DISCOVERY | NETWORK | SUCCESS

Research Support Program

Contribute to the growing body of knowledge.

ABOUT

An important part of fulfilling ICCPM’s mandate to build organisational capability in complex project management, is encouraging research that furthers the body of knowledge and supporting the translation of this research into positive impact.

The ICCPM Research Support Program connects researchers and practitioners globally. It helps researchers gather the empirical evidence they require to further the body of knowledge in complex project management and it helps practitioners access current research that will help them improve project performance. We hope you will use this platform to share information and be an active participant for the benefit of the profession and the performance of complex projects.

CURRENT RESEARCH

Research Aim

Improving the Mental Health of Project Management Practitioners (PMPs) in Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) Projects during COVID-19 Pandemic.

Research Background

Unprecedented changes due to COVID-19 pandemic introduces new psychosocial risks for mental health of project management in architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) projects. This research is aimed at improving mental health status of PMPs in AEC projects during COVID-19 pandemic in Australia by exploring psychosocial risk factors, evaluating their interventions, and establishing a psychosocial risk management framework. The research objectives will be attained through an expert forum and industry questionnaire survey. The resultant mental health management framework is expected to improve mental health status of PMPs in AEC projects. Expected outcome of this project is Covid-19 mental health management framework for promotion of positive mental health among PMPs in AEC project based organisations.

Research Objectives

  • Objective 1- To explore psychosocial risk factors causing mental ill-health of PMPs in relation to COVID-19 pandemic in AEC projects.
  • Objective 2- To evaluate organisation management strategies related to project management (PM) related work for psychosocial risks factors during COVID-19 pandemic in AEC projects.
  • Objective 3 – To establish psychosocial management framework for mental health of PMPs in AEC projects.

How can people participate in your research?

They will be invited to complete an online survey based on intervention strategies, demographic factors, psychosocial risks and mental ill-health related to your perception of AEC project based environment.

To complete the questionnaire survey, please follow two steps below:

  1. Read the consent provided at the opening of the survey and agree to continue or disagree to opt out of the survey.
  2. Answer all questions in the questionnaire.
CONTINUE READING

About the Researchers:

Dr. Xiao-Hua (Sean) Jin is an Associate Professor in Project Management at the School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment at Western Sydney University. Being a Fellow of the renowned UK Higher Education Academy, Sean teaches in both undergraduate (Constr Mgmt) and postgraduate (Proj Mgmt) programs and is the Director of Academic Programs in Project Management.

Sean conducts research in the field of construction management and economics, particularly in the area of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and Project Management (PM). He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles in renowned journals and conferences and obtained competitive research grants/awards from international funding bodies and industry. He is also currently supervising 10 doctoral students and is a leadership team member of the Center for Smart Modern Construction (c4SMC) at Western Sydney University.

Dr. Robert Osei-Kyei is a Senior Lecturer and Academic Course Advisor in Construction Management and Building Design at School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment, at Western Sydney University (WSU) in Australia. Robert has been involved in several research grants/projects funded by local and international institutions including RICS, UK and Hong Kong Research Grants Council in different areas including mental health, sustainability, smart construction, PPPs, risk management and digital construction. He has successfully published his research outputs and contributions in the form of 1 textbook, 4 book chapters, 60 quality journal articles and 2 reports in international industry magazines, which all have informed industry practices and have positively impacted the methodological approach of conducting research in construction management. His research works and publications have received more than 2000 citations, with an H index of 20 in Google Scholar.

Professor Srinath Perera is the is the founding Director of Centre for Smart Modern Construction (c4SMC) at Western Sydney University. He holds the personal chair in Built Environment and Construction Management at Western Sydney University (WSU). He joined WSU in June 2016 after serving as Professor of Construction Economics at Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK for 7 years.

Srinath is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales (FRSN). He is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Building (AIB) and a Chartered Surveyor and a corporate member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS) and Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM). He has over 30 years’ experience in academia and industry and has worked as a consultant Quantity Surveyors and Project Manager in the construction industry.

James Bawtree is passionate about delivering programs to improve the way people and organisation deliver their strategic objectives. He is co-author of The Strategy Implementation Gap, has won a number of awards and has had over 20 years’ experience in all major facets of strategy implementation and program management including roles as: Pre-Eminent Expert/Strategic Advisor, Coach, Program Director, Organisational Change & PMO Manager and Gateway / Health Check / Maturity Review Lead Consultant.

James has led holistic and strategic reviews in Australia, NZ, UK, France, Spain and the US including the whole of Queensland Government, New Zealand Government, multiple Federal and NSW Government, six Defence Capability Programs and Defence CIOG twice as well as many banks, engineering and construction and government agencies.

Bashir Tijani is a casual academic at Western Sydney University, Australia. Bashir attained his BSc (Hons) in Quantity Surveying from Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom (UK) in 2012. He worked as a Quantity Surveyor in Total Construction, UK from 2012 to 2014. He also received MPhil in Engineering Management from Griffith University, Australia in 2017. He is currently in the completion stage of his PhD in Project Management at Western Sydney University through the research scholarship. Bashir has over three years industrial experience as a Quantity Surveyor both in the UK and Australia. I have been involved in costing, estimation and project management of construction projects. Bashir is currently a reviewer of several peer-reviewed journals including Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management; International Journal of Construction Management and Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology.

Research Aim

The purpose of this study is to develop a music related stress management framework to improve mental health of PMPs in Australia project based organizations.

Research Background

Work-related stress is a growing problem around the world and the second most common compensated illness/injury. Work-related stress arises where work demands of various types and combinations exceed the person’s capacity and capability to cope. Project-based organizations are dynamic environment and usually expose project management (PM) practitioners to excessive work-related stress. Negative implications of work-related stress, such as poor health and high absenteeism of employees and low productivity of organisations, have propelled consideration of various solutions. Because of the positive effects of music listening on both physiological arousal (e.g. blood pressure) and psychological stress experiences (e.g. anxiety), this study is aimed at examining the effects of music and music listening on alleviating work-related stress of PM practitioners.

Research Objectives

  • Objective 1- How effective are music of different types in alleviating the stress of project management professionals
  • Objective 2- How effective are different ways of listening to music in alleviating the stress of project management professionals
  • Objective 3 – How effective is music in alleviating the stress of project management professionals in groups of different demographics and personalities
  • Objective 4 – How effective is music in alleviating the stress of project management professionals under influence of different work-related stressors
  • Objective 5- Are there any significant differences in the effectiveness of music in alleviating the stress of project management professionals in Australia?

How can people participate in your research?

You will be asked to complete an online questionnaire comprising two parts, namely Part 1 and Part 2. Approximately 15 minutes are needed from you for each of the two parts.

  1. In Part 1, you will be asked to answer questions related to your basic information and work-related stress.
  2. You will then be given two weeks to listen to music. The music can be of any type and you may listen to it in any way you like, be it at workplace, on the road, or at home, as long as you reckon that the music you listen and the way you listen would help alleviate your work-related stress.
  3. Then, in Part 2, you will be asked to answer questions related to your music listening and work-related stress during the past two weeks.

Before starting to complete the questionnaire, you will need to provide your consent to participate in this study.

CONTINUE READING
TAKE THE SURVEY

About the Researchers:

Dr. Xiao-Hua (Sean) Jin is an Associate Professor in Project Management at the School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment at Western Sydney University. Being a Fellow of the renowned UK Higher Education Academy, Sean teaches in both undergraduate (Constr Mgmt) and postgraduate (Proj Mgmt) programs and is the Director of Academic Programs in Project Management.

Sean conducts research in the field of construction management and economics, particularly in the area of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and Project Management (PM). He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles in renowned journals and conferences and obtained competitive research grants/awards from international funding bodies and industry. He is also currently supervising 10 doctoral students and is a leadership team member of the Center for Smart Modern Construction (c4SMC) at Western Sydney University.

Ye (Joy) Fu is a lecturer at the Institute of Humanities, East China University of Technology. Joy holds a master’s degree in Philosophy from East China University of Technology, a Bachelor of Arts (piano Major) from Department of Music of Shanghai Normal University, a Diploma in English language in economics and trade. She teaches piano, music theory, and Chinese and foreign music appreciation and is a member of the Piano Professional Committee of Shanghai Musicians Association. Joy was also a co-investigator of a project titled “Symbolic Culture Research” funded by the Chinese National Social Science Foundation and a visiting scholar to Western Sydney University.

Professor Srinath Perera is the is the founding Director of Centre for Smart Modern Construction (c4SMC) at Western Sydney University. He holds the personal chair in Built Environment and Construction Management at Western Sydney University (WSU). He joined WSU in June 2016 after serving as Professor of Construction Economics at Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK for 7 years.

Srinath is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales (FRSN). He is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Building (AIB) and a Chartered Surveyor and a corporate member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS) and Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM). He has over 30 years’ experience in academia and industry and has worked as a consultant Quantity Surveyors and Project Manager in the construction industry.

Bashir Tijani is a casual academic at Western Sydney University, Australia. Bashir attained his BSc (Hons) in Quantity Surveying from Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom (UK) in 2012. He worked as a Quantity Surveyor in Total Construction, UK from 2012 to 2014. He also received MPhil in Engineering Management from Griffith University, Australia in 2017. He is currently in the completion stage of his PhD in Project Management at Western Sydney University through the research scholarship. Bashir has over three years industrial experience as a Quantity Surveyor both in the UK and Australia. I have been involved in costing, estimation and project management of construction projects. Bashir is currently a reviewer of several peer-reviewed journals including Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management; International Journal of Construction Management and Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology.

Webinar

In relation to this research topic, Aleksandar Seizovic ran a webinar that investigated various theories and elements relevant to system emergent behaviour in complex systems of systems (SoS). For more information, see the webinar page.

Research Background

The aim is to investigate various theories and elements that are and can be relevant to system emergent behaviour in complex meta systems. Therefore, basic theory and research on judgment, decision, and choice are the starting point for general systems of systems (S0S) framework. This research is in emergent behaviour phenomenon to minimise the occurrence of failure in complex engineering project. How to manage emergent behaviour phenomenon in system of systems project management.

There is a difference between system of systems project and traditional projects. For the System of Systems project management, the requirements are emerging.

The emergence exists in the project mainly due to the unclear of the project elements that cause the complication. In the search for indicators or that can serve as early warning signs, we need to look at sources describing factors of project success and failure. In the project management literature one can find descriptions of so-called project success factors, or sometimes their inverse, project pitfalls. The emergence exists in the project mainly due to the unclear of the project elements that cause the complication.

CONTINUE READING

How Do I Participate in this Research?

Please contact Aleksandar for any enquiries about the research topic.

  • Researcher: Aleksandar (Alex) Seizovic
  • USQ Postgraduate Research Scholarship July 2021 – July 2022
  • acaseizo@gmail.com
  • 0418-350 636

About the Researcher: Aleksandar Seizovic

Aleksandar is currently an Engineers Australia Associate Fellow and candidate Doctorate in Professional Engineering (research) at USQ and USQ Postgraduate Research Scholarship 2021 – 2022

Aleksandar has over 35+ years’ experience identifying, building, analysing and implementing processes and systems that add continuous improvement to the engineering and business organisations. He has propelled and energised business through management and operational excellence across the various business and engineering industry sector with a high level of versatility and motivation.

Aleksandar is dedicated to education and training and fulfils these essentials working closely with University of Southern Queensland (USQ) in providing advance industry research. He leads the discussions in education with University of Southern Queensland (USQ) by opening the opportunities for growth in alternative and innovating industry sectors. Aleksandar recognises the mechanisms and frameworks that provide greater cooperation and teamwork across academia, industry and government.

Aleksandar served in Royal Australian Navy Submarine service with distinction and honour and is awarded military medals for his near 25 years of service. As Senior Deputy Marine Engineer with COMAUSTSUBGRP (Department of Defence), he represented Commonwealth of Australia (CoA) at Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC) executive committee meetings during Collins Class Submarine build project. During this period, he was the senior marine engineering officer to be fully involved with Collins class submarine engineering capability development, operations and integrated logistics systems (ILS) program in Australia.
Aleksandar’s experience extends into Industries: oil and gas (offshore and upstream), power generation, mining, aerospace, manufacturing and maritime.

About the Webinar

Paul Myers is presenting a webinar with ICCPM. It is designed to introduce participants to some of the concepts and challenges of researching projects when taking a people centric approach in a real world setting. Participants will be introduced to not only the conceptual development side of Paul’s research in relation to complex systems but also methodology and methods being used to investigate project systems. To learn more and register, please visit the webinar page.

Research Background

It is well known that projects typically do not attain high average success rates and that to achieve an increased rate of success remains challenging. Flyvbjerg and Sunstein (2016) report an average cost overrun of 39% on a database of over 2,060 major projects across 103 Countries and six continents. Worse, some industry studies suggest that there has only been a modest improvement in the past several decades.

There is increasing evidence that the common thread in project failure is human behaviours with many pointing to project governance teams as well as behavioural biases in decision-making and Complexity, notwithstanding the project team and leadership in general.

Developing a better understanding of how people can be empowered and leveraged to improve project controllability is fundamental to finding a way forward to improving project success rates. This means re-imaging project management through a different ‘people-centric’ lens.

READ FULL RESEARCH BACKGROUND

Research Objectives

1.1 Problem Model

Building a problem model that represents the real world is fundamental to determining a solution model. To be successful, the problem model must take a holistic approach covering the full span of control, including commercial boundaries, decision-making biases, goal-conflicts, power in the relationships and project system impairments exhibited by people. In other words, represent the ‘worldview’.

Another aspect to be considered are the conditions necessary and sufficient to drive project success. Addressing success drivers using a suite of ‘dominant factors’ that when taken together, are both necessary and sufficient for success. The idea of ‘dominant factors’ is forward-looking. They address the critical matters that are needed to drive success from the start of the project. This approach contrasts with root cause analysis used in hindsight to determine (often singularly) what went wrong after the fact. The concept of dominant factors allows for the fact that they may exist as a blend and, as to which factors dominant a project at any point in time, depends on a wide range of circumstances.

1.2 Solution Model

As suggested above a complete project system that brings into play the many aspects of the problem model, including internal and external commercial boundaries that cover the full span of control is required. A baseline system model of current practice that uses the same thinking process can then be created for comparison. The two models created by the author to date are starkly different from each other, which demonstrates that a very promising line of enquiry is afoot. The model representing current day practice largely operates as a serial suite of open-loop control systems existing within each contributing organisation while the model built for study purposes is a holistic, collaborative closed-loop control system that can operate in near real-time. Feedback to address the range of dominant factors is applied as feedback signals to the system. The occurrence of risk events, being a disturbance to the project system, is catered for within the solution model, but this time with both feed-forward and feedback signals.

Call to Interested Parties

The first to solve the problem of how to move the project success ‘dial’ significantly in a positive direction is likely to be able to assert a significant competitive advantage over their commercial rivals.

If your organisation struggles with project delivery, is interested in improving delivery success rates, is desirous of developing a commercial market advantage, or just improving stakeholder value, please contact the author.

To express your interest to participate in Paul’s research, a form is available on the webinar page.

Contact Details

If your organisation would benefit from Paul’s studies and would like to participate for mutual learning, you may contact Paul directly:

About the Researcher: Paul Myers

Paul is a mature-age 3rd year PhD student. Having practised the science and art of project management for 40 years in multiple States, Countries, industries and disciplines, he brings a wealth of understanding of PM practice to his academic studies. There are few who cannot benefit from exposure to Paul’s knowledge, experience and wisdom gained by successfully delivering many landmark projects, including megaprojects.

Webinar Recording Available

The Risk Software Demo with Shree Lakshmi Ramesh Babu is now available exclusively in the Members Area. The presentation demonstrated software that is being developed to assist project managers in effectively evaluating risks by considering their interactions and studying their nature as three-dimensional networks. Members Area >>

Research Background and Software Demonstration

This event will demonstrate a new risk assessment software, initiated by Curtin University and Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, and worked upon by PhD Candidate Shree Lakshmi Ramesh Babu sponsored under the collaboration of both organisations. developed by PhD Candidate Shree Lakshmi Ramesh Babu. Risk management is a critical aspect in managing projects and delivering them on time and within the set budget. The various factors involved in a project interact and multiply the complexity of dealing with the project. Studying the risks in isolation and ignoring the systemic effects of risks on the project objectives could be a major cause for timely overruns over decades.

Software Demonstration

This presentation will demonstrate software that was developed in collaboration with Curtin University and Pawsey Supercomputing Centre and which is currently being worked upon by the PhD student to assist project managers in effectively evaluating risks by considering their interactions and studying their nature as three-dimensional networks. It will also discuss risk management techniques that have been followed in the past and present and identify the benefits and the limitations involved in assessing the entire risk profile.

The presentation will cover the following topics:

  • Demonstration for a new risk assessment software
  • Past and present risk management techniques
  • The positives and limitations in the current approaches
  • The significance of considering risk interactions during assessment
  • The opportunities arising from evaluating the risks as a system

How Do I Participate in this Research?

Your feedback will be very valuable in informing this research and improving the software. After joining the software demonstration, you will have the opportunity to fill up a short survey to provide your feedback. Please click the button below to register.

JOIN THE SOFTWARE DEMONSTRATION

About the Researcher: Shree Lakshmi Ramesh Babu

Shree Lakshmi Ramesh Babu, is a PhD student researching on exploring risk analysis strategies to assist risk managers to assess risks and their interactions. Her research looks into exploring the benefits of evaluating risk networks in three-dimensional (3D) space and implementing the research findings towards developing a visualisation software. Shree Lakshmi holds a Bachelor Honours degree in Computer Systems Engineering from Curtin University and has worked as an intern with Curtin HIVE, sponsored by Curtin University and Pawsey Computing Center on a visualisation research project. She also has experience working as a software engineer at Secure2Go Pvt. Ltd.

Webinar Recording Available

A recording of our webinar with Warren Black is available exclusively in the Members Area. It discusses some of the challenges of conventional risk management methods in project environments of advanced complexity, and specifically how adopting a systems thinking approach to project risk management may help to better address such challenges. Members Area >>

About the Webinar

On 25 February 2021, ICCPM will host a FREE webinar with Warren Black. The webinar will discuss some of the challenges of conventional risk management methods in project environments of advanced complexity, and specifically how adopting a systems thinking approach to project risk management may help to better address such challenges.

Research Background
Solving a 70-year-old industry problem

Projects globally continue to get larger, more expensive, more expansive, more challenging and ultimately more complex.

Unfortunately… large-scaled, capital intensive and technically intricate projects (aka complex projects) fail to meet their investor sanctioned cost, schedule and benefit objectives more than 70% of the time. A hurdle rate which has been well published and proven.

This includes; 9 of every 10 mega infrastructure projects, 5 of every 6 complex technology implementations, 4 of every 5 large dams, 3 of every 5 major road programs, 9 of every 10 major rail builds and so on. In fact, abnormally high failure rates have been observed across every major project sector, technical class and investment type with no demonstrable improvement for at least the past 70 years.

These observations are particularly concerning for the formal discipline of project risk management as this specific discipline has long been hailed by both industry and academia as being critical to a project’s ability to successfully meet its’ objectives. Such disproportionally high complex project failure rates however suggest that the traditionally accepted, project risk management practices have been mostly ineffective in helping complex projects to succeed.

Clearly new thinking and methods are required.

READ FULL RESEARCH BACKGROUND
ONLINE SURVEY

About the Researcher: Warren Black

Warren is currently engaged in a higher degree in research (PhD) program at the Queensland University of Technology, whereby he is Investigating a Systems Thinking Approach To Controlling Risks within Complex Projects.

Warren is an Engineer, Risk Professional and Complex Systems’ Specialist, who has particular interest in understanding how the complexity sciences may offer a better means to controlling disruptive phenomena within complex organisations. He consults to industry on how to improve Governance, Risk & Assurance practices so that they may reflect not only the degree of investment at risk, but also the specific complexities in play.

TERMS OF REFERENCE

Learn the Terms of Reference of the ICCPM Research Program.

RESEARCHER APPLICATION FORM

Apply to circulate your survey or research request via ICCPM. Connect with a global network of project professionals and academics dedicated to learning more about complexity. An active ICCPM Membership is required.

TERMS OF REFERENCE
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