The original version of this paper was first presented in Project Management World Today in the March 2000 issue.
It was subsequently updated and reproduced on this web site in November 2000.
This is Revision 17, March 2009.

Republished here October 2022.

Introduction | Meaning of Project Management | Definitions
Project Management Success | Criteria for Establishing a First Principle | PART 2

Criteria for Establishing a First Principle

To identify a set of First Principles of Project Management we must set criteria for their acceptance or exclusion. To this end, the following criteria have been identified.

A First Principle of Project Management must:

  1. Express a general or fundamental truth, a basic concept applicable to most projects most of the time.
  2. Make for a high probability of project success as defined above. The corollary is that the absence of the condition will render project success on a majority of the key criteria as being highly improbable.
  3. Provide the basis for establishing logical processes and supporting practices that can be proven through research, analysis and practical testing.

In addition and ideally, a First Principle should:

  1. Be universal to all areas of project management application.
  2. Be capable of straightforward expression in one or two sentences.
  3. Be self-evident to experienced project management personnel, and
  4. Carry a concise label reflecting its content.

Coming Next

In PART 2 of this paper we will present eight First Principles of Project Management together with explanations and discussions on some of the issues that surround this topic.

Project Management Success  Project Management Success

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