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Type: Journal article
Title: Prequalification: using systems to problem dissolve
Author: Baroudi, B.
Metcalfe, M.
Citation: Project Management Journal, 2011; 42(2):51-62
Publisher: Wiley Online Publishing
Issue Date: 2011
ISSN: 8756-9728
Statement of
Bassam Baroudi, Mike Metcalfe
Abstract: The requirement to prequalify prior to tendering for a project is often reported as burdensome. We need more ways to think constructively about this sort of project management problem. The pragmatists argue that constructive thinking includes encouraging stakeholders to shift from their default conception of a problematic situation. Ackoff (2006) suggested a way of doing this. He called it “problem dissolving.” This includes “zooming out” from the situation to conceive of the old problem situation as just one element in a metasystem. This article explains how and why problem dissolving might be used to reconceptualize prequalification. After ex-plaining the approach, it tests the approach on industry experts. Projects are human activity systems, so it seemed reasonable to reflect on prequalification using the attributes of a project as a system: purpose, transformation, connectivity, and boundary. A reconceptualization of prequalification emerged where it was seen to have the potential to become a policy mechanism for improving the industry.
Keywords: Prequalification; concept shifting; problem dissolving; systems thinking
Rights: © 2010 by the Project Management Institute Published online in Wiley Online Library
DOI: 10.1002/pmj.20223
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