Systemic project management

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Yan Song


Project management professionals have long recognized the strengths and limitations of traditional project management focus on scope, cost and schedule (the iron triangle). Adding “soft skills” to the mix helps but still leaves a large gap from achieving sustainable organizational success. We introduce a new approach to project management based on systems thinking that integrates Work, Organization and Self in a practitioner-friendly and action-driven manner. The explicit purpose of this new approach (systemic project management) is to make and increase meaning out of performing project management activities. It consists of three core elements: a set of principles or assumptions from systems thinking and other related scientific research; a learning environment in which project management professionals can share stories with each other, invent new tools and methods together, reflect on and practice the new methods in action and feel connected and supported by a community of professional peers who share the same purpose; and finally, a set of practice guides and execution methods formulated and aimed at producing specific outcomes at each step of the project management life cycle. We will also share our experience of implementing the new methodology in a complex corporate environment where business results and professional development must be integrated and take place dynamically.

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