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Thursday, August 6 • 17:00 - 17:30
Feedback Information on Individual's Time Perception Improves Project Management Control

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‘Project’ as a form of organising work has received an increased popularity, among several reasons due to its ability to handle various strategic and operational complexities. However, frequent reports suggest that many projects fail to meet the set objectives, in terms of outcome quality, time of delivery, and costs. There are various reasons to this, however one important cause, yet little researched, is what is called ‘time leakage’. The latter occurs when human agents’ perceived time (cognitive time) differs from the clock time (physical time) and thereby produces Cognitive Time Distortion. This is unconditional to any human agent due to the cognitive functioning, and its typical consequence is that more time is consumed by professionals than it was planned for (prospective time distortion) and also than it is reported (retrospective time distortion).

In order to advance techniques to handle Cognitive Time Distortion in a somewhat positive manner, a generic hypothesis was formulated stating that: information about a subject’s time-perception, both from planned and executed activities, may be fed back (feedback) to the subject who conducted the activities, and thereby induces subject’s learning of how to perceive time. By development of time perception capability, in turn, may contribute to the reduction of time leakage due to Cognitive Time Distortion, which will have positive influence on the execution of project vs the set objectives.

More specifically, this paper presents results form a laboratory experiment (N = 63) in which different modes of feed-back has been tested. The experiment targeted especially the quality dimension ‘precision of delivery’ and the economic goal as measured in profit. The participators in the experiment were sorted in two groups; and each group was asked to conduct a task, and make time assessments, which was followed by subjects’ reception of feedback. Two kinds of feedback were compared in the experiment; one based on promises of monetary reward and one based on precise information about errors in individual time assessment. The time related feedback was specifically based on the participators time perception as measured in percent of the assessed time duration. Mean values and dispersion of the time assessments of the two groups were compared. It is concluded that feedback with individual time perception improved the quality dimension precision of delivery significantly. It can also be concluded that feedback with individual time perception supports the budgeted profit, while feedback of only monetary rewards only does not. In addition, the two groups exhibited significantly different attitudes with respect to work-related factors, such as perceived motivation and perceived efficiency, suggesting that mode of feedback is an important work environmental factor. The outcome from this study suggests that project management may reduce failure rate in projects and improve project outcome with respect to service quality and profit, when feedback information about individual time perception is utilized.

Presenter / Artist

Prof. Fabian Von Scheele

Professor, Linnaeus University
ISSS Regular

Thursday August 6, 2015 17:00 - 17:30 CEST
Stockholm 2 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

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