Published here June 2003.

Introduction | Why are First Principles/Theories Needed? 
First Principles vs. Theories | What Subjects Should Theory Cover? 
Interpretation and Reflections | Metaphysical Issues | Overall Conclusions

Lauri Koskela
Dr. Lauri Koskela works at VTT Building and Transport, a unit in VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. He is a founding member of the International Group for Lean Construction. He has written over 130 papers or reports on construction management, construction robotics and lean construction. His present research thrust is in the formulation of a new, theory-based project management methodology.

VTT Building and Transport:

International Group for Lean Construction:


The following thoughtful commentary on the original paper "First Principles of Project Management" presented on this site in November 2000, makes interesting reading and useful suggestions for improvement. Many of the comments derive from work done in preparing the authors' paper "The Underlying Theory of Project Management is Obsolete" presented to the Project Management's Research Conference in 2002.[1]


1. Koskela, Lauri; Howell, Greg. The underlying theory of project management is obsolete. Proceedings of PMI Research Conference 2002. Slevin, Dennis, Cleland, David & Pinto, Jeffrey (eds.). Project Management Institute (PMI) (2002), pp. 293 - 302. Available at:
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