Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

12-2002

Abstract

The article cites a study finding that accurately gauging the degree of uncertainty inherent in the projects can help project managers quickly adapt to it. Researchers studied 16 projects in areas including personal-computer development, telecommunications, Internet startups, pharmaceutical development, iron-ore processing, airship development, and building construction, to examine risk management and project outcomes. They found that most managers failed to recognize that there are different types of uncertainty, each requiring a different management approach. This paper explores uncertainty-based management, which derives planning, monitoring and management style from an uncertainty profile comprising four types of uncertainty: variation, foreseen uncertainty, unforeseen uncertainty, and chaos. Although each uncertainty type is unique, a single project will typically display a blend of all four. The paper further illustrates how project managers can go about managing each type of uncertainty. The paper highlights the fact that uncertainty is an inevitable facet of most projects, and in an era of rapid change, it's time to rethink some of the traditions in project management.

Keywords

Project management, Risk assessment, Executives, Management by objectives, Industrial management

Discipline

Operations and Supply Chain Management

Research Areas

Operations Management

Publication

Mit Sloan Management Review

Volume

43

Issue

2

First Page

60

Last Page

67

ISSN

1532-9194

Publisher

Sloan Management Review Association

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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