Characteristics and techniques of successful high-technology project managers
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Despite a plethora of tools, technology and software, successful management of big science and engineering projects remains problematic, with many imperfect project outcomes. While much research focuses on management processes, characteristics of high-tech mega-project managers themselves are less well explored. What are the personal and professional attributes, skills and exemplar initiatives that are ingredients in project success? In this paper literature from the last 30 years is consulted alongside fieldwork results from several current, large, engineering and science projects in Europe and Australia. In particular, high-tech project manager success traits and initiatives are examined and discussed. Beyond personal traits – some obvious, some not – positive correlations of success are apparent around project and team management attributes, including the use of task forces, information management, a mission assurance mindset, and approaches to project complexity. The role of codified knowledge (the PMBOK® Guide) is examined, and suggestions offered for practical application of the study outcomes.
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