Conclusions the Global Opportunity
There is a need, and hence an opportunity, to provide a more comprehensive
and open structure to the project management body of knowledge. Such a structure
could better enable knowledge and information exchange, a better framework for
project management learning, greater clarity of a complex subject, better differentiation
between general, technical and project management, and a 'more friendly' understanding
of project management 'customer' needs. Confusion reigns because of differences
in terminology, management approaches and success identification, so that even
a more universal general terminology would greatly facilitate project management
communication around the world.
Probably most of the topics displayed in Exhibit
4 are covered by existing literature. However, the chart serves to put the
whole into context and, through a more structured approach, suggests areas ripe
for further research. What is needed in the real and competitive world of project
management is more focus on its distinct areas of application and corresponding
competency. We already know that many organizations, at least in the United
States accept the Project Management Institute's Project Management Professional
designation as a basic knowledge level and then 'customize' the rest to suit
their own requirements based on experience. How much more influential we might
be if we had a basis for capturing and differentiating this experience
and making it more universally available and useful.
Clearly, some structure and delineation would be beneficial, if only to unify
and advance project management understanding across global cultural interests.
Would we not be more effective if we could at least agree on a more comprehensive
glossary of terms including governing word sets? At the same time, I am convinced
that we need to pursue a more structured approach if we are to break out of
the simplistic generic mode and get serious about professionalism, professional
qualifications and meaningful competence. We simply must be more resolute over
service to the general public, employer acceptance, professional differentiation
and recognition of highly qualified and experienced project management practitioners
in their respective Areas of Project Management Application.
But perhaps most important of all, by establishing some form of flexible structure
we can better facilitate continuous learning and ensure knowledge continuity
well into the future.
Therefore, I hope that this paper will generate much further discussion on
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Duncan, W. R. 1996. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge
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Ross, R. 1994. The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook. Doubleday, NY. 242.
Shenhar, A. J., R. M. Wideman, Toward a Fundamental Differentiation between
Projects, PICMET '97 Conference Proceedings (CD-ROM), Management of Engineering
and Technology Dept., Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, 1997
Wideman, R. M. 1991. A Framework for Project and Program Management
Integration. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute: III-1.
Wideman, R. M. 1997. A Project Management Knowledge Structure for the Next
Century. Project Management Institute 1997 Seminar & Symposium Proceedings: