I’m published in a PM Journal

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Hi all

Just a quick note for those of you who are of the academic persuasion or who have an interest in research and academic literature. Kailash and I wrote a paper for the International Journal for Managing Projects in Business. The article is called “Towards a holding environment: building shared understanding and commitment in projects”. The paper is about how to improve shared understanding on projects – particularly at the early stages where ambiguity around objectives tends to be at its highest. While it covers a similar territory to the Heretics Guide, it covers some literature that we did not use for the book. Plus it is peer reviewed of course.

This paper presents a viewpoint on how to build a shared understanding of project goals and a shared commitment to achieving them. One of the ways to achieve shared understanding is through open dialogue, free from political and other constraints. In this paper (and in the Heretics Book) we flesh out what it takes for this to happen and call an environment which fosters such dialogue a holding environment. We illustrate, via a case study:

  1. How an alliance-based approach to projects can foster a holding environment.
  2. The use of argument visualisation tools such as IBIS (Issue-Based Information System) to clarify different points of view and options within such an environment.

This was my first experience with the peer review process of writing a journal paper. I have to say that, despite the odd bit of teeth gnashing, the review process did make this paper much better than it originally was. Of course, none of this would have even happened without Kailash. This was definitely his baby, and this paper would not exist without his intellect and wide-ranging knowledge.

Thanks for reading

Paul Culmsee


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