Project Management Institute

Floating in space?

on the strangeness of exploratory projects

This article deals with the management of exploratory projects and relies on a case study of the space industry to study their supposed strangeness compared with more traditional projects. Indeed, exploratory projects seem to be floating because they lack clear objectives, carefully defined work packages and phases, risk management plans, and so forth. We rely on advances in design theory to demonstrate that exploratory projects actually follow a different logic of expansion that can be managed. We conclude by discussing the contribution of the project mode to the structuring of exploration processes.
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