The article discusses the importance of heuristics, or mental shortcuts, for busy professionals, particularly project managers. It emphasizes how heuristics enable efficient decision-making, problem-solving, stress reduction, and adaptability. However, it also warns about potential errors and biases that can arise from relying too heavily on heuristics.

The author suggests six activities for project managers to develop effective heuristics:

  • Analyze Past Projects: Reflect on past projects to identify successful strategies and pitfalls.
  • Networking and Mentorship: Connect with others, especially senior mentors, to learn from their experiences.
  • Learning Through Feedback: Implement structured feedback mechanisms within projects for continuous improvement.
  • Examine Biases in High Stake Situations: Critically assess intuitive preferences, especially in high-stakes situations.
  • Simulation and Scenario Analysis: Use simulations to evaluate risks, analyze costs, and assess resources on complex projects.
  • Continuous Learning: Stay updated on industry trends, project management methods, and research to form new and improved heuristics.

The overall goal is to help project managers navigate complexity more effectively, enhance productivity, and make informed decisions.

Dr. Te Wu

Dr. Te Wu


Prof. Dr. Te Wu is the CEO of PMO Advisory and an Associate Professor at Montclair State University. Te is certified in Portfolio, Program, Project, and Risk Management. He is an active volunteer including serving as the chair of PMI’s Portfolio Management Standard Committee. He previously worked on various standards including portfolio management, risk management and program management for PMI and ISO. As a practitioner, executive, teacher, writer, and speaker, Dr. Wu enjoys sharing his knowledge and experiences and networking with other professionals.