Friday, September 23, 2016


I have long been interested in how we measure success in project management. The standard answer is of course: deliver the project on time, within budget and with all the required features and functionality delivered. On agile projects it is: with all the required features and functionality that can be delivered in the available time and budget. 

Of course the project should also deliver benefits to the business in line with the business case, although strictly speaking, that is not the project manager’s responsibility. So maybe a poor project manager would stop there.  

But of course true success can only be achieved when the project has delivered something that the users are happy to use. In addition to the users there is also the project team; can the project be regarded as a success unless the team also are happy with the outcome?  

The Way  
So a poor project manager concentrates on getting the project in on time and within budget. A slightly better project manager adds delivery of the required features and functionality. But the wise project manager includes and cares for the users, the team and all the other project stakeholders. He lets them be the judges of whether or not the project is successful.  By fostering success in the users and team we can share in that success and truly say “that project was successful”

The Tao  
Lao Tzu tells us:  

Love disgrace as if frightened. 
Honor misfortune as the human condition.  

Why love disgrace as if frightened?  
Love because of being unimportant.  
Obtain it as if frightened.  
Loose it as if frightened.  

Why think of honoring misfortune as the human condition?  
Misfortune comes from having a body.  
Without a body, how could there be misfortune?  
Therefore honor life as yourself.  

Have faith in the way things are.  
Love the world as your own self,  
Then you can truly care for all things.  

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