The original version of this paper was presented at the Project Management Institute's 28th Annual Seminar & Symposium, Chicago, Illinois, September 29, 1997. It was subsequently updated and reproduced on this web site in November 2000.

Republished here April 2023.

Introduction | We are Not Alone | What Basis? | Models | Concept Mapping
PMKS Theme | Objectives | Assumptions | Exclusion | Starting Point | Conclusions
Appendix A | Appendix B

PMKS Theme, View or Project Goal

From the discussion of project management models described earlier, project management is obviously complex. We are in the same position as the proverbial elephant and the two blind men. The one feeling the tail concludes that it is like a rope, while the one feeling the trunk concludes that it is like a snake. Whereas we all know that it is really a huge oval supported on four pillars (scope, quality, time and cost?) — with a variety of exotic attachments!

Project management is an overhead and its only justification is to ensure optimum success in both the process and output, but particularly the output, compared to what might otherwise occur. So, let us accept the proposition that "A successful future depends on successful projects",[12] and that this goes for both enterprises and individuals. So what view of project management should we take in constructing our PMKS? Based on the issues described earlier, we might well respond to questions like:

  • What primary elements of project management should enterprises recognize and refine to make their projects more successful?
  • Or, given the Project Management Institute's existing project management concepts as a baseline, what are the new primary elements that we should now articulate to our sponsoring enterprises to enable more successful projects?
  • Or, more simply, what view of project management must we convey to be successful into the next century?

No matter the exact wording, the result should be roughly the same. So, where do we start? Successful project management teaches us that we should first be clear on our objectives, and then state our assumptions. After that, the starting point for developing a new PMKS concept model must be the most fundamental things we know about project management.

Concept Mapping  Concept Mapping

12. Forsberg, K., H. Mooz & H. Cotterham, Visualizing Project Management, John Wiley & Sons, NY, 1996, p xvii.

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