Knowledge Emergence and Adaptive Management: An Exploration on the Co-Production of Project Needs and Requirements by Client-Specialist Groups

Knowledge Emergence and Adaptive Management: An Exploration on the Co-Production of Project Needs and Requirements by Client-Specialist Groups

Michael Whelton (University of California, USA), Ari Pennanen (University of Tampere, Finland) and Glenn Ballard (University of California, Berkeley, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-360-9.ch014
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Abstract

Project definition is the project phase that identifies the needs and values of project stakeholders, and develops appropriate design solutions to satisfy them. Project purposes are constructed through the interconnected relationships of stakeholder needs and values, and the project constraints. Projects comprise diverse stakeholders whose needs and values often conflict given that environments have limited project resources to fulfill all stakeholder interests. The research adopts the perspective that project definition is a learning process that requires the shared understanding of stakeholder needs and values, in order to resolve them into a collective statement of project purpose. This chapter describes the significance of the project definition as a project delivery phase and outlines a project definition model for knowledge creation. The research identifies that project managers must be able to learn about the needs and values of stakeholders, and adapt the process accordingly to solve those needs. A workplace planning system is described and a case study is documented to support the proposition that project definition is a complex adaptive process, and that knowledge about project purpose emerges from group collaboration.

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