2nd Edition

Mindful Project Management
Resilient Performance Beyond the Risk Horizon

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after June 11, 2020
ISBN 9780367200916
June 11, 2020 Forthcoming by Routledge
252 Pages - 31 B/W Illustrations

USD $39.95

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Book Description

Central to the issue of improving project performance is the application of deterministic, probabilistic processes, and techniques to reduce human error. To that end, we as project managers often endeavour to implement and follow a project management methodology in the belief that we can reduce the scope for emerging ambiguous requirements, ill-matched resource needs and availability, contractual and funding constraints, and other unwanted uncertainties. However, such ‘self-evidently correct’ processes are not without their limitations.

The management of uncertainty needs to be viewed not from a procedural, ‘stand-alone’ perspective but from a behavioural, people-driven perspective – that is, Mindfulness. Mindfulness is a project-wide human capability to anticipate key events from emerging trends, constantly adapt to change, and rapidly bounce back from adversity. Resilient project managers are forward-thinking and able to foresee relevant scenarios that are likely to occur and which may have damaging effects on performance. We strive to be prepared for the best but also for the worst, and learning is nurtured and encouraged. We believe that with purpose, whatever uncertainty hits us, and regardless of the damage caused, we can prevent a crisis from happening in the first place. When a crisis occurs, we can recover and bounce back from shocks, quickly restoring ‘normal’ management.

This book goes beyond commonly accepted standards in project management and looks past mere compliance to determinism and probabilistic approaches to managing uncertainty. Relying on the power of mindful thinking, it identifies an art to manage uncertainty.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1 – The Challenge

A Litany of Project Failure

The Emergence of Project Management

The Challenge of Uncertainty and Complexity

What this Book is About


Chapter 2 – Archetypes of Project Resilience

A ‘Project’ without Parallels

Two Principal Modes of Project Management Revisited


Chapter 3 – The Art of Noticing

The Lure of Normality

Key Enablers to the Art of Noticing

Leading the Art of Noticing

The Impact of Noticing on Relationships

Kodak – A failure of Noticing

Towards an Art of Noticing


Chapter 4 – The Art of Interpreting

The Lure of Simplicity

Key Enablers to the Art of Interpreting

Leading the Art of Interpreting

The Impact of Interpreting on Relationships

Deepwater Horizon – A failure of Interpreting


Chapter 5 – The Art of Preparing

The Lure of the Fail-safe

Key Enablers to the Art of Preparing

Leading the Art of Preparing

The Impact of Preparing on Relationships

Space Shuttle Columbia – A failure of Preparing

Towards an Art of Preparing

Chapter 6 – The Art of Containing

The Lure of Control

Key Enablers to the Art of Containing

Leading the Art of Containing

The Impact of Containing on Relationships

Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey – A success of Containing

Towards an Art of Containing


Chapter 7 – The Art of Recovering

The Lure of a ‘Great Escape’

Key Enablers to Recovering

Leading the Art of Recovering

The Impact of Recovering on Relationships

Apple – A success of Recovering

Towards an Art of Recovering


Chapter 8 – Roads to Resilience

A Road Map

Balancing Rule-based and Mindfulness-based Project Resilience

Rocks on the Road to Resilience


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Elmar Kutsch is Associate Professor in Risk Management, Cranfield School of Management. Previously, he held a variety of commercial and senior management positions within the Information Technology (IT) industry. As a passionate skydiver and former project manager, his interests, both privately and professionally, revolve around the management of risk and uncertainty.

Mark Hall is Senior Lecturer in Project and Operations Management and Director of the MBA Programme in Birmingham Business School at the University of Birmingham. Previously, he worked at the Universities of Bristol and Bath. Before becoming an academic, Mark worked in the UK and internationally for several years as a surveyor and project manager.