Project Management

The Metamorphosis of Project Management

Jim Harris

Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken. (Frank Herbert)


Traditionally, when we discuss what a project manager is responsible for, we immediately think of the five major functions that are the bedrock of PMI’s PMBOK: project initiation, planning, execution, controlling and closeout. Next, we focus on the nine knowledge areas embedded in the four process groups. Each of these areas has been the source of dissertations, informative articles and papers that address a myriad of skills and tools needed by a project manager to be successful. This singular view has taken on new dimensions and facets. Hard skills are still important to navigate the total project management process. As navigational tools, these hard skills are very process-oriented with defined steps or objectives.


In his book, Project Management, Dr. Harold Kerzner defines project management as “the planning, organizing, directing and controlling of company resources for a relatively short-term objective that has been established to complete specific goals and objectives.” But what is missing from the classic definition of hard skills is that a project manager must also have effective soft skills--skills that the PM must use to overcome the constraints of not controlling corporate resources and having to work through resource managers to acquire and retain the …

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"It's kind of fun to do the impossible."

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