Ian MackParticipant@ian-mack3 October 2023 at 5:19 amPost count: 104::
Hi Davin and thanks for these. I can see this entire and structured behavioural analysis as a facet that I have omitted from my thinking and practice in the past. It can be applicable to all stakeholders with interest and influence, perhaps with a particular focus on the three tiers of governance. It is clearly an enabler to alignment which begets collaboration. I am left wondering whether it should be a separate element in the definition of complex project success factors, or is it a sub-element of what we already have in the last paper.
I also think I noted a contradiction between the two papers. The Management Drives paper I believe suggests that there is little one can do to mitigate behavioural conflicts within teams based on worldviews, whereas the Collaborative Management Institute suggests that such issues can be mitigated away or to some extent. Interesting, and I guess “it depends”. But I guess the key is having access to someone trained to do the analysis such as yourself and others – and getting the way-too-busy-or-cranky seniors to submit to being so assessed.
Perhaps we can explore this further in the next Working Group session further – IanDavin ShellshearSIG Chair@davin-shellshear30 September 2023 at 7:17 amPost count: 142::
Hi Group B
I have forwarded our latest paper to Colin for processing by ICCPM.
In our last meeting, we ranged across matters to do with people, complexity and projects, so I said I would lob a couple of papers on the forum related to the work I do in this space. My apologies if they sound somewhat like marketing blurb – I guess they are.
Anyway, for you interest or not, see attached.
Davin ShellshearIan MackParticipant@ian-mack24 September 2023 at 9:18 pmPost count: 104::
Hi Rob and thanks for this one. One could almost say that this project is worse in its execution than the City of Ottawa’s Phase One LRT project, but then it is done by two different authors . (As an update to the Ottawa LRT, a recent quote from the City: “Over the next 25 years, Ottawa city staff say the city can expect $3.7 billion less in local transportation system fares, with post-pandemic hybrid work and the challenged LTR (Phase One unreliability and Phase Two now 20% over budget, one year late and yet to be completed) — or $100 million per year in net present value. As a result, building the final planned extension to Ottawa’s troubled light-rail transit system is no longer an affordable option, at least for the next 25 years [had been targeted for commissioning in 2031].” This is a rather sobering indictment, but what can happen as the Business Case changes while the project is in train and well advanced.
One notes all the usual culprits in the Edinburgh Tram Inquiry report, but I thought that the recommendations left a lot to be desired from a complexity perspective (then again, I am not a Scot).
I have included my ‘take’ on the lessons that arose from my personal data mining and reflection, for you and for anyone interested. Comments are welcome.
Rob – I have yet to tackle the 50-page book you have suggested, but I may get to it in time. IanRobert McMartinSIG Chair@rmcmartin20 September 2023 at 2:53 pmPost count: 37Robert McMartinSIG Chair@rmcmartin20 September 2023 at 8:35 amPost count: 37Davin ShellshearSIG Chair@davin-shellshear14 September 2023 at 12:11 pmPost count: 142::
I am, very much in agreement with Ian in this.
There is a wide scale in entrepreneurship, at one end someone who has good ideas and sets strategy and goals to make it happen. These people can be really great at introducing practical change and improvement in aspects of the work of project (or an organisation). At the other end, it can morph into narcissistic people who verge on sociopathic behaviour and are the last people you want near a project. The difference is chalk and cheese.
I believe when we talk about entrepreneurs and projects, we need to be very clear about the context and what we are hoping to achieve through entrepreneurial behaviours. Horses for courses. No one size fits all.
I hold very similar views to Ian about dear Mr Musk and would run for dear life before being involved in any undertaking that included him. That’s just my bias.
The topic of entrepreneurial behaviours or any other types of behaviour, and their relevance to the success or otherwise of a project is the area I have been playing in for the last 15 years. It links through to understanding behavioural risk in projects emanating from the leadership and management teams.
A facinating area to play in.
DavinIan MackParticipant@ian-mack14 September 2023 at 1:49 amPost count: 104::
Thanks for the reference Rob. Without doubt, I can support the presence of a valued entrepreneur as a member of the project execution team, as I am sure most can. Just as with the presence of a project team’s challenge/dissenting master, an entrepreneur can be invaluable – in many ways, their logic has common ground. However, my sense is that many entrepreneurs need a degree of structure and support to deliver start-ups successfully.
That said, as a case study supporting entrepreneurship as a desirable attribute for governance and/or execution of complex (and thus high risk) endeavours, I do not find Elon Musk to be the best poster-child. It is his money or financial liability at risk; as a result of these finances, he seems better able to ignore governance and rule sets, and to generally have little regard for dissenting stakeholders; he certainly does not seem to be a fan of servant leadership (rather, he appears to be a highly infectious severe stress carrier); I have trouble seeing him as a team player; and while his personality likely does not accept personal failure, he IS able to weather failures if/as they occur. This is very much like autocratic and authoritarian dictatorship to me, as written. And as one seriously biased by my decade within Canada’s government advancing weapon system platform projects, I doubt most democratic governments or western corporate governance would embrace the arguments put forward.
For me, the question then becomes how large and traditional western organisations can embrace a degree of entrepreneurial talent – how to attract and keep such talent, how to harness their insights, what guard rails and constraints need to be included and where in project enterprises would they be best positioned to maximise their positive benefits (e.g. in large organisations as the CPO, in complex project ecosystems, as project sponsors, in project execution teams).
Perhaps you have delivered a subject worth exploring in the working group at a meeting or two, if not as a new area for full exploration. I think most organisations could easily accept an entrepreneurial element in complex project enterprises, IF they can be convinced that there is some set of guard rails that can be put in place in a manner that safeguards the project outcomes while delivering a return on the investment ,and without stifling the potential benefits or driving entrepreneurs to bail. IanRobert McMartinSIG Chair@rmcmartin13 September 2023 at 8:57 amPost count: 37::
Please find attached an interesting read with regards the use entrepreneurship within projectification of society.
In reading the way that Musk approached the delivery of the project is very much in line with Ian Mack’s rules on Governance of a Compex Project.
Ian MackParticipant@ian-mack28 August 2023 at 11:14 pmPost count: 104::
- This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by Robert McMartin.
Thanks Davin and Rob. I would offer three points: based on what I can see, we have lost the red print so people can no longer see the most recent major additions; Rob, I have no idea where you introduced changes, but that’s okay (all graciously accepted); and I will assume that going forward, we base any further work on the paper on Rob’s updated copy. The corollary for all those attending the next meeting is to read Rob’s version and be prepared to comment on it. Hope to see you all on 7 September (AEST).
IanRobert McMartinSIG Chair@rmcmartin28 August 2023 at 4:10 pmPost count: 37Davin ShellshearSIG Chair@davin-shellshear28 August 2023 at 9:40 amPost count: 142::
Thank you Ian for you work to update the paper.
I have done a draft formatting, hoping it helps. I suspect some of the headings I have chosen (at random) could be improved, and the formatting in general may need some tweaks. Nevertheless, process started.
DavinIan MackParticipant@ian-mack27 August 2023 at 7:54 pmPost count: 104::
Hi Team. Once again, I have sifted through the transcript of the last meeting provided by Davin and amended the earlier draft of the paper (see attachment).
As I employ a very old version of WORD, some formatting issues crept in. As well I did not number the sections, paragraphs and sub-paragraphs. New and substantial sections are highlighted in red, and Figure 3 is also new. Many other amendments were made based on Rob’s provision of suggested changes and based on my rereading to improve cogency.
Based on our last discussion, I have also tried to develop a penultimate update version, including naming those that were involved over the last few months (a shorter exploration this time than in the past, it seems). There are two people missing (‘Nico’ and ‘Willie’ (the latter perhaps from ANZ Bank) because I have no surnames for them yet.
As always, it would be appreciated if all could read through the latest draft and consider what may be missing for us to discuss at the next meeting. Thank you, hope to see you then. With luck, we can finish up soon on this subject and send it off as a product for ICCPM to consider e-publishing in some format on their website. IanDavin ShellshearSIG Chair@davin-shellshear21 August 2023 at 8:52 amPost count: 142::
Absolutely agree with your thoughts. I think the paper on pragmatic governance should have referenced our work – there is considerable alignment in thought. Slight problem in complexity as Biesenthal’s paper came first, but I am sure Einsteins relativity theories could pragmatically solve that particular issue.
If you tie the thoughts of our group, this paper, and the work by Mowles and Stacey (see ‘Managing in Uncertainty by Chris Mowles), the picture gradually emerges that simply makes sense.
Thanks for your thoughts Ian
DavinIan MackParticipant@ian-mack20 August 2023 at 9:51 pmPost count: 104::
Thanks Davin – neither is for the faint of heart. I took away as vindication of the Group’s thinking (and because my biases liked them of course) the suggestion about pragmatism in the form of flexibility to do what makes sense to solve the specific contextual challenges in each bespoke mega-project (and NOT to lock onto commonly recommended ‘best practices’, and the importance of what I will call collaborative conflict resolution (this area noto ne we have done much with because it is a broader field of study with wider applicability than complex projects). All to say, it struck me we are still on relatively firm ground.
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