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Further thoughts on the nature of project management

New paper by Alan Stretton explores the role of project management in society

21 June 2015 – Alan Stretton is between series, so he’s authored a major transition paper titled “Further thoughts on the nature of, and futures for, project management.” The paper was published in June edition of the PM World Journal and has now been added to the PM World Library.

According to Alan’s introduction, “In a recent series.. on project successes and failures, I discussed my strongly held viewpoint that project management needs to ensure that “the right project is being done”, in addition to ensuring that “the project is done right”. My basic reasoning for this is simple, and derives from the question, “if the ‘right’ project is not being done, what is the relevance of ‘doing the project right’?”

My response is that I believe the project management community has an obligation to the public at large, and to relevant sectors of the public, to be able to reassure them that the right projects are being done. I believe that many members of the public have such an expectation, and that if the right projects are not being done, and therefore fail, they will quite reasonably blame the project managers. The excuse that we did the project right, and that it is not our concern if it was not the right project, will most likely be seen for what it is – an abrogation of responsibility by the project management community.

I know there are many who do not agree with me. They regard project management as an execution-only avocation, and believe that “doing the project right” is all that is required. I believe such a perspective is myopic, and is an active barrier to project management making a much fuller contribution than it currently does to society at large. This article explores some possibilities for enhancing the latter aspiration... “

140609 - PMWL Logo for NitL - 150To read this paper, go to Alan’s author showcase page in the PMWL at and click on the title. Free access, but must be a logged in library member to access after 10 July 2015.