Associate Professor Julien Pollack

Ph.D. (UTS 2005) B.Sc. (UNSW 2000) B.A. (1997)
Project Management Program
School of Civil Engineering

J02 - P.N.R. Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 8627 1975

Website School of Civil Engineering

Project Management

ResearchGate profile

Biographical details

Associate Professor Julien Pollack started working in project management in the Australian public sector delivering organizational change projects, where he completed an Action Research Ph.D. This research won national and international awards. Following this, he managed telecommunications and heavy engineering projects, before taking an academic position in 2011 to teach project management. He joined the University of Sydney in 2016. His research has focused on two broad themes: trends in project management research; and developing project management practice to meet the needs of projects that cannot be pre-defined in simple and stable terms. He has successively drawn on systems thinking, complexity theory, and change management to address this latter area of research, particularly focusing on the delivery of organisational change projects. His research in these areas has been frequently published in the leading project management journals and research conferences.

Research interests

The traditional model of project management works well in relatively simple and stable situations, but as complexity and uncertainty increase it starts to break down. Associate Professor Julien Pollack's research draws on systems thinking, complexity theory and change management in an effort to extend this model and enable practitioners to more effectively manage projects in complex, dynamic and sometimes unpredictable environments.

"The traditional model of project management tends to assume that our initial goals will remain valid throughout the project, and that we know enough at the outset to plan the whole project in detail.

"But project management is a dynamic activity, and a whole range of unexpected events can create complexity, uncertainty and the need for change and adaptation.

"Suppliers can run late or fail to deliver, clients can change their minds, design errors can become apparent, contractual ambiguities can surface, people can misunderstand each other, team members can unexpectedly move on, funding can evaporate with political change - even the strategic direction of the organisation can change, bringing the viability of the whole project into question.

"Given how turbulent the contexts of some projects are, it's sometimes a surprise that anything gets delivered at all.

"A huge amount of money is wasted when we attempt to use models of project management that don't suit the environments in which they are applied. However, my interest isn't just in the bottom line - it's in enabling people to do a better job, manage their work more effectively, achieve more, and get more out of the process.

"Part of my research aims to develop a model of project management that accommodates both linear and iterative approaches, accounting for periods of change and periods of efficient delivery.

"My ultimate goal is to change the way we think about projects and their management, and to develop techniques and frameworks that make a demonstrable difference to how groups of people come together in temporary organisational structures to manage and deliver discrete and unique pieces of work.

"I started working in this field in 2000. Between then and joining the University of Sydney in December 2016 I completed my PhD, delivered significant IT and organisational change projects for government, served as project manager and project office manager for a multibillion-dollar transport project, and led the project management program at another leading university."

Current research students

Project title Research student
Benefits Evaluation in the Context of International Development Projects Johan FAHRI

Associations

  • Editorial Board of the International Journal of Project Management
  • Co-editor and member of the Editorial Board of Project Management Research and Practice
  • Manager of the International Research Network on Projects (IRNOP) Listserv
  • Convenor of the Project Management Stream of the 2015 APROS/EGOS Conference
  • Member of the Project Management Institute, 2012-
  • Honorary Associate, Australian Institute of Project Management, 2003-4

Awards and honours

  • Awarded the International Journal of Project Management Certificate of Excellence in Reviewing 2013
  • Highly commended in the 2013 UTS Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building Teaching and Learning Awards
  • Recipient of the 2015 Global Conference on Research and Finance (Las Vegas) Outstanding Research Award for two papers presented at the conference
  • Winner, International Student Research Award, 2005, PM Days Conference, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration
  • Winner, National Student Research Award, 2003, Australian Institute for Project Management
  • Winner, New South Wales Student Research Award, 2003, Australian Institute for Project Management

Other Publications

Books

  • Remington, K. & Pollack J. (2007) Tools for Complex Projects, Aldershot, UK, Gower Publishing.

Journal Articles

  • Pollack, J. (2009) Multimethodology in series and parallel: strategic planning using hard and soft OR. Journal of the Operational Research Society. 60: 156-167.
  • Crawford, L. and Pollack, J. (2008) Developing a basis for global reciprocity: Negotiating between the many standards for Project Management. International Journal of IT Standards and Standardization Research. 6(1): 70-84, DOI: 10.4018/jitsr.2008010104
  • Pollack, J. (2007) The changing paradigms of project management. International Journal of Project Management, 25(3): 266-274, DOI:10.1016/j.ijproman.2006.08.002
  • Crawford, L. and Pollack, J. (2007) How generic are project management knowledge and practice? Project Management Journal, 38(1): 87-96.
  • Crawford, L., Pollack, J. and England, D. (2007) How standard are standards: An examination of language emphasis in project management standards. Project Management Journal. 38(3): 6-21, DOI:10.1002/pmj.20002
  • Pollack, J. (2006) Pyramids or Silos: Alternative Representations of the Systems Thinking Paradigms. Systemic Practice and Action Research, 19(4): 383-398, DOI: 10.1007/s11213-006-9025-5
  • Crawford, L., Pollack, J. and England, D. (2006) Uncovering the trends in project management: journal emphases over the last 10 years, International Journal of Project Management. 24 (2): 175-184, DOI:10.1016/j.ijproman.2005.10.005
  • Crawford, L. and Pollack, J. (2004) Hard and soft projects: a framework for analysis, International Journal of Project Management, 22(8): 645-653, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijproman.2004.04.004
  • Crawford, L., Costello, K., Pollack, J. and Bentley, L. (2003) Managing soft change projects in the public sector, International Journal of Project Management, 21(6): 443-448, DOI:10.1016/S0263-7863(02)00099-6
  • Pollack, J. (2003) Project Managing IS / IT Development: The practical combination of different methods and methodologies, Australian Institute of Project Management Journal, p. 14.

Book Chapters

  • Crawford, L. and Pollack, J. (2009) Developing a basis for global reciprocity: Negotiating between the many standards for Project Management. In Kelley, G. (Ed.) Selected Readings on Information Technology Management: Contemporary Issues, IGI Press, pp. 307-322. ISBN10: 1605660922
  • Costello, K., Crawford, L., Bentley, L. and Pollack, J. (2002) Connecting Soft Systems Thinking with Project Management Practice: An Organizational Change Case Study. In Ragsdell, G., West, D. & Wilby, J. (eds.) Systems Theory and Practice in the Knowledge Age,New York: Kluwer Academic/Plunum Publishers, p. 47-54.

Conference Papers

  • Remington, K. and Pollack, J., (2008) Are there Special Tools for Complex Projects? IPMA Roma Conference, November 2008.
  • Remington, K. and Pollack, J., (2008) Complex Projects: What are they and how can we manage them more effectively? AIPM National Conference, October 2008.
  • Remington, K. and Pollack, J., (2008) Tools for Complex Projects, APM Edinburgh Chapter, Professional Development Seminar, January 2008.
  • Remington, K. and Pollack, J., (2007) Visualising Organisational and Institutional Change in Emergent Systems: Controlling the Uncontrollable. ICAN Conference, Sydney, 2007.
  • Remington, K., Paul, D. and Pollack, J., (2006) Projects or Programs? Characteristics of Complex Projects, IQPQC Conference, Sydney. February, 2006
  • Remington, K. and Pollack, J. (2006) Complex infrastructure projects: a systemic model for management. 12th ANZSYS Conference, Katoomba, 3-6 December, 2006.
  • Pollack, J., Costello, K., Crawford, L. and Bentley, L. (2006) Systems of information and the development of project management competence. IRNOP VII Project Management conference, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an, China, 11-13 October, 2006. In Ou, L. and Turner, R. (Eds.) Proceedings of IRNOP VII Project Management Conference. Publishing House of Electronics Industry: Beijing. ISBN 7-121-03252-X. pp. 265-276.
  • Crawford, L., Pollack, J. and Costello, K. (2005) Hard and soft projects in the NSW public sector. 11th ANZSYS Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand, 5-7 December, 2005. In Richardson, K., Gregory, W. & Midgley, G. (eds.) (2005) Proceedings of the 11th Annual ANZSYS Conference / Managing the Complex V, ISBN 0976681447.
  • Pollack, J. (2005) Is project management in the verge of a paradigm shift? PM Tage Conference, Vienna, Austria, 23-25 June, 2005.
  • Costello, K., Crawford, L., Pollack, J. and Bentley, L. (2002) Soft Systems Project Management for Organisational Change. IRNOP V Conference, Zeeland, Netherlands, 28-31 May.
  • Remington, K. and Pollack, J. (2002) Stakeholder Management for Project Success, IPMA Conference Proceedings: Making the Vision Work, Berlin 4-6 June.
  • Remington, K. and Pollack, J. (2001) Collaboration for Project Success, PMI Conference, Wellington, NZ, 24-26 October.

Selected publications

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Book Chapters

  • Remington, K., Pollack, J. (2014). Requisite Variety and Decision Making in Complex Projects. In Rolf A. Lundin and Markus Hällgren (Eds.), Advancing Research on Projects and Temporary Organizations, (pp. 234-250). Gylling: Copenhagen Business School Press.
  • Er, M., Pollack, J., Sankaran, S. (2013). Actor-Network Theory, Activity Theory and Action Research and their application in project management research. In Redaktør Nathalie Drouin, Ralf Müller, Shankar Sankaran (Eds.), Novel Approaches to Organizational Project Management Research. Translational and Transformational, (pp. 164-198). Gylling: Copenhagen Business School Press.
  • Pollack, J. (2013). Pluralist project research: Drawing on Critical Systems Thinking to manage research across paradigms. In Redaktør Nathalie Drouin, Ralf Müller, Shankar Sankaran (Eds.), Novel Approaches to Organizational Project Management Research. Translational and Transformational, (pp. 452-471). Gylling: Copenhagen Business School Press.
  • Remington, K., Pollack, J. (2011). Tools for Complex Projects. In Terry Cooke-Davies (Eds.), Aspects of Complexity: Managing Projects in a Complex World, (pp. 29-40). USA: Project Management Institute (PMI).

Journals

  • Pollack, J., Biesenthal, C., Sankaran, S., Clegg, S. (2017). Classics in megaproject management: A structured analysis of three major works [In Press]. International Journal of Project Management. [More Information]
  • Pollack, J., Algeo, C. (2016). Project managers' and change managers' contribution to success. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 9(2), 451-465. [More Information]
  • Pollack, J., Adler, D. (2016). Skills that improve profitability: The relationship between project management, IT skills, and small to medium enterprise profitability. International Journal of Project Management, 34(5), 831-838. [More Information]
  • Pollack, J., Adler, D. (2015). Does project management affect business productivity? Evidence from australian small to medium enterprises. Project Management Journal, 45(6), 17-24. [More Information]
  • Pollack, J., Adler, D. (2015). Emergent trends and passing fads in project management research: A scientometric analysis of changes in the field. International Journal of Project Management, 33(1), 236-248. [More Information]
  • Pollack, J., Algeo, C. (2015). Should project management aspire to be an archetypal profession: Evidence from Australian-based research. International Journal of Project Organisation and Management, 7(4), 352-368. [More Information]
  • Fahri, J., Biesenthal, C., Pollack, J., Sankaran, S. (2015). Understanding Megaproject Success beyond the Project Close-Out Stage. Construction Economics and Building, 15(3), 48-58. [More Information]
  • Pollack, J. (2015). Understanding the divide between the theory and practice of organisational change. Organisational Project Management, 2(1), 35-52. [More Information]
  • Pollack, J., Pollack, R. (2015). Using Kotter's Eight Stage Process to Manage an Organisational Change Program: Presentation and Practice. Systemic Practice and Action Research, 28(1), 51-66. [More Information]
  • Pollack, J., Algeo, C. (2014). A Comparison of Project manager and change manager involvement in organisational change project activities and stages. Journal of Modern Project Management, 2(2), 8-17.
  • Pollack, J., Adler, D., Sankaran, S. (2014). Mapping the field of complexity theory: A computational approach to understanding changes in the field. Emergence: Complexity and Organization, 16(2), 74-92.
  • Pollack, J., Algeo, C. (2014). Perspectives on the formal authority between project managers and change managers. Project Management Journal, 45(5), 27-43. [More Information]
  • Pollack, J., Costello, K., Sankaran, S. (2013). Applying Actor-Network Theory as a sensemaking framework for complex organisational change programs. International Journal of Project Management, 31(8), 1118-1128. [More Information]
  • Pollack, J. (2012). Transferring knowledge about knowledge management: Implementation of a complex organisational change programme. International Journal of Project Management, 30(8), 877-886. [More Information]

Conferences

  • Willemsen, M., Pollack, J., Algeo, C. (2016). Insights into the importance of project organising in preventing species extinction in Australian. 30th Annual Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management ANZAM Conference 2016, Brisbane, Australia: Australia and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM).
  • Pollack, J. (2016). It's not the plan, it's the process of planning. 2016 IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (IEEM 2016), Bali: (IEEE) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. [More Information]
  • Pollack, J. (2016). The need for integration between organizational project management and change management. 2016 IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (IEEM 2016), Bali: (IEEE) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. [More Information]
  • Shalbafan, S., Leigh, E., Pollack, J., Sankaran, S. (2016). Using simulation to study decision-making in project portfolio management. Second Danish Project Management Research Conference (DAPMARC-2), Denmark: Roskilde University Press.
  • Pollack, J., Adler, D. (2016). Who writes with whom, and about what: a Scientometric analysis of Project Management research. IRNOP Conference, Norway.
  • Pollack, J. (2015). Is there a divide between change management theory and practice? 4th International Conference on Business and Economic Development (ICBED 2015), New York: The Academy of Business & Retail Management (ABRM).
  • Pollack, J. (2015). On the Scarcity of Research into the Information Roles Individuals Take in Organizations. Global Conference on Business and Finance, Las Vegas: The Institute for Business and Finance Research.
  • Willemsen, M., Pollack, J., Wilkinson, S., Algeo, C. (2015). The application of project management to threatened species recovery in Australia. APROS/EGOS Conference, Sydney.
  • Pollack, J., Algeo, C. (2015). The contribution of project management and change management to project success. 4th International Conference on Business and Economic Development (ICBED 2015), New York: The Academy of Business & Retail Management (ABRM).
  • Pollack, J., Adler, D. (2015). The relationship between project management and small to medium enterprise profitability. Global Conference on Business and Finance, Las Vegas: The Institute for Business and Finance Research.
  • Shalbafan, S., Leigh, E., Pollack, J., Sankaran, S. (2015). Using simulation to create a time-bound, space-constrained context for studying decision-making in project portfolio management using the Cynefin� framework. APROS/EGOS Conference, Sydney.
  • Pollack, J., Algeo, C. (2014). The Contribution of Project and Change Managers to Different Project Activities. PMI Research and Education Conference, USA.
  • Pollack, J., Adler, D. (2014). The Impact of Project Management on SME Productivity. PMI Research and Education Conference, USA.
  • Pollack, J., Algeo, C. (2013). Who reports to whom? Perspectives on the reporting relationship between Project and Change Managers. EURAM Conference, Istanbul.
  • Pollack, J. (2012). Responding to an ageing workforce and the implications for engineering management. 2012 IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (IEEM 2012), Piscataway: (IEEE) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. [More Information]

2017

  • Pollack, J., Biesenthal, C., Sankaran, S., Clegg, S. (2017). Classics in megaproject management: A structured analysis of three major works [In Press]. International Journal of Project Management. [More Information]

2016

  • Willemsen, M., Pollack, J., Algeo, C. (2016). Insights into the importance of project organising in preventing species extinction in Australian. 30th Annual Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management ANZAM Conference 2016, Brisbane, Australia: Australia and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM).
  • Pollack, J. (2016). It's not the plan, it's the process of planning. 2016 IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (IEEM 2016), Bali: (IEEE) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. [More Information]
  • Pollack, J., Algeo, C. (2016). Project managers' and change managers' contribution to success. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 9(2), 451-465. [More Information]
  • Pollack, J., Adler, D. (2016). Skills that improve profitability: The relationship between project management, IT skills, and small to medium enterprise profitability. International Journal of Project Management, 34(5), 831-838. [More Information]
  • Pollack, J. (2016). The need for integration between organizational project management and change management. 2016 IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (IEEM 2016), Bali: (IEEE) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. [More Information]
  • Shalbafan, S., Leigh, E., Pollack, J., Sankaran, S. (2016). Using simulation to study decision-making in project portfolio management. Second Danish Project Management Research Conference (DAPMARC-2), Denmark: Roskilde University Press.
  • Pollack, J., Adler, D. (2016). Who writes with whom, and about what: a Scientometric analysis of Project Management research. IRNOP Conference, Norway.

2015

  • Pollack, J., Adler, D. (2015). Does project management affect business productivity? Evidence from australian small to medium enterprises. Project Management Journal, 45(6), 17-24. [More Information]
  • Pollack, J., Adler, D. (2015). Emergent trends and passing fads in project management research: A scientometric analysis of changes in the field. International Journal of Project Management, 33(1), 236-248. [More Information]
  • Pollack, J. (2015). Is there a divide between change management theory and practice? 4th International Conference on Business and Economic Development (ICBED 2015), New York: The Academy of Business & Retail Management (ABRM).
  • Pollack, J. (2015). On the Scarcity of Research into the Information Roles Individuals Take in Organizations. Global Conference on Business and Finance, Las Vegas: The Institute for Business and Finance Research.
  • Pollack, J., Algeo, C. (2015). Should project management aspire to be an archetypal profession: Evidence from Australian-based research. International Journal of Project Organisation and Management, 7(4), 352-368. [More Information]
  • Willemsen, M., Pollack, J., Wilkinson, S., Algeo, C. (2015). The application of project management to threatened species recovery in Australia. APROS/EGOS Conference, Sydney.
  • Pollack, J., Algeo, C. (2015). The contribution of project management and change management to project success. 4th International Conference on Business and Economic Development (ICBED 2015), New York: The Academy of Business & Retail Management (ABRM).
  • Pollack, J., Adler, D. (2015). The relationship between project management and small to medium enterprise profitability. Global Conference on Business and Finance, Las Vegas: The Institute for Business and Finance Research.
  • Fahri, J., Biesenthal, C., Pollack, J., Sankaran, S. (2015). Understanding Megaproject Success beyond the Project Close-Out Stage. Construction Economics and Building, 15(3), 48-58. [More Information]
  • Pollack, J. (2015). Understanding the divide between the theory and practice of organisational change. Organisational Project Management, 2(1), 35-52. [More Information]
  • Pollack, J., Pollack, R. (2015). Using Kotter's Eight Stage Process to Manage an Organisational Change Program: Presentation and Practice. Systemic Practice and Action Research, 28(1), 51-66. [More Information]
  • Shalbafan, S., Leigh, E., Pollack, J., Sankaran, S. (2015). Using simulation to create a time-bound, space-constrained context for studying decision-making in project portfolio management using the Cynefin� framework. APROS/EGOS Conference, Sydney.

2014

  • Pollack, J., Algeo, C. (2014). A Comparison of Project manager and change manager involvement in organisational change project activities and stages. Journal of Modern Project Management, 2(2), 8-17.
  • Pollack, J., Adler, D., Sankaran, S. (2014). Mapping the field of complexity theory: A computational approach to understanding changes in the field. Emergence: Complexity and Organization, 16(2), 74-92.
  • Pollack, J., Algeo, C. (2014). Perspectives on the formal authority between project managers and change managers. Project Management Journal, 45(5), 27-43. [More Information]
  • Remington, K., Pollack, J. (2014). Requisite Variety and Decision Making in Complex Projects. In Rolf A. Lundin and Markus Hällgren (Eds.), Advancing Research on Projects and Temporary Organizations, (pp. 234-250). Gylling: Copenhagen Business School Press.
  • Pollack, J., Algeo, C. (2014). The Contribution of Project and Change Managers to Different Project Activities. PMI Research and Education Conference, USA.
  • Pollack, J., Adler, D. (2014). The Impact of Project Management on SME Productivity. PMI Research and Education Conference, USA.

2013

  • Er, M., Pollack, J., Sankaran, S. (2013). Actor-Network Theory, Activity Theory and Action Research and their application in project management research. In Redaktør Nathalie Drouin, Ralf Müller, Shankar Sankaran (Eds.), Novel Approaches to Organizational Project Management Research. Translational and Transformational, (pp. 164-198). Gylling: Copenhagen Business School Press.
  • Pollack, J., Costello, K., Sankaran, S. (2013). Applying Actor-Network Theory as a sensemaking framework for complex organisational change programs. International Journal of Project Management, 31(8), 1118-1128. [More Information]
  • Pollack, J. (2013). Pluralist project research: Drawing on Critical Systems Thinking to manage research across paradigms. In Redaktør Nathalie Drouin, Ralf Müller, Shankar Sankaran (Eds.), Novel Approaches to Organizational Project Management Research. Translational and Transformational, (pp. 452-471). Gylling: Copenhagen Business School Press.
  • Pollack, J., Algeo, C. (2013). Who reports to whom? Perspectives on the reporting relationship between Project and Change Managers. EURAM Conference, Istanbul.

2012

  • Pollack, J. (2012). Responding to an ageing workforce and the implications for engineering management. 2012 IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (IEEM 2012), Piscataway: (IEEE) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. [More Information]
  • Pollack, J. (2012). Transferring knowledge about knowledge management: Implementation of a complex organisational change programme. International Journal of Project Management, 30(8), 877-886. [More Information]

2011

  • Remington, K., Pollack, J. (2011). Tools for Complex Projects. In Terry Cooke-Davies (Eds.), Aspects of Complexity: Managing Projects in a Complex World, (pp. 29-40). USA: Project Management Institute (PMI).

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