Project Management of Unexpected Events

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International Journal of Project Management 26 (2008) 80–86 www.elsevier.com/locate/ijproman Project management of unexpected events Anders So¨derholm * Umea° School of Business, Umea° University, SE-901 87 Umea° , Sweden Abstract Unexpected events and environmental impact not planned for are common during project implementation. This article explores how unexpected events are dealt with in projects using qualitative case study data from four di erent cases. Results show four di erent approaches to deal with unexpected events: innovative action, applying detachment strategies, setting up intensive meeting schedules and negotiating project conditions are common approaches to deal with the unexpected events. The discussion shed new…show more content…
More precisely, we aim at an outline of di er- interest is given the everyday struggle to keep projects on ent categories of unexpected events appearing in projects as track and on schedule, and not much is conveyed in terms a consequence of environmental impact and how these are of how the unexpected [28,29] is dealt with. dealt with. Engwall [8] provides an important contribution, high- lighting how parallel activities in the organizational con- 1.1. Between plans and unexpected events text, experiences and pre-project processes, institutional forces and future aspirations come together in creating Traditional and normative project management models, the project context. He is able to extend the view of projects such as the various bodies of knowledge presently on the by adding time (before and after) and space (organizational market, are highly rational and sequential in the approach context) to the understanding of a focal project. The anal- to project management issues, built on the idea of major ysis shows that time frames as well as contextual frames are independent projects being the role model, heavily depen- important for the understanding of project execution and dent on structure, administrative systems and the execution success or failure. of plans. Several text books also discusses project manage- When projects are put into context, as in Engwall’s arti- ment along similar lines (there are many, see e.g.
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