What came first the project, the project manager or PMI?

Our friend and colleague Dr. Jon Whitty’s latest paper builds on his thoughts on the evolution of project management based on the survival of the most popular or widely distributed ideas (memes) to embrace the existential concept that that meaning flows from existence (which may answer the question above).

The existential approach considers the creation of meaning and describes how meanings are derived, selected and then utilized by power entities such as governments, corporations, professional institutions, etc, to manipulate the behaviours of individuals for their own political advantage.

The evolutionary approach (discussed in Jon’s earlier work) considers how various concepts change under selection pressures driven by the preferences expressed by people in the social, cultural, and physical environment so that those that have a selection advantage, usually features that appear to provide benefits, prevail.

However, does treating or seeing projects as real things that have defined meaning help us understand what is involved in managing work as a project? To find out see Jon’s presentation at the recent IPMA congress in Brisbane on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/DrJonathanWhitty

Jon is also a Chapter Author in my latest book, Advising Upwards; as always Jon’s approach is thought provoking and challenges conventional assumptions.

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