Project Management

Ten Years After

From the People, Planet, Profits & Projects Blog
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Richard Maltzman
Dave Shirley

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After A Fashion

Ten years ago, Dave Shirley and I embarked on an effort to bring an element of long-term thinking into project management.  Dave and I both had had decades of experience as project managers and supervisors of project managers, knew from self-awareness and then observing our teams of PMs that project managers are “Get-R’Done” people.  This is important because focus on the project is key.

However, we also knew that there was an increasing focus on the Triple Bottom Line – economic, ecological, and social outcomes.  We knew that project managers would benefit from including planning that was holistic, and included long-term thinking, well past the end date of the project.

So we began work on Green Project Management, a book with this in mind. 

Months and months later, and with the insistence of Dave to stop researching and get writing, and then to get this project (yes, writing a book is a project) done, the book was published.

Although not a best-seller, this book did do something we never expected it to do  - it won PMI’s Cleland Award for literature.

Since then we’ve started to notice a slow, but steady increase in interest in the topic, with the book showing up as being cited by academics, and with requests for us to make presentations, which we’ve done in countries like South Africa, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Canada, and even the United States.

Almost 10 years to the day, I was lucky enough to present this topic to the 3rd National Conference of the Italy PMI Chapters, who had the foresight to theme their conference, “Re-Think #Project #Sustainability #Future”.  Some 700 attendees focused on this topic last Friday, 18-October.

I was proud to be able to make this presentation and pleased to experience a tremendous reception to the concepts and tools presented.


It’s Ten Years After, and today when I was debating whether or not to blog about this, a song by Alvin Lee came on the radio.  Alvin Lee was the front man for a band whose name was (you guessed it) Ten Years After.  And thus, this blog post.

The song in the video is, "I'd Love To Change The World".  I'm certainly not implying that the book changed the world, but I do know this: Project managers are change agents.  And if project managers put their focus not only on their project's outcomes, but the impact of the project outcomes, with a perspective that is holistic and long-term, we have a chance to make our projects more successful and indeed may be able to make the world a better place.

Let me close by thanking the Italy chapters of PMI for inviting me to speak and for being outstanding hosts, and thanks to the attendees, i hope you enjoyed the presentation and the day focused on sustainability in PM.


Posted by Richard Maltzman on: October 27, 2019 10:51 PM | Permalink

Comments (4)

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Dear Richard
Interesting your reflection
Thanks for sharing
I consider that projects should take into account medium and long term sustainability
It occurs to me to ask:
- How should the project manager react so that the company's strategy for the project manager to work does not take sustainability into account?

This is why I'm so glad that you are part of the Seventh Edition review team, Rich, as I know you will do whatever is possible to make sure that sustainability is given its appropriate coverage!

Very interesting thanks for sharing

Great post Richard.....

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