Welcome to the August PMWJ

Welcome to the August 2016 Edition of the PM World Journal


The Resurgence of Experience & Wisdom

David Pells

Managing Editor

Addison, Texas, USA

Welcome to the August 2016 edition of the PM World Journal (PMWJ). This 49th edition continues to reflect our efforts to attract more authors and readers internationally; it contains 31 original articles, papers and other works by 42 different authors in 17 different countries. News articles about projects and project management around the world are also included. Since the primary mission of the journal is to support the global sharing of knowledge, please share this month’s edition with others in your network, wherever in the world they may be.

Last month I wondered in this space whether my welcome article should be formatted differently, should contain more than simply a description of the current month’s contents. Alan Stretton in Australia responded (see his letter to the editor this month) that I might better use the opportunity to mention any new trends or important issues that I’ve seen recently as journal editor. So this month I take a shot at that, taking my liberty to very briefly discuss a topic that is meaningful to me and, I think, important to the project management profession.

The Resurgence of Project Management Experience and Wisdom

I agree that innovation and the energy of young and new ideas, technologies, people and organizations are important, for positive change, growth and transformation. I agree that education, training, certifications and qualifications are also important for the project management profession, and especially for young and those new to the PM field. However, none of those things are so interesting to me without context and perspective. I learn from younger leaders and professionals, but nowhere near as much as I learn from older, more experienced and wiser experts. And recently, that knowledge is reflected in articles published in this journal.

Perhaps it is because I am older now myself, but when I attend PMI meetings or project management conferences, visit project management blogs and websites, or read many articles and papers, I learn too little. When I read an article, paper or book by Alan Stretton, Russ Archibald, Peter Morris, Hiroshi Tanaka, Rolf Lundin and other older project management experts and former leaders (many of whom are in their 80s or 90s), I learn something in every paragraph, often in every sentence. For example, read Alan’s series article this month (and every month over the last few years, for that matter) and the second edition paper by Russ Archibald and Steen Lichtenberg.

Over the last ten years, I’ve had opportunities on some high-level program management consulting assignments to work with Wayne Abba, Miles Shepherd and Russ Archibald. Wayne and Miles are in their early 70s; Russ is 94. All three have decades of program and project management experience and I learn something new and valuable every time we are together. They and other older experienced professionals understand important news, developments or changes when they see them, and what is less important. They understand the context and potential impact of change (or potential change) – on both organizations and the PM profession. Russ has 60+ years of experience and is still researching new topics and writing papers and books. He’s inspirational, but also producing some really good stuff!

I appreciate the growing recognition that “competence” is important, and should be part of the qualification process for project managers. But I also think that there is a growing recognition that true competence can only be proven with experience, and that experience is really valuable. In many industries, project managers are the most experienced leaders in an organization – for example, in engineering, construction, petrochemicals, automotive, aerospace, mining, energy and many others, even many involving advanced technologies. The same is true of the project management profession. Former PM leaders are still experts. Like retired generals, older and retired project managers and PM experts are a wealth of knowledge. We need more of them to share their experience, knowledge and wisdom with the rest of us.

I don’t mean to disparage or discount the value of younger project managers, researchers or leaders, but for me, I’m just saying…

This month in the Journal

Now for this month’s journal, which again contains some interesting and outstanding works…


To read entire paper, click here



About the Author

David L. Pells

Managing Editor, PMWJ
Managing Director, PMWL
Texas, USA


David L. Pells
is Managing Editor of the PM World Journal (www.pmworldjournal.net) and Managing Director of the PM World Library (www.pmworldlibrary.net). David is an internationally recognized leader in the field of professional project management with more than 35 years of experience on a variety of programs and projects, including engineering, construction, energy, defense, transit, technology and nuclear security, and project sizes ranging from thousands to billions of dollars. He has been an active professional leader in the United States since the 1980s, serving on the board of directors of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) twice. He was founder and chair of the Global Project Management Forum (1995-2000), an annual meeting of leaders of PM associations from around the world.

David was awarded PMI’s Person of the Year award in 1998 and Fellow Award, PMI’s highest honor, in 1999. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Association for Project Management (APM) in the UK; Project Management Associates (PMA – India); and Russian Project Management Association. Since 2010 he is an honorary member of the Project Management Association of Nepal. From June 2006 until March 2012, he was the managing editor of PM World Today. He occasionally provides high level advisory services for major programs, global organizations and the U.S. federal government. David has a BA in Business Administration from the University of Washington and a Master’s degree in business from Idaho State University in the USA. He has published widely, spoken at conferences and events worldwide, and can be contacted at [email protected].

To see other works by David Pells, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/david-l-pells/