‘It’ll Never Fly’ How often have you heard words like that at the start of your project? Or maybe you’ve heard yourself saying them. If so, you’re in danger of ‘Confirmation Bias’.
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Lord Kelvin was one of the late 19th century’s pre-eminent physicists. He announced that:
‘heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible’
Happily, the Wright brothers weren’t aware of him. Or perhaps they didn’t credit his pronouncement.
All this raises a number of themes that project managers should be aware of.
Often, we talk about sources of project failure. But how do project failures become crises? Usually when unaddressed causes of failure are accompanied by over-confidence.
Philip Tetlock found the answer to this, through his research. The answer is shocking: experts. Tetlock is an expert in the science of forecasting. So, how does he suggest we overcome this? You need to overcome your sense of ‘being an expert’. You need to continually go back and learn anew, challenge your knowledge, and widen your perspective.
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Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to ProjectManager.com and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.
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