PM2: Government isn’t a community

In January, the European Commission published PM2. This is yet another Project Management framework created by yet another government body. This is the wrong initiative, done in the wrong way.

The world doesn’t need another top-down government-inspired initiative. More so-called “best practice”. We already have the PMI from the US, Prince2 from the UK, and several others. PM2 adds nothing new, it just reassembles the existing pieces in a different way.

A new set of rules

Government-driven methods attempt to codify “best practice” in a book. This “bible” is a static set of rules which is defined to be “best practice”. It becomes the basis for compliance and creates an ever-growing training and certification industry. Henceforth, every CV must include certification. Everyone who wants funding must follow the rules.

PM2 follows this pattern. It is driven by a set of rules, not a community of practice. Maybe it’s called Open PM2, but there are no clear feedback mechanisms to ensure that “best practice” does actually work. There is a network around PM2 (PSN), but the focus is implementing the method, and especially on training and certification. This will surely become a community of compliance rather than a community of practice.

Need a new approach

Agile has shown the way. There is a real, innovative community around Scrum, sharing good practice. Good practice evolves, bottom-up, driven by community feedback. SAFE explicitly promotes communities of practice (SAFE is a scaled approach to Scrum).

Beyond Agile, the wider Project Management world also needs to move to communities of practice. We don’t need yet another top-down method like PM2. We need a bottom-up approach, based on  communities of practice. Each community will identify good practice, proven in day-by-day use. Ideas will be shared using modern social networking techniques.

This is the forward-looking approach proposed by Lean3. Sadly, PM2 is not forward-looking, it’s just a rehash of old ideas, just another set of rules.

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Written by Jeff on February 2, 2018 in blog
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