Welcome to Managing Complexity in Projects

Description: Projects are a form of enterprise where individuals or teams engage in the planning and execution of activities in order to reach specific goals/aim. Today projects are increasingly important because organizations continually need to relate to and engage in change processes to adapt to and compete in changing conditions. Project organization has an increasingly important role in all forms of organizations both private, public, NGO etc.
Projects as a form of work practice has consequences for both the work itself and for the products of the work process therefore it is important for everyone engaged in planning, design, development etc. to understand what projects are and how the project organization and process influences the product of a project.

Further projects today can often be characterised as complex. That is that understandings, processes and goals might be more or less uncertain and ambiguous throughout the project process and therefore resembling research processes more than standardized sequential or stage gate processes reflected in classic project management thinking. The complexities are evident both in internal and external conditions of the projects and on many levels of organization and planning. Challenges are related to for example learning, knowledge production and sharing, cooperation, power, ethical aspects etc.

Complexity in projects demands tailored understandings, techniques and processes for understanding and handling them. Understanding and handling the conditions/contexts of complex projects, therefore, is one of

the key competences both for project managers but also for anyone participating in complex projects.

In understanding and handling complex projects new perspectives and forms of interaction are needed. The new perspectives for understanding complexity are e.g. sense making and socio-material approaches. New forms of interaction are e.g. Agile project management methods and participatory approaches.

In this course we look practically and theoretically on project planning and management. You will be introduced to different approaches of project management and planning.

The program will cover the following themes:

New Theoretical perspectives of understanding and handling complexity (sense-making, sociomaterial and practice perspective)
New agile, lean and design perspectives on managing uncertainty, ambiguity and complexity in projects
New participatory perspectives on projects to unlock the potentials of actors and stakeholders
Co-creation, engagement and empowerment. heterogeneous stakeholders in a sociomaterial perspective
Projects as heterogeneous processes of interaction involving actors, artefacts and knowledge
Staging and navigation of collaborative spaces across knowledge boundaries
Understanding of different types of projects and the implication for management and planning activities
Networking and brokering in and between projects
Power and sense-making in projects
Challenges in managing complex projects
The role of learning and knowledge and power in projects

Form: The students should be familiar with basic understanding and development of projects, organisation and technology and/or science and technology studies (the STS field) on an academic master level.

The program includes teacher presentations, student presentations, company talks, workshops and dialogue sessions. The workshops and dialogue sessions is set up in order to stimulate the active engagement of the students and will be used as spaces where 1)students will receive feedback on their presentations and projects from fellow students as well as teachers and “) spaces where the students are engaged in interactive

games where they develop their skills to use participatory methods and tools in practice

As a preparation for the first assembly, participants should prepare a presentation of a problem/solution from their research, which they want to analyse from a complex project perspective. The presentation can focus on a case and/or a challenging perspective (oral supported with ppt) within the theme of the course.

Between the first and second assembly participants write a 5-10 pages analysis bringing theory to bear on selected case material of their own choice. These assignments are basis for evaluation and approval of participation.

In addition, participants will be asked to contribute to the activities through small task in order to stimulate the interactive learning processes

Organizer: Associate Professor Søren Kerndrup, soeren@plan.aau.dk, and associate professor Lone Stub Pedersen, lonep@plan.aau.dk
Lecturers: Professor Christian Claussen, Rune Højsholt, Grundfoss A/S, Jonas Moll, Rehfelt medical and Copenhagen university,Professor Lars Bo Henriksen.Associate professor Lone Stub Pedersen, Associate Professor Søren Kerndrup, Associate Professor Maurizio Teli

Time and place:
Part 1: 6-7 June 2019; Rendsburggade 14, 9000 Aalborg, room Rdb14 3.463
Part 2: 26-28 August 2019; Rendsburggade 14, 9000 Aalborg, room Rdb14 3.329

Number of seats: 20

Deadline: 16 May 2019

Important information concerning PhD courses: We have over some time experienced problems with no-show for both project and general courses. It has now reached a point where we are forced to take action. Therefore, the Doctoral School has decided to introduce a no-show fee of DKK 5,000 for each course where the student does not show up. Cancellations are accepted no later than 2 weeks before start of the course. Registered illness is of course an acceptable reason for not showing up on those days. Furthermore, all courses open for registration approximately three months before start. This can hopefully also provide new students a chance to register for courses during the year. We look forward to your registrations.