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Guiding Principles of Project Management Excellence [Project Mgmt]

Seven Guiding Principles of Project Management Excellence  (by Carl M. Briggs)

When managing projects, it is highly recommended to understand and apply the following guiding principles, which will help project team achieve expected results of the project. Working with and without rules and principles makes a great difference at the end.

  1. The Law of Results
  2. Use Occam’s Razor
  3. Maguire Vision
  4. Context is Eveything
  5. The Iron Triangle 
  6. Curve of Pain
  7. Written into Existence


The Law of Results 

Activity is not the same thing as achievement. And careers are built on achivement not on activity. This is the first important principle of project management. Project managers need to make sure that the project goes to the right direction all the time to get the right results as expected.


Occam’s Razor

How much project management should we spend on our project? In fact, the answer is as little as possible to get the result. There is no need of delaying and extending our timeline of the project once the expected result is achieved.

As per William of Occam, who is the most influential philosopher of the 14th centruy and didn’t get along with the Pope or his teachers, his “razor” is the principle of parsimony – no more words (or work) than necessary to achieve the goal.


Maguire Vision

What is the purpose of project management? The answer is we should bring the value.


Context is Everything

The succeed in producing results, every project manager must understand that all projects and project work is mebeded in context.

Understanding and working within that context is critical to success.


The most important contexts to consider are:

  1. Know “the Market”
  2. Know “Your Industry”
  3. Know ‘Your Organization”
  4. Know “Thyself”


Shareholder Analysis must be conducted.

  1. To identify all relevant stakeholders
  2. To evaluate each stakeholder in terms of their relative power over interest in the project.
  3. To use the Power and Interest grid to determine the necessary “next steps” in stakeholder management.


Power and Interest Grid can be divided into 4 sections.

  1. High Power and Low Interest  – Keep them satisfied. Put enough work in with them. But not too much information.
  2. High Power and HIgh Interest – Manage Closely. Fully engage and make every effort to satisfy.
  3. Low Power and Low Interest – Monitor with minimum effort. But no need of excess communications.
  4. Low Power and High Interest – Keep them adequately informed. Details can be obtained from this group.


The Purpose Delivery and Support for Project Procedures 

  1. Team development
  2. Awareness
  3. Understanding
  4. Buy in
  5. Implementation


THe IRON Triangle

Each project has 3 main parameters. (Time, Quality/Scope, Cost). These 3 parameters are highly interdependent.

  1. Time Constraint: “I won. but I was 3 weeks behind schedule.”
  2. Cost Constraint: “I won, but I overspent the budget by 30%.”
  3. Performance Constraint:I lost, but at least I am ahead of schedule and under budget.” – THe Curve What is the most important? 3 > 1  > 2


The Curve of Pain

When project “Pain” refers to work effort, energy and heartache expended in completion of a project, the project team or the company would need to go through struggles and obstacles. The matter is when. But for most of the cases earlier more than later.




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