I have been involved in some rather heated discussion on another site regarding Mr. Langley's proposed New PM Triangle and the need for our profession to be more business focused.
Mr. Langely is not the first one to advocate change in the way we need to approach project management. In his book "Value Driven Project Management, 2009" Harold Kerzner has said basically the same thing. Here are some quotes from this book.
"Today's projects are not necessarily as well defined and understood as projects in the past. ...As a result, the traditional theories of project management may not work well when applied to these new types of projects. We may need to change the way we manage and make decisions about projects. Business decisions and requirements may very well override technical decisions and requirements."
"Project management has evolved into a business process rather than a project management process."
"Today's project manager must be knowledgeable about both the business processes and project management processes to make the most appropriate and effective decisions in the best interest of the company and project."
I believe the point of both of these experts in the project management profession is simply that what worked in the past is no longer sufficient in today's business world. Both have recommended that we must do more that the traditional project management of the past. The types of complex, adaptive, non-linear projects, and increasingly complex nature of business require that the profession evolves to meet these demands. Our clients expect it and we need to meet the expectations of our clients.
Mr. Langley has not advocated that Technical Project Management, AKA, the "PM Triangle" scope, budget, and schedule be eliminated. He is advocating that this is no longer enough and should become a point on a more encompassing triangle, including business acumen and leadership.
These ideas are not the isolated thoughts of one or two experts in the profession but they come from the well of outcries from our constituents. It is the result of much research and information gathering focused on discovering what our constituents expect from us.
This is about bringing the value the business is now demanding from the project management profession. And if we do not meet their needs and their expectations our profession will go the way of the dinosaurs. Thinking we can continue to do business as usual isn't a viable option. And that is the point of Mr. Langley's statement:
"If we only speak the language of project management as in scope, time, and cost; then project management as a profession will fail today’s businesses..!"
The only objections I hear about these proposed changes in the profession are from project managers. Why are we not leading the charge on this? Why are we not looking to make ourselves as valuable as possible, our services indispensable to our constituents? We have just experienced a time when the preponderance of businesses are cutting back or eliminating their PMOs and project managers. I for one do not want our profession to be seen as overhead or an obstacle to success. And before everyone here jumps me on that, surveys show that this is the predominant view our constituents have of our profession.
I fail to understand why there is so much push back and at times, animosity, towards evolving our profession the meet the stated expectations and needs of our constituents, thus making our profession more valuable and desired.