This discourse was originally aired back in November 2000. Its
purpose was to seek a structured arrangement that would provide
the basis for a more systematic discussion of project management
issues. It saw the possibility of project management practice becoming
a serious professional discipline. That was over 20 years ago.
Today, we can look back and ask ourselves how well have we done
in attempting these lofty goals?
This article makes no attempt at answering this question
it leaves it to individual readers to decide. However, that original
paper of November 2000 is repeated here to help readers answer
that question for themselves. In fact it provided a Simple Concept
Map, a (new) Project Goal, a set of Objectives for Structuring a
Project Management Knowledge Structure, Assumptions, and a containment
border (Criteria for Exclusion). In the paper the author expressed
the hope that it would "engender considerable discussion and progress
on the vital issues of scope, storage and efficient retrieval of
project management knowledge."
So, the issue now is: was that achieved? Or have we gone off on
a different track? Here is the article again for readers to decide
This paper is a "discussion" paper rather than a "solution"
paper and describes the possibilities for a structured arrangement
of the elements of a body of knowledge for project management. The
purpose of such a structured arrangement would be to provide the
basis for a more systematic discussion of project management issues.
Such issues include the impact on project management practice as
a professional discipline in various parts of the world and on different
types of project by virtue of the diversity of their cultural norms
Clearly, any proposed knowledge structure must be responsive to
the working realities of project management practitioners. So, to
capture the types of issues involved, and to do it in an organized
way, we needed a checklist as a reference baseline. This checklist
must not only cover "theoretical or generic" project management
but also the various practical areas of project management application
Only then can a systematic development be conducted and assembled
into a logical grouping of elements. These elements of knowledge
will initially be represented by a list of discrete project management
terms which can then be assembled into a proposed structure. We
will refer to this as a "Project Management Knowledge Structure"
(PMKS), and the terms it contains we can refer to as Project Management
Knowledge Descriptors (PMKDs).