Published here August 2003. 

Introduction | The Success Principle | The Commitment Principle 
The Tetrad-Tradeoff Principle | The Strategy Principle | The Management Principle
The Single-Point Responsibility Principle | The Cultural Environment Principle | Conclusion

Rob Nelson, PMP, Project Manager, SaskTel
Rob Nelson is a Project Manager at SaskTel. His 27 years of telecommunication's experience includes 9 years in project management on projects ranging from the development of business cases for large initiatives (>$50 million) through to process and systems development and implementation. Rob joined PMI's Regina/South Saskatchewan Chapter in 1997 and is now in his third year as Chapter President. An avid sports fan, he often refers to the sports world to understand and explain project management.


We often think of hockey teams comprising just those individuals who coach and physically play the game. But, is that all there is to it? Is it just a matter of putting a few players on the ice and expecting them to win? No, we know it's much more involved than that. So, why should we think of project teams as only those who manage and actually perform the tasks that build the deliverables? Is it just a matter of putting a few people in a room and telling them to be on-time and on-budget?

We all know that doesn't work, but what does work? What does it take to win in project management, to drive from Initiating to Closing with the ultimate prize, success, in mind? What are those key attributes that separate winning project teams from the rest?

This paper attempts to answer those questions by taking readers on a journey to a parallel universe where we will uncover the similarities between the hockey world - on their Quest for the Cup - and the project management world - on their Quest for Success. We will discover the traits and tactics that characterize great teams, and find that total organizational focus and commitment is a fundamental building block for achieving the goal.

And how do we get our organizations focused and committed? By helping them understand and adhere to the First Principles of Project Management.[1] These principles set the basis for understanding what a successful project is and lay the foundation for achievement. By examining each principle and applying them to both the hockey and project management worlds we can discover a simple, yet effective, way to define and understand successful project management.


1. Wideman, R. Max, First Principles of Project Management, (Revision 16, 00-11-03), Retrieved 22 December 2002, from  
Home | Issacons | PM Glossary | Papers & Books | Max's Musings
Guest Articles | Contact Info | Search My Site | Site Map | Top of Page