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28 March 2008

What if our whole world view of project management is wrong?

“We do not talk about what we see; we see only what we can talk about.”


This paper examines the way we have framed our conception of project management and challenges it suggesting that project management knowledge isn’t that special at all, and by building up this mystique around it we are hampering the ability of projects to successfully deliver results rather than helping.

It’s an interesting perspective, and one that helps you think differently about your job and the work you do. It makes you challenge your assumptions and look to find better ways of managing and delivering projects.

The question it raises for me is how much is project management knowledge constructed to solve real problems, and how much of it is self-repeating, self-sustaining behaviours that act mainly as a way for PM professionals to establish and maintain their importance in their professional community.

(The same questions can be applied to the establishment of the IIBA and the BABOK.)

If you are philosophically inclined this article is for you.



Reference: Stephen Jonathan Whitty (2005) “A Memetic Paradigm of Project Management” International Journal of Project Management (2005) 23 (8): 575-583. Retrieved from http://espace.library.uq.edu.au/eserv/UQ:8801/sjw_ijpm_05.pdf

Picture by Camilla Hoel.
Original at Flickr