Projects and Innovation: Science Fiction or Fantasy?

We are pleased to invite Prof. Tim Brady from the Centre for Research in Innovation Management at Brighton Business School, University of Brighton to talk about a future where we finally achieve better project management. This is on Monday April 25th.  This will be at Aberystwyth University from 6pm. This is in A14 in the Hugh Owen building.

Abstract

Projects are used extensively in both the private and public sector for a wide range of outcomes; to achieve organisational change; to develop new products and services; to improve processes; and to implement technological change. Projects can be a flexible way of managing one-off activities on a temporary basis being particularly useful as vehicles for innovation and learning.

Within academia, recent research has suggested that projects are growing in quantity, complexity and variety reflecting the increased recognition of projects as an important but under-appreciated organisational form. Project management therefore represents a significant proportion of business activity across a range of sectors. However, from IT and software to construction, financial services to defence, we find high-profile examples of cost and budget overruns, delayed schedules and failure to deliver expected benefits.

This lecture will examine this seeming paradox. Projects are all about imagining a future state and we are never short of ideas about how things might be but actually achieving that state is a far trickier endeavour full of uncertainty and unpredictability. Professor Brady imagines a future where projects and programs are managed better and takes a backwards look into the history of project management to get some clues as to how this might be achieved.

Biography

Professor Tim Brady

Tim Brady is Professor of Innovation in the Centre for Research in Innovation Management at Brighton Business School, University of Brighton and Visiting Professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering Management at the University of Oulu in Finland. His current research interests include the development of new business models for infrastructure, the management of complex projects and programmes, and learning and capability development in project-based business.

He was a member of the EPSRC-funded Rethinking Project Management network, and Deputy Director of the ESRC-funded Complex Product Systems Innovation Centre. Prior to joining CENTRIM, Tim was a Research Fellow at the School of Management at Bath University investigating strategic information systems and before that a Research Fellow at SPRU, University of Sussex, where he worked on studies of the implications of technical change for skills and training, later focusing specifically on information technology and software. His doctoral thesis examined business software make or buy decisions.

He has published in management journals such as Sloan Management Review, Organization Studies, Industrial and Corporate Change, Research Policy, R&D Management, and Industrial Marketing Management; in IS journals such the Journal of Strategic Information Systems and the European Journal of Information Systems; and in the main project management journals, the International Journal of Project Management, the Project Management Journal and the International Journal of Managing Projects in Business.