This paper reviews the potential for developing a comprehensive Framework Standard for the domain of Project Management in its broadest sense. It questions whether the current popular understanding of some aspects of the domain is sufficiently mature to provide a solid foundation for such a standard. Specific issues are raised with recommended solutions. These include:
- The updating of the published definition of "Project Management" to encompass the whole "Domain" of project management, and assigning a new term to denote the management of a "Single Project".
- The recognition that the three areas of study, namely Portfolio Management, Program Management, and Project Management (of a single project), are all separate "Disciplines", and should be treated as such.
- A better understanding of the term Project Life Span (aka project life cycle), its purpose, structure and source of responsibility.
- Recognition that the work of managing a project through its Life Span is not the same as the work of managing the development and creation of the project's Deliverables.
- The framework for the former has a limited number of "Phases" that are applicable to most projects most of the time. However, the sequence and content of the latter, while being integrated into the Project Life Span framework as "Stages", turn out to be significantly different according to the "Area of Project Management Application".
- This second sequence, often referred to as a "Methodology" for creating the product, should also be recognized in the proposed "Framework Standard".
- The recognition that the Project Life Span and the Project Methodology are separate areas of significant "Risk" to the successful outcome of the Project, especially as each has their own distinct "Success" criteria.
- The success of the former calls for delivery of the Product "On Time", "Within Budget" and "Meets Requirements". The success of the latter calls for the Product to perform as required, works well, and satisfies the clients and/or customers.
- The recognition that these two dimensions of "Success" can be, and often are, in conflict. Therefore, it is essential that the respective criteria be established early on in the Life Span of the Project and, in the final analysis, a declaration of which of these has priority.
1. Or similar wording.