Woodstock 50 Years Later: Faulty Planning or Agile Triumph?

Long Island, NY Chapter

Terry is a Senior Project Manager in Massapequa, New York.

It was close to this time half a century ago that Neil Armstrong (along with his esteemed astronaut crew) footed our solar system for the very first time. But four young men in upstate New York gravitated into equally uncharted territory in that summer of ’69 as well.

Woodstock is a story filled with potential peril: harrowing storms both literally, and in the form of food shortages; political turmoil; last-minute locational changes; traffic jams spanning miles…but also some euphoric enthusiasm, harmony and cooperation that just somehow hit the right note.

Its audience of more than 400,000 spectators made the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival of the most successful of its kind in history. Though looking through the eyes of a PM, was the project a success or failure?

Critics could say that the project was marked by near total mismanagement. Of the festival organizers, music experts Michael Lang and Artie Kornfeld can be the PMs; the producers and financial backers, Joel Rosenman and John Roberts, can be thought of as the project sponsors. Assessing the project basics by reviewing knowledge areas from A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) would lead one to believe the effort was originally managed adequately.

Starting with integration management, the initial concept (charter) was to use the festival to raise funds for a …


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It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all the answers.

- James Thurber

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