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Topics: Business Intelligence, Earned Value Management, PMO
Is Project Management more of a science or more of an art?

The Sciences and the Arts are invariably interwoven. They often occur with the presence of the other in nature. Some have argued or taught that Science has to do with the why and how, the seeking of knowledge while the arts are more of an expression of ingenuity. Feel free to evaluate the Professional Project Management Processes and see what percentage of Project Management could be considered science or art.
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It is obvious that the arts and sciences are invariably interwoven when considering a singularity. However, with a multitude of processes, communications, documentations, assessments and calculations involved with professional project management, would it be plausible to give a sort of percentile evaluation of the extent of science or art to the fabric which makes up project management.

Soft skills, in Manage Project Team, for example, is an art. Determine Budget is an art and a science. Earned Value Management is a Science because it has to do more with calculations.

In my opinion, I would say however, Project Management is more of an art than a science.

I think project management is a mixture of knowledge and skills to lead the project to success, so it is very difficult to arrive at a judgement whether it is an art or a science.The PM is the orchestra leader who makes it all work through effective communication.

I would say both, you can not separate them, they are like your fuel air mixture in your car's intake manifold both are needed for combustion to keep your car moving, you need artist touches to execute scientific tools and techniques, handling people is an art but based on scientific theories to analyze the human psychology.

It is a mix of both worlds. The science and art of creativity.

It's a tough one. In academic circles it's almost always a science degree ie. MSc in Project Management.

Yes it's both BUT If I had to choose one I would say it's a science, because project management in it's purest form is a science, and people management which is also necessary in projects is an art.

Project management suggests tools and processes that have been derived based on past best practices and is therefore 'science'

How we use the tools, processes and methodologies to achieve the project objectives will vary from person to person and from project to project. This part is 'art'.

Mixture.There are guides and processes, but the application of such has variability; per organization; per person.

Obviously a mix, if it was only science/technical you could get anybody to manage!
Even a robot!

Human relation for one are close to an art then a science.

It's both. It really depends on the type of project or team to dictate the percentage of Art and Science.

Stanley -

The learning and application of specific tools & techniques is scientifically-based, and if you look at delivery approaches such as lean startup, those are based on the scientific method.

However, creativity and innovation has a significant artistic influence, and the ability to harness those skills requires an appreciation for artistic venture.

I support Vincent's response - if you could sufficiently eliminate the art-side of project management, it can and will be fully automated.


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"History may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme a lot."

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