Midler, Killen and Kock opine, “A recurrent theme … is the need to manage projects in the uncertain, dynamic, and complex environments that are typical for highly innovative projects. Such environments are often ill-suited for traditional “rational” project management approaches due to unclear goals, shifting milestones, and evolving and unfolding activities. Alternative perspectives and approaches… provide conceptual inputs, as well as evidence and in-depth empirical understanding of how and when project management structures can provide benefits in managing innovation” (2016). The authors argue there are four main theoretical (and distinct) approaches:
- Evidence-informed approach (Evidence-Informed)
- Open innovation logic (Open)
- Effectual approach (Effectual)
- Subjective-interactive innovation management (Subjective)
Additional papers and discussion can be found in the April/May 2016 Project Management Journal and was a worthwhile read especially when considering antithetical ontological and epistemological assumptions within the practice of project management today.
Given the classical project management triple constraint construct of cost, scope and time (with quality often reflected in the center), where does this model fall within the scope of project innovation? In the article “About the Role of Narratives in Innovation Project Leadership,” Enninga and van der Lugt argue there are three additional factors to consider, namely, 1. Developing context, 2. Stimulating creativity and 3. Guiding group dynamics (2006). These “narratives” in addition to meeting project constraints provides a more holistic and inclusive view when considering innovation in the authors view.
Shenhar and Dvir’s Diamond of Innovation (2007) which was referenced in a recent article within Project Management Journal (April/May 2016) can aptly be applied to projects of many sizes and types. The categorization includes 1. Novelty, 2. Technology, 3. Complexity and 4. Pace. Contrasting this model to the so-called triple constraint of cost, scope and time (with quality often reflected in the center) can we gain new perspective in applying the Diamond of Innovation? I would argue that this additional tool would no doubt augment a project SWAT analyst in particular when comparing internal vs. external threats to a project.
“Google publishes hundreds of research papers each year. Publishing is important to us; it enables us to collaborate and share ideas with, as well as learn from, the broader scientific community. Submissions are often made stronger by the fact that ideas have been tested through real product implementation by the time of publication.”
Skills to learn and excel in:
Skills that give diminishing returns:
Something I helped out with a few years ago in Emeryville, CA.