Understanding people’s behaviour based on what they say or do, rather than what they think or feel, will be the differentiator for project delivery success over the next decade, according to a new white paper by AXELOS Global Best Practice.
White paper author Ann Cheung contends that managing behaviour requires an understanding of what drives people to behave in the way they do - and that successful projects should harness this understanding to drive forward positive outcomes.
Ann - an independent consultant using applied behavioural science for effective portfolio, programme and project management - said: “In recognizing that behaviour is occurring all of the time, project success is dependent on frequent and consistent desired behaviours with the elimination or mitigation of undesired behaviours. Successful projects harness this resource and create the conditions for success through establishing a positive local environment and the appropriate use of consequences.”
Ann outlines how key project outputs and responsibilities identified in portfolio, programme and project management should be mapped to pinpointed behaviours identified using the principles of behavioural science. This process creates reference points for those leading a project to review, guide and optimize their teams for the best possible project delivery.
She also identifies how these behaviours can be impacted by the local environmental - such as corporate governance structures - and explains how project leaders need to be able to recognize when this is occurring.
Ann said: “Often project teams build positive inter-relationships between the key parties which are then harmed by behaviours either driven by the organization’s corporate requirements, or by conflicting contractual arrangements. This can have a substantial impact on successful project delivery.”
Peter Hepworth, AXELOS CEO, said: “Understanding behavioural science can provide further insight on project management at all levels. As our understanding of this field grows stronger, we should start seeing some real steps forwards in the adoption of behavioural science in portfolio, programme and project management.”
Read the full white paper, The impact of behaviour on project delivery.
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