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“Discussion 8
Key project actors including project managers project owners and project funders are allboundedly rational. For present purposes bounded rationalitysimply means that there are cognitive limits to what key project actorsknow about a project and the consequences of the project-related choices and decisions they make. Bounded rationality in project management means that key project actors learn as they develop the project business case and prepare the project plan. To capture such learning Zwikael & Smyrk advocate an iterative approach to preparation ofboththe project business case and the project plan . In week 8 we explore the practicalities of an iterative approach to project planning.
Set readings:For a discussion of bounded rationalityMarch J. and H. Simon: OrganizationsWiley 1958 New Yorkpp 136-171
For a discussion of iterative development of the business case & project plan Zwikael & Smyrk pp140-143 and 188-189.
For a discussion of uncertainties in projects
Atkinson R. L. Crawford and S. Ward:Fundamental uncertainties in projects and the scope of project managementInternational Journal of Project Management 24 (2006) pp 687-698Discussion topic:
Simon has argued that Most human decision making whether individual or organisational is concerned with the discovery and solution of satisfactory alternatives; only in exceptional cases is it concerned with the discovery and selection of optimal alternatives. (Extract from set reading for Week 8: March J. and H. Simon: OrganizationsWiley 1958 New Yorkpp140-141). In an implicit recognition of Simons argument Zwikael and Smyrk propose a spiral approach to gathering the information required in preparing a plausible project business case (text book section 5.1.5 pp140-143) and a robust project plan (text book section 6.1.4 pp188-189).Students might discuss having regard to Simons satisficing hypothesis how their respective organisations assemble the information required to formulate a project business case and a project plan.
Answer to discussion topic: (250-350 words)

Discussion 9
As we discussed in the session on project governance (week 5) the project manager is accountable to the project owner for delivery of project outputs fit for purpose on time within budget and without causing adverse outcomes (Text book pp233-234). Similarly the project owner is accountable to the project funder for the achievement of the targetproject outcomes anticipated achievement of which justified the funders decision to invest in the project (text book pp97-99). Proper discharge of these accountabilities requires measurement of project output generation communication of such metrics to decision makers and interpretation of what the metrics mean in terms of business objectives. In week 9 we discuss the connection between the project plan the reporting of project progress and realisation of business objectives.
Set readings:for an overview of roles responsibilities and accountabilties Zwickael & Smyrk pp 28-35;
for a discussion of the project managers role Zwikael & Smyrk pp 233-244;
for a discussion of the project owners role Zwikael & Smyrk pp 247-250;
for a discussion of business oriented reporting arrangements Zwikael & Smyrk pp 251-257;
For a discussion of project monitoring:Meredith Jack R. & Mantel Samuel J. c2009Monitoring and information systemsin Meredith Jack R. & Mantel Samuel J.Project management : a managerial approach 7th ed. Wiley Hoboken N.J. pp. 435-474.
for a discussion of project control Meredith Jack R. & Mantel Samuel J. c2012Project controlin Meredith Jack R. & Mantel Samuel J.Project management : a managerial approach 8th ed. Wiley Hoboken NJ. pp. 475-519.Discussion topic:
A common cause of project failure is project scope creep (defined as the gradual expansion of a project typically without any adjustment of endorsed project outcomes increased budget or extended schedule).[1]But our discussion of bounded rationality in week 8 suggests that some deviation from that plan is probably inevitable. If this is the case then the efficacy of arrangements for identifying and controlling such deviation are critical to project success.[2]The notes for week 9 suggest that action by:
the projectmanagerto control deviation from the project plan could take the form of a control loop comprising monitoring assessment judgement and intervention;[3]
the projectownerto control deviation from organisational objectives could take the form of for example phase gate reviews.[4]
I invite students to discuss with examples:
Whether or not their respective organisations have instituted recognised understood and accepted arrangements for identifying and controlling deviation from the project plan;
The effectiveness of otherwise of those arrangements in managing such deviations.
[1]See text book section 5.2 page 145.
[2]See text book section page 227.
[3]See text book section 7.1.1 pages 226-228.
[4]See Meredith & Mantel set readings page 484.
Answer to discussion topic: (250-350 words)

Discussion 10
In week 10 we focus on Zwikael & Smyrks event-impact model of risk identification and assessment. The event impact model of risk comprises three time related components (a triggering event a chain of immediate consequences and an impact which lowers the worth of the project. To clarify the link between the event-impact model of risk and business objectives we introduce notions of business risk appetite business risk tolerance and business risk threshold.
Set readings:For a discussion of risk appraisal in gauging the attractiveness of a project Zwikael & Smyrk pp 177-180;
For a discussion of the event-impact model of risk management Zwikael & Smyrk pp207-214;
For a PMBOK-oriented perspective of risk management Kloppenborg T.:Contemporary Project Management(3ed) Cengage 2015pp 270-284;Discussion topic:
For a discussion of risk from a project portfolio perspective Teller J. and A. Kock:An empirical investigation on how portfolio risk management influences project portfolio success International Journal of Project Management 2012.
The notes for week ten addressed the notion of delegated risk management and canvassed the idea of including in project governance arrangements risk management trigger points. The latter are agreed levels of risk appetite beyond which hierarchically organised project actors (team members project managers project owners etc) can escalate risk management action to the next management level.Students might discuss the extent to which they have been involved in such delegated risk appetite arrangements and how well they worked.
Answer to discussion topic: (250-350 words)