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The Cost of Conflict and How People’s Behavior Drives Project Performance

September 8, 2013

I will be speaking at the upcoming International Integrated Program Management Conference (IPMC) in Bethesda, Maryland this November. The event is the premier U.S. conference on integration program management. It is co-sponsored by the National Defense Industrial Association, the College of Performance Management and the International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association.

I will be running a workshop exploring The Cost of Conflict and How People’s Behavior Drives Project Performance.

Here is an abstract of the presentation.

Research has shown that conflict on projects costs an average of $20,000 per person, per year. On a 100 person project, that’s $2 million of cost. On a 1,000 person project that’s $20 million worth of cost per year. Extend that over a ten year project and you are looking at $200 million worth of cost on the program. These are costs coming from conflict, from human behavior, as opposed to technical accomplishment. This is just one example of how people’s behavior can affect project performance.

Quality is another example. Research has shown that the way people are supposed to work with each other on the project team is a key determinant of product quality. Organizational structure is a much greater factor in determining product quality than measures such as project size, complexity or technical difficulty. The choices we make in organizing teams changes how people work together. And these changes directly affect project performance. The same can be true of schedule performance.

The way people behave drives schedule, cost and technical performance. In this workshop we will explore the underlying drivers of project performance attributes. Human behavior is what drives project performance. We will discuss the research behind this approach and offer best practice recommendations on how to get the results you want on your projects.

This will be a highly interactive presentation, a collaboration between presenter and participants, soliciting direct feedback and brainstorming with the goal of providing direct applications to practitioners attending the session. Attendance provides 1.25 PDU’s.

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