From the BlogSubscribe Now

Black Elephants and Project Management

Access to paper about Black Elephants and Project Management available in PMWL

1 October 2020 – Dallas, TX, USA – In case you missed it, access to an important previously posted resource related to Black Elephants and project management is available in the PM World Library (PMWL).  The resource titled “Black Elephants” is a paper by Bob Prieto published in the August 2020 edition of the PM World Journal.

According to the paper’s introduction, as you read through this paper the following key points should be kept front and center:

  • A Black Elephant is a cross between a Black Swan and the proverbial elephant in the room
  • Black Elephants are high-impact events that lie beyond the realm of regular expectations but is ignored despite evidence of its existence
  • Black Elephants broadly impact society, creating challenges, threats, risks and opportunities for our profession, our people and our projects
  • Black Elephants also inhabit the projects we undertake and execute
  • Because of the size of Black Elephants, they tend to preferentially inhabit the largest, most complex and often most visible projects we undertake
  • Black Elephants around us are described
  • Black Elephants in projects are described
  • Black Elephants are not going away
    • They are a characteristic of complex, adaptive systems

To read this paper, visit the Applications and Hot Topics section of the PMWL at, scroll down and click on Black Elephants & Black Swans, scroll down to papers.  Registration is required to access; to see who has free access, visit