Project Management Principles

I think you have already learned a little about the principles of the agile project management approach. Just like the approach there, it would be useful to present a number of general project management principles in all project life cycles and development approaches.

Project management principles are principles that aim to avoid deviating from the essential objectives as much as possible during the project journey by presenting a number of project approaches generally accepted in the professional world from a broad perspective.

We have already given detailed information about the concept of the value delivery system, which we know with the new publication of PMBOK 7, which serves as a guide on examples of good practice in the field of Project Management. 
In order to ensure the flow of value and benefit contained in the value delivery system, it is recommended by Project Management experts to act within the framework of a number of principles. This actually fits perfectly with PMBOK's new understanding, which is based on proposing approaches rather than setting rules.

PMBOK 7 introduces us 12 new project delivery principles along with 8 performance domains. These principles will provide answers to the reasons and characteristics of the project delivery. These principles define the essential values of project management rather than setting rules.

As in real life, in working life, in any project, or in any organization, principles serve as guidance on decisions made, on the road map determined, or in ending the failures that arise. No matter what path we choose, we always act in accordance with our principles.

The guidelines published by PMI in PMBOK 6, PMBOK 5, and earlier versions were all based on a number of principles set by experts of the subject. We can define the main goal of project management principles as guiding them on the actions and behavior of everyone involved in the project.

The project principles contained in PMBOK 7 were created by using the experience obtained from years of work by Project experts from all over the world, belonging to different cultures, having different ways of working, and different approaches.

As the 12 project management principles defined by PMI reflect some of the general management principles and are very similar to the principles contained in the agile approach, it will not be unfamiliar to you. Here are 12 project management principles:

Stewardship: Be a respectful, diligent, and caring leader. Stewardship includes carrying out the project activities with care, behaving honestly and ethically, and depicting ourselves, our roles, our teams, and our authority accurately in a trustworthy way, complying with, laws, rules, and regulations.

Team: It is about creating a collaborative team environment. Project teams consist of team members with different abilities, different experiences, varying levels of knowledge, and completely different characteristics. Team members working towards a common goal in collaboration and harmony always achieve better results compared to individual efforts. There is also the team performance domain which is about the same knowledge area.

Effectively engaging with stakeholders: A proactive approach to engage the stakeholders at an appropriate level to contribute to the possibility of the project's success. Stakeholder engagement directly and proactively affects the value delivery of the project.

Focus on value: It is necessary to keep the course of the project under constant evaluation in accordance with the commercial goals set before the project and the expected benefit from the project and to take necessary corrective actions when necessary.

Systems thinking: Actually, a project can be defined as a system that includes interdependent and interacting domains of activity. This principle has a little few traces of integration management knowledge area in PMBOK 6. However, systems thinking is a holistic view consisting of factors inside and outside the project. The project team should define, evaluate, and respond to dynamic features surrounding the project in order to increase the chance of success.

Leadership: Effective leadership is a very important aspect of the way of successful outcomes. Any member of the project team can show leadership behavior occasionally. In order to be an effective leader, a person should be able to adapt his/her to different situations, should recognize differences in motivation among team members, and should care about honesty, integrity, and ethic.

Tailoring: In PMBOK 6 development approach was created as an output of the create project management plan process. In PMBOK 7 since each project is unique, a development approach should be designed according to the features of the project. These features include stakeholders, governance of the project, project objectives, and the surrounding environment.
Quality: It is about a focus on ensuring that deliveries from the project meet the project goals and the needs of customers and that the acceptance criteria are met. According to this principle, it is essential to pay special attention to whether the project processes are maintained as they should be and whether the stakeholder requirements are fully met.

Complexity: Every project has a degree of complexity. Complexity can be stemmed from everything related to human behavior, uncertainty, ambiguity, and system reactions. There is no certain project period where complexity gets obvious. It can show up at any stage of the project. According to this principle, project complexity should be continuously evaluated and navigated during the project.

Risk: Positive and negative risks should be evaluated continuously. The positive impacts of the risks to the project objectives should be optimized and negative impacts should be minimized.

Adaptability and resiliency: A project team should always be able to respond to changing conditions rapidly and in an effective way. This is adaptability. On the other hand, resiliency is the ability to stand up after difficult conditions, and continue to work after absorbing the impact.

Change: Change in the projects should be managed carefully. Granting stakeholder engagement will be helpful to create the adoption of necessary changes. However, too many changes may be hurtful to the project outcomes.

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