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A Proposal for a Mindset of a Project Manager



Authors: Joakim Eriksson, Claus Thorp Hansen

Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper


NordDesign 2008


A company’s product strategy and its management of the product development process have been found to be key factors for a product’s success on the market. Project managers of development projects need support to make process decisions and defining goals that are consistent with the business’s goals while bearing in mind the ability of the development team to deliver a product to the market that satisfies the customer’s expectations and needs.Uncertainty is a part of the product development project’s nature, which according to Simon is ill-structured, explorative and pragmatic. In product development projects it is desirable to reduce the level of uncertainty in order to make decisions without having to redo them later in the project resulting in longer lead time and higher costs. It is the project manager’s responsibility to manage this uncertainty in a complex ever-changing project environment. However, this research shows that there is unnecessary uncertainty in planning and controlling decisions when project changes occur. The uncertainty is manifested in not considering performance aspects of the project and the product in a wider organisational context. Visualization and clarification of decision situations and consequences is rarely used in practice and structured reasoning about project and product performance when making decisions is also rare. In order to enhance the project managers’ understanding of decision-making in product development projects, the objective of this paper is to propose a mindset for clarification of decision situations when changes has occurred. The proposed mindset is supposed to aid project managers when handling project changes by reducing complexity in project planning and supporting the articulation of uncertainties.


author = {Joakim Eriksson},
title = {A Proposal for a Mindset of a Project Manager},
note = {Authors: Joakim Eriksson, Claus Thorp Hansen},
month = {May},
year = {2008},
booktitle = {NordDesign 2008},
url = {}