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The Rashomon Effect

October 30, 12:00 pm - 12:40 pm AEST

In 1950, the Japanese film ‘Rashomon’ was released in cinemas. It used a plot device that involved characters providing subjective, alternative and contradictory versions of the same incident. The Rashomon Effect, a term derived from this film, is used to describe the phenomenon of the unreliability of eyewitnesses.
As project managers are all too painfully aware, there is an element of unreliability in understanding from their stakeholders that can impact projects in the most dramatic ways. Often this comes from a lack of communication, or perhaps more specifically, a failure of communication, regardless of how much information and data has been made available, how many workshops have been run, and how many carefully worded emails have been issued.
This presentation will look at the psychology of communication, how to truly engage and collaborate with other people, rather than just pushing information towards them with no thought for how it may be received. In an age where the amount of available data is constantly increasing, it is critical to realise that our ability to consume and understand it remains relatively constant. Therefore, there is more and more room for the same data to be interpreted differently, which creates a world in which any two individuals can have diametrically opposed reactions to a single piece of shared knowledge.
We will consider the theoretical basis of project communication, and pose questions about how these have been applied across a series of global, multi billion dollar infrastructure projects. We will also look behind the scenes to assess how the psychology of communication has impacted these projects, with varying degrees of positive and negative outcomes.
In the current project management context, being able to understand how your communications will be received is imperative to delivering the right message, in the most appropriate way, at the ideal time. The Rashomon Effect will always have a part to play across every project – knowing how to reduce the associated impacts is an important skillset for the modern Project Manager.

This session is sponsored by:

Technical Director, Project Management - Mott Macdonald
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Project leaders and decision makers

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