Professional Development Units (PDUs): 20
In this course you will understand what innovation is and why often it does not exist in a project at any level. You will also examine not only the different types of innovation but how a project can be set up to act as a catalyst for innovation.
Innovation is not always associated with project management but projects are one-time opportunities and unique endeavours. Sometimes they may be the only time for organizations to innovate as the opportunity may simply not exist after the project. This course is unique as it examines how to take a proactive approach to incorporating innovation into projects.
Many project managers avoid innovation because it can create uncertainty and increase costs. They minimize the risks by relying on tried-and-tested techniques, established routines, and proven technologies. They select the lowest cost approach, transfer risks to contractors, freeze the design early, and stick rigidly to the plan.
This course is based on several case studies in project innovation from the First Industrial Revolution primarily the Transcontinental Railroad but also the Ironbridge, and Stockton Darlington Railway. These case studies have rarely been associated with innovation (and projects) and this is what makes this course so unique. Through these case studies the course highlights the importance of innovation and why it needs to be considered in projects, and how it needs to be carefully fostered to thrive. You will also see how it was used to create unique solutions that would resolve difficult problems, and how the resulting projects were transformational beyond the expectations of the stakeholders. The course follows the project event timelines to better understand the opportunities and decisions that led to innovation in both product and process, innovation and innovative approaches that were at the core of greatly needed solutions.
Finally, the course examines some of the organizational aspects that encourage innovation in projects like organizational values, culture, and practices. The course summarizes all this into a set of best practices that you can carry forward into your current projects and use to encourage and foster innovation.
This course uses sound. Please have computer speakers or a headset ready.