Mirzaei, Maryam; Mabin, V.J.
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Citation:Mirzaei, M., & Mabin, V.J. (2019, 12). Project dilemmas. Paper presented at the ORSNZ, Auckland, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5635
Successful management of a project depends upon a series of appropriate decisions throughout the project life cycle. Such decisions are not necessarily straightforward and project managers who make those project-level decisions often face dilemmas. This paper presents findings from a research project that uncovered some of those dilemmas in the context of multi-case study in the software industry. We used a Theory of Constraints thinking process tool called the Evaporating Cloud to analyse dilemmas by examining their underpinning reasoning and assumptions. Four dilemmas were identified and investigated which were related to customer satisfaction, ensuring security and flexibility, defining specifications, and responding to new opportunities. Analysing these dilemmas led to useful insights into the challenges of choosing best practices in project management. It was found that the root cause of those challenges was the process of interpreting and transferring prescriptive project management concepts and methods to an actual project. The Evaporating Cloud was found to be be a powerful tool to explain the problem at hand and expose faulty assumptions.