Questions all over the place …

For me, the terms “project” (P) and “management” (M) are a phenomenon. And the same – even more so – is true for the term “project management” (PM).

Would it not be better to talk “planning“ and  “realization” instead of P and M? And then we might talk PM as an attempt at controlling said realization, which means: making a success of it with a minimum of (transaction) costs?

Is PM a job description? Is it a craft? Or is it, maybe, a process?

In order to get high-quality PM, do you, above all, need “experience” and “knowledge”?  You get experience through “best practice”, knowledge through “knowhow”?  Does that mean high-quality PM is mainly using experience and knowledge?
Is it a necessary requirement for high-quality PM that you have ”experience of life“ as gained by interacting with people? But what exactly is – “experience of life” and how can you get it?

How can you measure experience and knowledge for PM. How can you certify it?

Doesn‘t PM basically mean “work and keep informed“? Including a certain kind of job-sharing? And to “do your own thing” for yourself and perhaps with others?

What role do tools actually play with PM? How relevant are methods? Which methods do actually help?

Should it not have top priority for high-quality PM to formulate and communicate the “things to do“? Strengthening values? Respecting cultures and creating culture? Improving communication between authorities and persons? Helping to solve conflicts, or even better: avoiding them? Creating fear-free spheres and promoting individual unfolding? And, where necessary, being courageous enough to fight anti-social  and intolerant tendencies?

Is it possible at all to plan individuals and groups? Or do you have to let them grow? Will the result ever be what you had planned? Or is it the sole purpose of PM to later justify why the result is not what had been expected? In other words, is it just there to modify the original plan?

How rational are the world, humans and evolution? Is it not more like things happen, rather than being made to happen? Is it really possible for PM to do more than just influence evolution a little bit? Does not thus PM basically become a sub-division of philosophy?

What is the relationship between M and PM on the one hand and entrepreneurship and leadership on the other hand? What about decisions and responsibility?

Is the P not a self-evident part of all human activity? Does it make sense to limit a central concept to entrepreneurship (social system with an economic goal/gain)?

Is not every attempt at changing something consciously a P?  Does a P always need an actual purpose and a defined goal?

Could not the journey be the reward when we are talking P? Isn’t the modification of goals in a P yet another P? Will that not give me a recursive P-P situation? How am I supposed to live with that?

Is not the change a person plans to manifest in his or her own characteristics or his or her situation in life already a P?
What is the difference between plan and goal, vision and utopia? Can I “bargain” with the future?

Is achieving the end really of such paramount importance for PM? Or is, perhaps, the improvement made through P already the success? Thus, will it be the main job of PM to modify the goal and adapt it to the actual need?

Is PM just one way to travel the “journey towards the end”? Where, (once again), the journey would be the reward? Just like death cannot be the goal of a person. Instead, life from the beginning to the end has to be the goal.

Maybe PM only protects us against having to admit how imperfect we are? Thus, does PM perhaps make us believe we are in control of everything? Are we embracing a self-illusion?

Does such a thing as – P (project) and M (management) exit? Do we need PM (project management)?

(Translated by EG)

Here are a few more articles on project management.

#64 – Project Management goes Brecht

#65 – Was ist das eigentlich – Projekt Management? (Definitionsversuch I)

#66 – Was ist das eigentlich – Projekt Management? (Definitionsversuch II)

#67 – Was ist das eigentlich – Projekt Management? (Definitionsversuch III)

#68 – Wie entstehen eigentlich Projekte?

#69 – Projekte sind schädlich für die Gesundheit Ihres Unternehmens!

For more articles of my entrepreneur’s diary, click here: Drehscheibe

2 Kommentare zu “Entrepreneur’s Diary #81 – Project, Management and Project Management”

  1. Stefan Hagen (Sunday June 3rd, 2012)

    Lieber Roland,

    großartige Fragen, die wir im November beim PM Camp ( aufgreifen sollten 😉

    CU, my friend,


  2. Hans Bonfigt (Tuesday June 5th, 2012)


    Was das Wesen von “PM” ausmacht, weiß ich auch nach 35 Jahren nicht.

    Aber richtig erfolgreiches Projektmanagement erkennt und kombiniert die Talente und Vorlieben der Beteiligten zu einem Vektor in Richtung Projektziel.

    PM ist ein Katalysator, der eine Reaktion beschleunigt, ohne selbst in sie einzugehen.

    Und deswegen sind erfolgreiche Projektmanager meistens Frauen …

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