If one of these applies to you, keep reading...
If you've heard of Behavioral Economics or the book Freakonomics, this is the same science, only applied to project and business management. And just like behavioral science upended economics and totally recreated its theoretical foundations, behavioral science is doing the same thing for project management.
Nobel prize winners Richard Thaler and Daniel Kahneman helped forever change the way we do business, and we are carrying on that work into project management.
Behavioral Project Management will become the fundamental foundation of all project management methodologies in the near future. Get ahead of it by becoming a leader in this growing field.
'An object in motion stays in motion' and doesn't like to change course. The brain is the same; it's called psychological inertia. You could leave the site right now, but you may bypass information you didn't know about, never learning what you didn't know (we also just used loss aversion and regret aversion...but that's another subject). You clicked on the site from Facebook or LinkedIn, perhaps because you were curious, and now the inertia of your curiosity may be keeping you engaged, so let's continue...
Even if it's perceived time pressure, like you thinking right now that you need to do the laundry or get a snack, your brain will flip a switch called the striatum, shutting down the inhibition system and causing premature decisions. This causes you to rely on your automatic thinking system, also known as System 1. You'll miss information you may have needed due to perceived time pressure. This happens in life, business, and projects, causing us to miss much-needed data to make better decisions.
We've just filled your brain with some new information and you had to engage your brain. Your brain has something similar to the RAM (memory) in the device you're on right now. If too much is being information is being processed in your brain, you don't process it all or you process it inefficiently. All this information that's on your brain right now is called cognitive load. Some may leave this website right now because their cognitive load got too high (so congrats for making it this far). Because we don't want you to under-process the information we're giving you, we'll stop with heavy-duty stuff for now and move on to the lighter goodies of our site :-)
You can design project management processes around human behavior? Here's a snapshot of planning processes designed with cognitive science.
The profession of project management is entering a new level of maturity. Project management processes are well-known, highly developed, and widely used. Organizations are committed to a project-based approach to implementing change. It is time for project managers, PMOs, professional associations, project professionals of all specializations, and organizations worldwide to look forward to a new phase in project management, one that focuses on behavioral factors. And at the institute, we are already starting to redesign planning around the brain with the NeuralPlan NPPQ training and certification (www.neural-plan.com).
(The NeuralPlan Condensed Course is included for free with your membership. For the NPPQ certification, visit www.neural-plan.com)
We at the Institute of Neuro and Behavioral Project Management believe redesigning our processes around the brain is the way to take project management into the 21st Century and beyond, and create a practice that will result in better project outcomes, and more flexible approaches to change in all types of organizations.
What we believe:
- Human endeavors - projects - are what make the world go around. Every great human endeavor ever accomplished, or ever to be accomplished, is a project
- Human behavior is the reason why we create projects, but also the reason many projects fail
- The intersection of these two great phenomena are the purpose for the Institute's existence
- We believe in using the science of human behavior to make human endeavors successful
The Institute strives to be the center of the intersection of human endeavors and human behavior.
Works in progress and planned for the future include:
- International conference for Neuro & Behavioral Project Management
- The Journal of Neuro & Behavioral Project Management
- Training for practitioners and certification preparation
- Mapping of human behavior to recognized project management process methodologies such as PMBOK, Agile, Prince2, and others
It all started with a curiosity about what human behavior had to do with the performance of projects. Josh Ramirez would ask these questions of Dr. Jodi Wilson, a behavioral scientist he had known for some years. This led him to his research and eventual completion of his PhD in Business Psychology, after already having spent a decade and a half in project management (see image below of Josh and Jodi at the PMI Global Conference in 2018). His research and dissertation is titled Toward a Theory of Behavioral Project Management.
The Institute was founded in 2018, and a couple of years later NeuralPlan research and writing got underway in earnest. Several years prior to writing NeuralPlan, Josh had met Dr. Shari De Baets at the Judgment and Decision-Making conference, where she was presenting on her research in behavioral forecasting (below is an image of Josh and Shari at the JDM conference).
Josh had a long history of project management in mega-projects in the U.S. government and had been concerned with the lack of cognitive and behavioral science in the project management profession, and the impact it had on planning, forecasting, and risk. Shari's research aligned well with Josh's research, especially in the domain of prediction and planning and how human behavior influences accuracy. You can view a fun little video by Shari about predicting the future, below.
This team would be the eventual makeup of this now-growing institute, and the membership site you are visiting right now. If you would like to listen to their podcasts on the subject of Behavioral Project Management and this field, here are some links: