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The utility of lean project management: conceptions and impacts on project learning

Dowson, J (2021) The utility of lean project management: conceptions and impacts on project learning. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Abstract

A particular challenge in project management that has been continually highlighted is the human and social aspects of a complex dynamic project environment. This is characterised by chaos and uncertainty, necessitating more of an insight into the actuality of projects and the development of reflexive practitioners who can learn, adapt and engage through pragmatic application of theory and practices in projects. Although Lean Project Management (LPM) is generally seen as an enabler of progress, the most frequently cited barriers are those connected to Knowledge, Skills and Behaviour – the understanding and ability of individuals to communicate, commit to and undertake change. The research was undertaken through two studies: an Interview Study, which explored the conceptions and lived experiences of 40 project managers, and a single, holistic design Case Study, which explored the relationship between lean project management and project learning (PL) in practice. Multiple sources of evidence contributed to the research, including interviews, non-participant observations, and document and photograph analysis. Thematic analysis was conducted to explore the rich data obtained from both studies. An explanatory framework was developed, which provides an understanding of the relationship between LPM and PL, and its contributory elements. The research suggests the importance and value of socially driven processes and the practice of learning within lean project management that extends knowledge beyond traditional formal and instructive means. Lean Project Management occupies a unique position in that it makes sense of, interacts, responds to and shapes the systems and processes of both learning and practice responsible for project progress. This strengthens its value and utility in being able to address and manage complexities as well as learning and practice within project management.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: lean; project management; project learning
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business
Divisions: Doctoral Management Studies (new Sep 19)
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2021 08:27
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2021 08:28
DOI or Identification number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00015455
Supervisors: Bryde, DJ, Unterhitzenberger, C and Marguet, N
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15455

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