The human factors of project management

by on 4 november 2013  •  In Column

The Netherlands offers a unique environment for catalyzing world-class project management research, enabling researchers to make a lasting and sustained contribution to the world’s project management community. The Dutch National Research Group (DNRG) has been created to help realize this vision through the active support of Dutch-based research to drive practice in project management. This is our primary mission.

DNRG is a unique vehicle, and one conceived to specifically bridge the gap between the specialized thinking of expert researchers and the informed opinions of experienced practitioners. It was conceived to bring a focus to the research component of the IPMA 2014 World Congress. There are many additional benefits to such initiatives – not the least of which is demonstrating leadership on topics of existing or emergent areas of importance to project management practitioners. In our case, the focus will be on the human factors in project management.

Over the last several years, interest in this area has grown significantly as the figure below illustrates. It shows the results of a search of various human factors using a text word search to identify research articles in the International Journal of Project Management. To fulfill our mission and expand the discussion on the topic of human factors in project manage- ment, several initiatives will be launched over the coming year including the National Workshop Series (NWS), a research stream in the IPMA-NL National Congress, the 2014 DNRG Summit, and various research projects with industry partners. You will hear all about these activities in Projectie starting this December when 8 pages of each issue will be devoted entirely to profiling Dutch-based research.

The NWS will be DNRG’s most high profile event and one that I’d like you to pay the most attention to and participate in. Over the next 10 months, DNRG will be hosting workshops at various universities across the Netherlands (including Hogeschool Utrecht, University of Amsterdam, Delft University of Technology, University of Twente, University of Groningen, Erasmus University of Rotterdam, and University Amsterdam). The purpose of each workshop is to engage industry representatives to explore the human factors (identified above) and examine the existing and emergent project management activities associated with each. (Interested organizations should contact me.)

As the Chair of DNRG, I work with an outstanding management team – each of whom are skilled and engaging professionals with whom I really enjoy working. You will get to know each of them over time and I’d like to take this opportunity to identify them and the portfolios:

Rob Evers (Team member, Industry Engagement), Liselore Havermans (Team lead, Publications), René Hombergen (Team member, Industry Engagement), Bert Luppens (Team lead, National Workshop Series), Harm Meijer (Vice-Chair, Communications),

Steven Nijhuis (Team member, Publications), Jan Posteman (Team lead, Events), Matthijs Schilder (Vice-Chair, Industry Engagement).

This is an important moment for both the academic network of the Netherlands and the broader industry community to explore project management in greater detail. On behalf of DNRG, I look forward to working with you in doing this.

Beverly Pasian
Chair DNRG

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