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So you think you can manage?

Lecture for Students DCM TuDelft on 13th October 2014

Ronald van Warmerdam

on 12 October 2015

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Transcript of So you think you can manage?

We discussed the ingredients....
Now the Soup
What is in your plan? Which issues are you going to address?
What kind of organization do you suggest and why? Is it possible to know that up front?
Are you going to say something about the budget and when can you be sure about the budget?
The last weeks you learned about a number of new developments in the building industry. Is there one you like to propose?
Can you give, during the presentation, the client more clarity about the (future) schedule?
How do you bring realism in your proposal with regard to quality, time and money.
What is to your opinion the project? How do you ensure that you can be the manager? How can you be responsible?
What kind of organization do you propose concerning decision making and control?

Complex projects
- Not simply definable upfront.
- Are unique. No repetition…
- Peoples business: We have to learn to work together
- Don’t fit in a certain category
- Have an emotional value
- Many people involved &
- Not everyone agrees on outcome, solutions, ways etc…
- Stretches out over a long period in which value change
- Systemic Management tools only don’t work
More general knowledge about management in practice

How to make a group of people really want to work together. Team building and day to day leadership

Project management here represents the complete set of decisions regarding the set-up, organization and management of a project, taken during the various phases of the project, aimed at coordinating the efforts of the various actors involved in order to successfully realize the project (see also Kjær, 2004; Drucker, 2007).
"Management is about playing with the ingredients"

To do so....

You need to take a position!
How do you play with control and flexibility
"Management is about playing with the ingredients"

now.... start cooking!
Winch states that the project manager’s role is to facilitate alignments between the various actors involved in the project: the client, stakeholders, designers, contractors, actors in the supply chain, and operators. ( Winch 2002)
How could we define complexity?
What kind of team has the best chance to win?
Predict and Control perspective

Detailed specs upfront
Command and Control
Front - end approach
Phase change is formally done
Tendency to symplify

Prepare and Commit Perspective

Functionally specified
Cooperation and trust
Open information loops
knowledge management
Interface management
Agile phase changes

There is still some confusion in my mind about the different types of contracts. Lots of overlaps and minor differences makes it hard to distinguish

Tender strategy for companies

There is a lot of research and literature about "new" or "modern" models of project organisation. are they useful in practice and are they used at all?
1. Explanation about the Building Cycle

2. About communication

3. About Architectural Business

4. About financial strategy

5. About responsabilities and risks

6. About Real Estate Management and about Facility Management

7. About constraints related to budget, time and quality

8. How does it work on the building site?

On his first workday it became clear that BAM had to write off 87 million euro’s on two projects; highway A15 and the replacement of the Botlek Bridge.

"This is what I changed. Big and complex projects seem to be nice but they always come with a lot of risks".

"There is too much optimism in this company. There are only a few people able to handle this kind of challenging and complex projects".
But no one (in the municipality or the agents) rings the alarm bell, when it turned out that the financial contingencies were down to 4% of the total budget. The Alderman of finance, Stadig, did not care. He knew the 4% was not sufficient. But raising the budget for contingencies was, at that moment political not opportunistic. "So be it", Stadig must have thought!
The culture within the project organization is reason for investigation.

During an interview, Jaap Geluk, the CEO of subway, seems not to be aware that the project is imbedded in an urban context with citizens, inhabitants and companies.

The CEO doesn’t understand what is happening. “My organization works with the very best intentions on the project. He claims that the city and its inhabitants react emotional. In cities like Rotterdam or The Haque people would applaud for the project but in Amsterdam it’s the opposite".
Over budget, over time
Organize dissenters
"the force against".

Dissenters are people who have the courage to disturb and challenge prevailing views, habits and rules.
De Dreu (Professor at the University of Amsterdam) states that we need dissent and rebellion, because society comes to a standstill without dissent. He refers to Voltaire, who said: "Our wretched species are made that those who walk the trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing new roads" (Mercer, 2010, p 17.).

"Cross Thinking" also prevents groupthink and tunnel vision, it helps opening up the discussion on complex issues and it is valuable for renewal, change and innovation. As Psychologist Nemeth says: "If you want to innovate in your business, then cultivating a healthy dose of dissent is exactly what you need" (Mercer, 2010, p 14.)

The contractors did to low an offer and took all risks concerning permits (about 1000) on their account to win the tender.
The newspapers
The new director took a position and
changed the nature of the project:
From one sided to pluralistic
I took a position and changed the nature
of the Vondelark Pavilion project....
Guiding questions
uncertainly and

How to deal with it?
My example
Expectations and Questions
(Koppejan et al 2014)
(Flyvbjerg 2012)
Complexity: or the condition where the information is, in principle, available, but it is too costly or time cosuming to collect and analyse (winch 2010)
What kind of expertise is needed?
Full transcript