Bridge the Gap

What are the gaps left open by professional associations?

This blog post is extracted from Chapter 6 of our upcoming book, Project Management beyond Waterfall and Agile.

Summary of Previous Chapters

To summarize the relevant information from the earlier chapters, the current practice is:

  • PMI and ISO are clear that they are not offering the community a method or methodology. They are providing a set of processes, project management process groups, and subject/knowledge areas. ISO 21500 mentions the need for product and support processes but does not address them.
  • IPMA is also clear that it does not offer “how-to’s”; rather, it advocates the competence elements for managing projects. Here again, there is no method.
  • GPM offers a method, but although its dependence on the process groups as a project life cycle is a weakness, its sustainability elements are of great value,
  • It is important to state that PRINCE2® is a method, which is good; but for some reason, it is mostly known in the UK and other countries with organizations that have a UK influenceTh e author does not offer a dedicated chapter to PRINCE2, because CAMMP™ is an alternate solution that is more flexible and wider in scope.

Transition, Understanding the Challenges

The hypothesis of this book is that, despite the high value each professional association offers, there are still gaps in project management practice. Practitioners still struggle to apply what they learn in the real world, on real projects, and on different types and classes of projects.

In the world of projects and project management, certain fixed concepts apply regardless of industry or domain. Many variables are highly unique to the context of a given project. 

Yes, organizations can use the IPMA’s ICB® and develop their methods using the competence elements.

Yes, organizations can use the process groups and subject groups from PMI/ISO to develop an internal methodological approach.

Some are doing so, but not enough!

In large organizations with abundant resources, their staff could explore the world of project management and choose what is best for their organizations from the available “menu” of options. Even in such organizations, one can find that they stick to one menu item, or one resource, for one reason or another.

While large organizations may limit their choices, small and medium organizations may not even have the luxury of selection. Consequently, they constrain their project management system—assuming they have one—and depend on the common sense of their accidental project managers. These organizations manage projects, or, more accurately, “execute” projects through accidental project managers, then wonder why the failure rate is so high. It is also possible
that these organizations think that they are delivering the project successfully; this might be so, but are they using clear criteria for measuring project success?

Bridge the GapThese practice gaps exist because organizations tend to box themselves into limited options. The gaps present us with opportunities to provide workable solutions. The fundamental principle of the offered solution revolves around integrating the best of what exists and offering it in a practical approach that can work for small or mega projects, regardless of domain, type, or class of project. Th is is a modest attempt to save organizations much research and development work.


What do you think?