Welcome to Dr. Steve Leybourne’s personal and research web pages at Boston University

The ‘Details’ page has my contact information, and a little about my role at Boston University.  

Click on the tabs above to access the pages related to my teaching and my research, and also my publications.

The ‘Personal’ page links to information about my interests outside of academia.

I can be contacted by email at sleyb@bu.edu


Dr Steve Leybourne posted on December 9, 2010 at 3:36 pm

I am well aware that there are lots of Blogs around, and indeed, there are many devoted to Projects and Project Management. I will therefore try to keep this one fairly ‘focused’, and only make an entry when I have something to say that may be interesting…

So – here goes…

Some of you will be aware that I was recently (late October 2010) in Brazil, addressing the 5th Brazil National PM Congress. PMI Brazil kindly invited me to be a ‘keynote’ speaker, and it was an interesting experience.

You will be aware that Brazil is a rapidly ’emerging’ economy, with significant economic growth – indeed, it is one of very few growing economies at the moment, together with China and India. With growth comes ‘maturity’, and it is evident from my conversations in both Brasilia and in Rio de Janeiro that PM in Brazil, and in South America generally, is gaining in maturity, as funding is being directed towards infrastructure projects that need ‘better’ PM to ensure delivery on time; to budget; etc…

This is manifesting itself in a situation whereby Brazilian Project Managers are looking for knowledge of more mature PM techniques and skills, having reached a situation where they are realizing that the PMBOK is not really of assistance in managing people, and in getting them to deliver project deliverables and outcomes.

So – they want to know about the ‘softer’ skills, including effective leadership, stakeholder and team management, commitment, motivation, trust, etc. Specifically, they wanted me to talk to them about improvised work within projects, and how it can assist in managing and resolving issues of complexity and ambiguity.

It is evenent that Brazil is a country that has a thirst for knowledge about the more ‘advanced’ elements of PM. They are aware that ‘basic’ PM tools are not sufficient any more for the level of activity that they are trying to achieve, and there are opportunities there for experienced Project Managers.

Of that there is no doubt.

Dr Steve Leybourne posted on December 19, 2010 at 1:37 pm

I have been musing on the subject of PM expertise lately – probably because I am writing a paper with a friend and colleague from Australia who is not a PM researcher, and this encourages me to look at things I normally take for granted through a new ‘lens’; or from a new perspective.

One of the things that has been considered in our latest writing is the skills levels of Project Managers, and how they tie in to experience and learning. Essentially, I have been thinking about the basic skills of PM; the tools and techniques documented in the various ‘Bodies of Knowledge’, versus the more highly developed skills learned through experience, and used to resolve issues of complexity and ambiguity within the delivery of projects.

I have started to consider this in terms of project ‘mechanics’, who work at the more basic ‘tools and techniques’ level, as compared to project ‘artists’, whose mastery of the more behavioral aspects of PM lift their performance to a level of ‘artistry’ that transcends normal PM performance.

however, the interesting journey is going to be in the identification of ‘what makes the difference’…

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