1st Edition

ProjectThink Why Good Managers Make Poor Project Choices

By Lev Virine, Michael Trumper Copyright 2013

    Projects are constantly beset by problems, often caused by seemingly small mistakes which collectively lead to larger issues. Why do project managers and teams appear to repeat the same mistakes? Can they make better choices without introducing complex decision analysis processes? How can they make better estimates? Project management is the art and science of human interactions. ProjectThink identifies and explains the paths of those intentional and unintentional actions that lead to trouble. It provides advice and guidance in analysing information and risk and explains how ’choice-engineering’ can facilitate decision-making and encourage everyone involved in a project to follow the right procedures and work collaboratively.

    Part 1 Why Do Good Managers Make Poor Project Decisions?; Chapter 1 Mental Errors in Project Management; Chapter 2 Analysis vs. Mental Errors; Chapter 3 Choice Engineering; Part 2 Travel Inside a Project Manager’s Mind; Chapter 4 Memory and Project Mental Errors; Chapter 5 Emotions in Project Management; Chapter 6 Behavioral Traps; Chapter 7 Heuristics and Biases; Chapter 8 What Makes Your Project Team Happy?; Part 3 Project Analysis vs. Mental Errors; Chapter 9 How to Process Project Information; Chapter 10 An Expected Value Manifesto; Chapter 11 Project Risks and Mental Errors; Part 4 Choice Engineering; Chapter 12 The Power of Adaptation; Chapter 13 What to Do About Risks; Chapter 14 Choice Engineering for Organizations; Chapter 101 Conclusions;


    Lev Virine. P.Eng. has many years of experience as a structural engineer, software developer, and project manager. He has been involved in major projects performed by Fortune 500 companies and government agencies to establish effective decision analysis and risk management for complex projects. He writes and speaks around the world on the decision analysis process, the psychology of judgment and decision-making, and risk management. Michael Trumper is experienced in communications, software design, and project risk analysis and management. Michael is a partner at Intaver Institute Inc., a vendor of project risk management and analysis software. Michael has authored papers on quantitative methods in project risk analysis and management. Michael has developed and delivered project risk analysis and management solutions to clients that include NASA, DOE, Lockheed Martin, and others. Lev Virine and Michael Trumper are authors of Project Decision, the Art and Science, Management Concepts, Vienna, VA, 2007.

    Award: Project Management Institute - David I. Cleland Project Management Literature Award - 2014 'Failing to reach objectives is a major concern in project management. According to the authors failed projects are often the consequences or irrational choices made due to mental errors. To ensure the success of uncertain or smaller projects, the effort in management should shift from policing to choice engineering. This excellent book gives the tools needed to achieve this goal. Written in a natural language, using simple facts, personal attitudes, relevant cases, fun projects and well known films it allows an enjoyable and entertaining read while highly thoughtful.’Marta Fernández-Diego, Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain ’If you have followed all of the technical rules for program management; but are still having difficulties with your project execution, then you probably need to consider the human judgment side that can dramatically influence your plan. ProjectThink drills into the human aspects of program management using explicit real life examples that any reader can relate to.’ Al Rusnak, Engineering Program Manager, ASIC Development, SanDisk Corp ’This is a really interesting book with a great deal to offer. The authors have set out to make it a valuable resource and I believe that they have achieved this by providing a different way of understanding how and why the various stakeholders make the decisions that they do and why these can sometimes seem so illogical... a fascinating read...of tremendous value to anyone involved at any stage of a large-scale project.’ British Computer Society, November 2013 ’This is a very useful guide for any project manager who is ready and willing to explore the impact of decision-making on project origination and performance. I think that for many the first step is to be aware of the issues involved, and the book does an outstanding job conveying the breadth of decision and risk issues that can affe