Project Governance and Applied Reflection in Evolving Environments

IATED Academy
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, 2014, (6), pp. 1 - 7 (7)
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Rapidly changing global and local environments require appropriate governance structures to deliver project outcomes. The aim of this paper is to provide a reflective framework for project managers to proactively govern projects and will present a review of the literature on managing projects and the impact of reflection to improve control. A post graduate subject developed to teach project performance improvement through reflection will be reviewed. Research into how project managers in Australia use reflection to acquire and exchange knowledge will be presented. It will be argued that knowledge exchange is integral in understanding how to manage projects and that a reflective approach will provide a workable discipline in a rapidly evolving project environment. Examining the global growth of project output reflects an increase in the demands that will be placed on project managers. This upward trajectory will impact the Australian project environment where the demand for skilled project managers will be greater than the predicted resource pool. The potential gap in available skills is complicated by several underlying factors based on the unique geography of Australia, where the location of the population differs from current and anticipated project work and project sector focus. In this period of rapid growth, project managers need to understand corporate strategic direction, applied to the project and program context, using approaches that facilitate flexible practices. Increasing flexibility is enhanced through applying reflective theory-in-practice to meet the growing demands in complex and changing environments. Developing project managers from trained technicians into reflective practitioners using reflection-in-action has been used in a post graduate project management subject, and the author’s research into observed reflective practices of project managers. This shift in consciousness creates an environment where project managers would more rapidly be able to recognise, judge, and then deliver project outcomes.
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