Is project management a science or art?
A common question that people ask.
Without a doubt, Project Management is science as well as art.
Let us unwrap!
Project Management is a science
Look at the following aspects:
1. Project methodologies and frameworks
They have explicit information on starting and ending the project—for example, PRINCE2, Scrum.
2. Project planning and measuring the project’s progress
The planning tools help divide the project into manageable work packets and schedule their sequence. For example, Microsoft Project and Kanban boards.
The project progress helps to monitor and control the project. The Project registers (Risk, Issues, Decision, Change) and Budget reporting (Earned Value, Burn-down charts) are the few tools to measure and report project progress.
The scientific aspect of project management focuses is on ‘What’. It tells the Project Manager (PM) what to do for Project planning, reporting and communications. The information is concrete. The Project Managers can master this aspect relatively quickly. We have well-documented literature to read, learn and practice.
Project Management is an art
On the other hand, art is in the expression and application of the scientific aspect.
1. Creativity and adaptability
It is about being creative to tailor methodologies, frameworks, tools to meet the stakeholder needs and project objectives.
The art is the elegance by which PMs plan the projects with simplicity, inclusion and storytelling. Similarly, project reporting, monitoring, and control is all about undertaking project governance with minimal fuss.
3. Gut feel
It is about how PMs facilitate developing meaningful relationships within the project. It is about pivoting swiftly and replanning when things do not work as planned. More importantly, having an excellent intuition to do these things with perfect timing.
The project team should feel that the project is progressing very smoothly. The stakeholder’s perception should be that the project is in safe hands. As a Project sponsor and executive, you should experience good vibes and confidence in the project delivery.
Summary – Project Management is a science or art?
Look, the artistic aspect of project management takes years to master. However, some Project Managers have an excellent temperament and natural strengths.
When looking for the PMs for your project, you should be looking at their artistic aspect. It is what matters the most!
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