Much of modern pm thinking is clumsy and lacks insight

Have you ever watched Joe Public on an ice rink? A few glide gracefully by while the majority wobble badly, grab each other in panicky moments of instability that cascade one wobble to all around them.

I’ll re-ask that: when you observe how organisations execute the average change initiative would you describe the performance with words such as graceful, elegant and efficient or clumsy, faltering and inefficient? Perhaps some of each but the skew is towards the poorer end of the spectrum.

Many studies return findings that delivery of projects is uncertain. Why is that? After all we have Pathways, the PRINCE2® and PMBOK manuals and many organisations have Centres of Excellence (nee Project Management Offices) that have invented their own synthesis of ideas.

It is all flawed. The idea of a discipline called project management illustrates a philosophical wrong starting point. There is perhaps a discipline of Management of Change, or it might be called Benefits Management, or Applied Risk (opportunity) Management, or Politics (application of rationed resources in the parochial interest of the resource controllers). At the ‘top level’ we start in the wrong place, and in the detail our common capability is weakly described and poorly applied.

For example: popular discussion of risk has moved the word ‘opportunity’ beyond the relevant chapter’s opening. If thinking was sound not superficial then “risk averse” would be replaced with something bipolar eg ‘psychology of uncertainty’ and include ideas of utility and prospect theory. A broader vocabulary would express all project dimensions beyond the simplistic idea of Critical Path.

Concepts like Critical Chain, and “Walking in Fog” bring insight, but codifying and examining project management is deleting the insightful and driving clumsy attention to rule over principle. The sentiment “yes in the real world, but not for the exam”! personifies clumsy and the next thought is “when I’m certified I won’t recall or apply any of it”.

Thus many ‘practitioner’s’ thinking omits application of the available knowledge. Instead they wobble about propagating errors while a competent few deftly apply principle over rule.

LML focus on competency development. We provide training within a context of transition to the work-place.Staff returning to the work-place with new knowledge & ideas need managers who are conscious of the supporting activities that deliver skills from newly acquired knowledge.LML provides the complete skill development package.

Adding PM skills to staff competencies is 40% “know what to do” and 60% supportive culture


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