2 Replies to “Too Simple a Definition of a Project”

  1. Actually, your definition of a PM sounds a lot more like a business analyst to me (at least the way that the IIBA defines the role), although not completely.
    Project management is about managing the work necessary to create a product, but the PMI and most sources on project management don’t talk about how you determine what product needs to be built. The PMBOK is quite literally silent on that point.
    Business analysis is how you figure out what done means. Project management is how you figure out how to get to done. Some PMs are also skilled BAs, but they are two different things.

  2. Hi Johanna,
    I plan to follow up on PMThink, but where I’m headed with this definition goes far beyond personal management. David Allen’s definition has a potentially large impact in business projects, up to and including management by project (MBP). MBP is beyond the scope of the PMBOK Guide, and it is a new frontier of PM research. So we researchers need to give ourselves permission to rethink assumptions and definitions, and we certainly need feedback! Thank you!
    It’s hard to change anyone’s mind in the span of a blog comment but here’s a hint. Do a Google Image search on the term “Gantt chart” and pick some examples at random. How many of these Gantt Charts make it clear which activities are intended outcomes (which must be under change control) and which are chosen actions (which should not be under change control)? I think this informal exercise shows (at least hints) there is room for improvement in project communication. Outcome-thinking and action-thinking (and knowing the difference) applies to management at all levels.

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