Category Archives: Theory

Project and Innovation Management


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:

  1. Evidence-informed approach (Evidence-Informed)
  2. Open innovation logic (Open)
  3. Effectual approach (Effectual)
  4. 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.

Triple Constraint and Its Role in Innovation


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.


Diamond of Innovation


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. 


Research Study Types


Information Visualization Theory and Taxonomic Framework






In 1956, Benjamin Bloom headed a group of educational psychologists who developed a classification of levels of intellectual behavior important in learning. Bloom found that over 95 % of the test questions students encounter require them to think only at the lowest possible level…the recall of information.Bloom identified six levels within the cognitive domain, from the simple recall or recognition of facts, as the lowest level, through increasingly more complex and abstract mental levels, to the highest order which is classified as evaluation. Verb examples that represent intellectual activity on each level are listed here.  

1.       Knowledge: arrange, define, duplicate, label, list, memorize, name, order, recognize, relate, recall, repeat, reproduce state.
2.       Comprehension: classify, describe, discuss, explain, express, identify, indicate, locate, recognize, report, restate, review, select, translate,
3.       Application: apply, choose, demonstrate, dramatize, employ, illustrate, interpret, operate, practice, schedule, sketch, solve, use, write.
4.       Analysis: analyze, appraise, calculate, categorize, compare, contrast, criticize, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, examine, experiment, question, test.
5.       Synthesis: arrange, assemble, collect, compose, construct, create, design, develop, formulate, manage, organize, plan, prepare, propose, set up, write.
6.       Evaluation: appraise, argue, assess, attach, choose compare, defend estimate, judge, predict, rate, core, select, support, value, evaluate.