Find Your Marshmallows - The Role Of Implicit Assumptions In Project Failures | March Chapter Event

Business Acumen


Please note registration closes on March 23rd at 3 PM. To ensure a smooth and seamless event experience for all attendees, we kindly request that you register before the specified date and time as we won't be able to accept registration after that time





This presentation will look at the role implicit assumptions play in the failure of projects. Implicit assumptions are assumptions we don’t even know we are making. They are the “Unknown Unknown. These are the project assumptions we fail to subject to critical analysis, and the ones that catch us by surprise when they’re discovered in failure investigations.

We will examine how we make implicit assumptions and how this impacts our ability to think and problem-solve rationally. We will step through some examples and interactive riddles that show us how destructive, and costly these implicit assumptions can be to our business.

Finally, we will show how the humble marshmallow provides key insights into just how vulnerable we all are to the dangers of implicit assumptions, and we will look at the techniques available to make these insidious assumptions more explicit.


Takeaways / Lessons

  • Implicit, as opposed to explicit, assumptions are the assumptions you do not know you have made in your project
  • As these assumptions are implicit, we do not subject them to critical analysis, and they can introduce the risk of failure into our projects
  • Implicit assumptions are rooted in our expertise, which leads to blind spots
  • Diversity of expertise is one of the keys to better managing the risks of implicit assumptions


Speaker Introduction



Sean Brady

Forensic Engineer and Managing Director of Brady Heywood


Sean Brady is a forensic engineer. He's the Vice Chair of the Society of Construction Law in Australia and a member of the SIMC Panel of Experts in Singapore. He's a Chartered Professional Engineer, and a Fellow of Engineers Australia. 

In 2020 he completed the Brady Review, which investigated the causes of fatalities in the Queensland mining industry. The review was tabled in parliament and made 11 recommendations to the regulator and mining companies on how to improve safety.  

Sean is currently engaged as the lead investigator on a major power station incident in Australia. He also speaks and writes on the causes of technical and organisational failure.  

Connect with the speaker






If you have registered online, we ask that you please respect your online commitment as there is venue space limitations. If you are unable to attend in-person, please inform the Events team as your attendance will impact catering and venue occupancy count.


545 PM | Chapter Event Opening

600 PM | Speaker Presentation Starts

730 PM | Presentation and Q&A Ends; Networking Opportunities

800 PM | Chapter Event Closes



This event is a hybrid event. You can attend either in-person or join us via Webex online. After registration, you will receive an invoice email with the attached online meeting link.

Students: This event is free for students (applicable to PMIQ student members and non-student members). For non-student members, please reach out to Events team at to receive a code for registration. You will need to provide a photo / screenshot of your student ID with its expiration date as proof of your enrolment status in Queensland tertiary education.

Refunds: You may request to cancel your registration for a full refund, up to five (5) working days before the date and time of the event. We will do our best to accommodate your needs.

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It is no longer possible to register for this event

It is no longer possible to register for this event


Event:Chapter Event

PMI Talent TriangleBusiness Acumen

Event Date:23 March 2023

Event Time:17:30 to 20:00

Registration Close Date: 23 March 2023 at 15:00

# PDUs:1


Members: $25.00



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