Principles that are established should be viewed as flexible, capable of adaptation to every need. It is the manager’s job to know how to make use of them, which is a difficult art requiring intelligence, experience, decisiveness and, most important, a sense of proportion. – Henri Fayol (1841-1925), General & Industrial Management, in French 1916.
There is this notion that project management practices can be developed in the absence of principles. The best example of principles first is the Agile Manifesto. In the PMBOK paradigm, there are no foundational principles for the practices described in the document. The practices are all good practices, but they standalone.
What approach to defining principles is through the answers to these 5 questions:
- What does Done look like?;
- How do we get to Done?
- What resources will we need to reach Done ?
- What Impediments will we encounter along the way to Done?
- How can we measure progress toward Done with tangible evidence?
We can apply practices to answer these questions. All the questions need an answer. All the answers must be traceable to the other answers. This Integrated approach is the foundation for increasing the probbility of project success.