and provide insights.

“People play a vital part in the success of projects, yet traditional project management sources offer limited guidance and insight beyond technical roles and prescriptions. I want to delve into the dynamics of people, teams and organisations exploring their impact on leadership, strategy, success and achievement.

“What I present is a progressive agenda for improving project practice, bringing together some of the best writing by leading authorities on teams, leadership, corporate culture, human behaviour, organisational dynamics, psychology, complexity, strategy, execution, innovation, social media and decision sourcing.”

Professor Dalcher recently moved the National Centre for Project Management, an interdisciplinary centre of excellence operating in collaboration with industry, government, third sector organisations and the learned societies, to LUMS.

He has written more than 200 papers and book chapters and published more than 30 books, and has built a reputation as leader and innovator in the project management sphere, designing, developing and launching the UK’s first professional doctorate in the discipline.

Professor Dalcher developed and edited the Project Management Body of Knowledge for the Association of Project Management (APM). His most recent book offers an even richer basis for fostering enduring success in projects.

Leading the Project Revolution: Reframing the Human Dynamics of Successful Projects, is published by Routledge as part of the Advances in Project Management series.

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