This Guest paper was submitted for publication and is copyright to Mark A. Seely© 2016.
Published here January 2017

Editor's Note & Abstract | Table of Contents: When It Is Not Project Management 
Chapter 1: Introduction | What Does It Provide? | PART 2

What Does It Provide?

This book provides a five level taxonomy for assessing projects, their performance characteristics and the pathway to optimization for each. The reader has five distinct models to choose from. With that, we are hoping to appeal reasonably to simplicity while not losing site of accuracy. For every complex question there is a menu of considerations from which to choose as you advance toward the right answer.

Who should be interested?

As Maslow said, "I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail".[10] Imagine the patient on the operating table, the nurse passes the doctor a hammer…well, that is quite often what happens in the project management world. Incredibility, sensitive and intricate project structures, mission critical functionality, are followed up with a bag of hammers.

The primary target audience for this book is the project practitioners and stakeholders who are thoroughly frustrated with the tools at hand. The mis-calibration of complexity is suggested as the general problem here.

Author's Message to Readers

Before we get too engrossed in the destruction of the current project management panacea, it is important that we clarify. Project Management is a wonderful concept for organizing things. For those aspiring to be a project manager, the virtues of understanding the archetype behind the generally accepted practice, as with the Project Management Institute's Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK)[11] for example, establishes an important background for discussions herein.

The authors want to ensure that you have "inflated your balloon, before we try to pop it". Our intention is not to undermine the fantastic work of the industry leaders in project management practice. Rather, building on the fine work, this book will situate the circumstance where the classical practice applies vanilla, and will identify broader considerations where it doesn't.

We also wish to acknowledge the many institutions that have moved past the classical organizing model to provide advanced perspectives — organizations such as The International Centre for Complex Project Management, [12] the Telfer School at the University of Ottawa,[13] and the Project Management Institute.[14]

Next month In Chapters 2 and 3, Mark Seely will look at Deconstructing and then Reconstructing the paradigm

Chapter 1: Introduction  Chapter 1: Introduction

10. "The Conduct of Inquiry: Methodology for Behavioral Science", Abraham Kaplan, San Francisco: Chandler Publishing Co., 1964
11. "A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide)", Project Management Institute, fifth edition, 2013.
12. The International Centre for Complex Project Management (ICCPM) is a collaboration of Australian Department of Defence (Defence Materiel Organization) and UK Ministry of Defence, US Department of Defense and Canadian National Defence and Defence Industry as part of Department of Defence's Complex Project. "ICCPM's key objectives are to: Develop and sustain effective collaborations educate and develop leaders and organisations on issues of complexity and managing complex programs; and Develop and disseminate practical knowledge and solutions" (ref.
13. "Master of Business in Complex Project Leadership: The effective management of large and complex projects is a strategic imperative for government and industry at all levels. This specialized program is the only one of its kind in North America and has been designed to equip experienced project leaders with heightened leadership skills, advanced project management knowledge and the confidence to navigate the complexities and deliver successful outcomes of capital procurement projects, business transformation endeavours, information technology implementation, or innovation and research and development commercialization." (Ref
14. The Project Management Institute, "Making Project Management Indispensable for Business Results" (ref.
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