Abstract for: Innovation Projects & Portfolios: Admitting Change and Rework to Meet Escalating Expectations

The system dynamics contribution to project management research is one of the “jewels of the crown” with respect to our field. One of its key contributions is to understand how iteration of tasks in the form of project rework influences key outcomes measurable such as cost and timing. We build upon this tradition in a conceptual paper that suggest that other types of iteration, which are mindful and beneficial, need to be considered. When considered, two particular concerns fall out with respect to innovation projects that need further exploration by system dynamicists. One is that some projects, particularly innovation projects, may need to change scope mid-way through the project if they are to be successful, and there is no way to anticipate this ex ante. The other is that innovation projects tend to iterate in scope from project to project and that this iteration is necessary because of the escalation of market expectations. We explore the implications of these ideas and how they should impact the course of future system dynamics research.