November conference: A bold new plan for project management

It seems that project management around the world is in dire need of improvement.

UW-Madison Visiting Professor Alex Laufer, who is a world-recognized expert in project management, says, “A total of 53 percent of software projects cost almost double than the original estimate and the total capital cost overrun of 10 U.S. rail transit projects was 61 percent.”

“This change is mandatory now because project success is so dismal,” he emphasizes. Laufer continues, “Project management has changed—there should be no more use of the scripted step-by-step format that was developed in the 1960s during the era of the late Ford Motor Company executive Robert McNamera.

On Nov. 14 at Gleacher Center in Chicago, some of this country’s most outstanding leaders of industry will meet with Midwest senior executives to explore how to go beyond project management—and enter the sphere of project leadership.

Eight prominent speakers from the fields of construction and healthcare, NASA, and the U.S. Department of Defense will outline how they have applied this radically new approach featured in Laufer’s new book, “Mastering the Leadership Role in Product Management.”

Currently also a professor at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Laufer is one of the conference speakers. Joining him will be his co-author, Jeffrey Russell, Executive Director of the Consortium for Project Leadership at UW-Madison and Vice Provost for Lifelong Learning and Dean, UW-Madison Continuing Studies.

Some of the conference topics are: why most projects are over-managed and under-led; why most common models of project management are a liability; what needs to be done in our new dynamic environment, and how to develop project managers into project leaders that deliver remarkable results.