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Topics: Career Development, Talent Management, Using PMI Standards
How Can Theory Help Improve Project Management Practice?
The gap between theory and practice exists, and I think that all project managers are aware of that.
But as project manager what do you think is the size of the gap big or small?
What is the real percentage of the the theory and the real percentage of the practice and acquired experience that you use in daily basis?
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Dear Alexandre
Interesting your question

Thanks for sharing

The PMBOK Guide was developed by Project Managers who exercise the profession from an operational point of view (that's what I think, but I admit I'm wrong :-))

It is a knowledge guide whose processes, techniques and tools can be used by companies and organizations depending on the projects and / or the Project Management Governance
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1 reply by Alexandre Costa
Feb 15, 2020 7:33 AM
Alexandre Costa
...
Dear Luis,

Thank you for your contribution, so in your point of view the gap is minimal?

Alexandre
I think it depends on how resilient is the personality and adaptation ability.
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1 reply by Alexandre Costa
Feb 15, 2020 7:35 AM
Alexandre Costa
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Mostafa,

Thank for sharing your thoughts, I admit that will depend of the person and is experience background, but the gap exists.

Alexandre
Feb 15, 2020 7:05 AM
Replying to Luis Branco
...
Dear Alexandre
Interesting your question

Thanks for sharing

The PMBOK Guide was developed by Project Managers who exercise the profession from an operational point of view (that's what I think, but I admit I'm wrong :-))

It is a knowledge guide whose processes, techniques and tools can be used by companies and organizations depending on the projects and / or the Project Management Governance
Dear Luis,

Thank you for your contribution, so in your point of view the gap is minimal?

Alexandre
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Feb 15, 2020 8:50 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Alexandre
Interesting your question

Depends on the company and / or organization, the project and the Project Manager

I can tell you about situations where the gap is huge and others where the gap is very small

Of course, I can't refer to DA's proposals, despite knowing that some tools are used successfully at Toyota
Feb 15, 2020 7:05 AM
Replying to Mostafa Ragab
...
I think it depends on how resilient is the personality and adaptation ability.
Mostafa,

Thank for sharing your thoughts, I admit that will depend of the person and is experience background, but the gap exists.

Alexandre
...
1 reply by Mostafa Ragab
Feb 15, 2020 7:46 AM
Mostafa Ragab
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Alexandre,

You are right there will always a gap exist between theories and practices, but the percentage will variant from person to person.
Feb 15, 2020 7:35 AM
Replying to Alexandre Costa
...
Mostafa,

Thank for sharing your thoughts, I admit that will depend of the person and is experience background, but the gap exists.

Alexandre
Alexandre,

You are right there will always a gap exist between theories and practices, but the percentage will variant from person to person.
Feb 15, 2020 7:33 AM
Replying to Alexandre Costa
...
Dear Luis,

Thank you for your contribution, so in your point of view the gap is minimal?

Alexandre
Dear Alexandre
Interesting your question

Depends on the company and / or organization, the project and the Project Manager

I can tell you about situations where the gap is huge and others where the gap is very small

Of course, I can't refer to DA's proposals, despite knowing that some tools are used successfully at Toyota
Alexandre -

Which theory or theories are you referring to? I'd suggest the size of the gap varies by the specific theory itself.

If you mean the content of the PMBOK Guide, then there is a clear caveat in most of the editions stating that a PM needs to adapt and tailor the guidance provided to fit their project.

Very rarely does a theory totally explain or match reality - context counts, whether it is in project management or in other domains.

Let's pick a well know example: Brooks' Law.

I'd argue that more times than not, adding people to a delayed software project will make it further delayed is the reality. In that case, the gap is small.

Kiron
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1 reply by Alexandre Costa
Feb 15, 2020 9:06 AM
Alexandre Costa
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Kiron,

In this particular case i am talking about PMBOK Guide, I know there is a gap and the size will vary, my question is more focused in the fact how each Project Manager perceives that gap, how was for each one, when he started to get his hands dirty, i'm trying to get a personal perspective translated into each other's experience and not generalist.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the community.
Alexandre
Feb 15, 2020 8:58 AM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Alexandre -

Which theory or theories are you referring to? I'd suggest the size of the gap varies by the specific theory itself.

If you mean the content of the PMBOK Guide, then there is a clear caveat in most of the editions stating that a PM needs to adapt and tailor the guidance provided to fit their project.

Very rarely does a theory totally explain or match reality - context counts, whether it is in project management or in other domains.

Let's pick a well know example: Brooks' Law.

I'd argue that more times than not, adding people to a delayed software project will make it further delayed is the reality. In that case, the gap is small.

Kiron
Kiron,

In this particular case i am talking about PMBOK Guide, I know there is a gap and the size will vary, my question is more focused in the fact how each Project Manager perceives that gap, how was for each one, when he started to get his hands dirty, i'm trying to get a personal perspective translated into each other's experience and not generalist.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the community.
Alexandre
...
1 reply by Kiron Bondale
Feb 15, 2020 9:39 AM
Kiron Bondale
...
I'd envision two scenarios.

One where someone new to the profession starts with the PMBOK Guide and attempts to apply that to their first few roles as a PM. That is unlikely to result in a high degree of success unless they are being mentored by an experienced practitioner.

On the other hand, a seasoned PM who reads the Guide is likely to understand that it is just a framework and that they need to pick, choose and adapt what elements are applicable. For such practitioners, I've found that it can help them to consider knowledge areas, processes and practices which they might not have thought of before. It also might be one potential reference to help them formulate a delivery capability improvement plan.
Theory helps to provide perspectives, insights and ways forward. That's what we get from reading books. Learning comes when you try to apply the theory (and fail, and try again).

The more perspectives you have available, as a team the more diverse you are, the more you are confident to be able to tackle all disruptions they may come.
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1 reply by Alexandre Costa
Feb 15, 2020 12:27 PM
Alexandre Costa
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Thomas,

Thank you for sharing your opinion.

Alexandre
Feb 15, 2020 9:06 AM
Replying to Alexandre Costa
...
Kiron,

In this particular case i am talking about PMBOK Guide, I know there is a gap and the size will vary, my question is more focused in the fact how each Project Manager perceives that gap, how was for each one, when he started to get his hands dirty, i'm trying to get a personal perspective translated into each other's experience and not generalist.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the community.
Alexandre
I'd envision two scenarios.

One where someone new to the profession starts with the PMBOK Guide and attempts to apply that to their first few roles as a PM. That is unlikely to result in a high degree of success unless they are being mentored by an experienced practitioner.

On the other hand, a seasoned PM who reads the Guide is likely to understand that it is just a framework and that they need to pick, choose and adapt what elements are applicable. For such practitioners, I've found that it can help them to consider knowledge areas, processes and practices which they might not have thought of before. It also might be one potential reference to help them formulate a delivery capability improvement plan.
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