Behavioral economics, behavioral design, behavioral finance, and behavioral supply chain management have recognized the human factor by embedding the behavioral sciences throughout their technical disciplines. Now, it’s project management’s turn. Project Management is a discipline that includes a number of methods to manage projects that include PMBOK, Agile, Prince2, and others. However, these methods are simply that: practices for different types of project management, and sometimes based on the preference of the practitioner or organization that employs those methods.
But a temporary endeavor undertaken to deliver a product or service (a project) has attributes that present many challenges to the human brain. A project consists of elements such as time pressure, risk, time events or tasks, cost and mental accounting, interaction between functional groups of people, and many other attributes that are unique to a project or temporary endeavor. And these human processes are more consistent than a project management technical methodology.
The brain processes project elements in different ways, and responds to these environments in a less rational way than one might think. There are thinking errors associated with time pressure, biases that cause more risky decisions and actions, biases between groups of people that prevent information flow, and neural responses that decrease accuracy in prediction and forecasting/planning of task durations, resources, and cost.
The institute seeks to improve project outcomes by improving human decisions and recognizing the unique human factors associated with project environments. Managing and coordinating projects through technical-only processes and methods can no longer suffice, especially given the fact that we now have research to improve outcomes and half of all projects today fail their schedule and cost objectives.
There are many different disciplines that address business processes from a behavioral sciences perspective. Some of these include neuroscience, cognitive psychology, social psychology, behavioral economics, behavioral finance, forecasting and prediction sciences, risk and uncertainty sciences, judgment and decision-making sciences, choice architecture, industrial/organizational psychology, and many others. Embedded in these disciplines are theoretical constructs that address thinking errors, heuristics, and cognitive biases, and all of these are applicable to project management.
The institute's mission is to connect the project management world with the behavioral and neuroscience world to take project performance into the next phase of innovation!
Join your peers and become a member of the most advanced project management endeavor, the building of #projectscience through the neuro, behavioral, and cognitive sciences! Behavioral Economics has made great strides, so what are we waiting for?