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Episode 477: Project Management Principles 1-4 (Free)

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This episode is the first of three in which Cornelius Fichtner explores the following four project management principles that were introduced by the PMBOK® Guide Seventh Edition:

  • 1. Stewardship - Taking care of your project
  • 2. Team - Building a solid team culture
  • 3. Stakeholders - Engaging stakeholders brings success
  • 4. Value - Delivering what's important

The episode is based on our original article "12 Project Management Principles Explained by Experts" and is neither a rehash nor is it a derivative of the PMBOK® Guide. Instead, you can expect to go beyond. Illustrated with quotes from experts and examples from real life not found in the guide, you will learn the concepts behind the principles in terms you need to understand as you prepare for your PMP exam. We even review one sample PMP exam prep question (taken from the PrepCast Simulator) for each of the principles and give you a chance to see if you can spot the correct answer.

You can learn more about the PMP certification and how you can prepare better for it by visiting The PM PrepCast website here: https://www.project-management.prepcast.com/

Need an exam simulator for your review? Try The PrepCast PM Exam Simulator here: https://www.pm-exam-simulator.com/

This episode was recorded live and, as usual, we got some insightful questions and comments from the audience!

Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam: PMP Exam prep
PMP Exam Simulator

Episode Transcript

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

Video Introduction

Cornelius Fichtner: In this episode, we look at first 4 of 12 project management principles.

Hello and welcome back to The Project Management Podcast™ at www.pm-podcast.com. I am Cornelius Fichtner and this Episode 477, which was recorded live on YouTube and Facebook, and it is part of The PM PrepCast, which is my PMP Exam prep training course. But, please don’t let the fact that this is part of a PMP Exam prep course scare you away because these principles are new and they are important for every project manager. So, I recommend that you do take a look even if you are already PMP certified or if you are never planning to.

And lastly, this is a video episode. And if you are not seeing the video, then please do visit www.pm-podcast.com/477. Let’s begin.

Video Presentation

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello, everybody! Thank you so much for joining me today. So, the four project management principles are our topic today. Here they are. Just so you know, this is Part One of three in which we want to review these 12 project management principles that got introduced with the publication of the PMBOK® Guide Seventh Edition.

Today, we want to review stewardship because taking good care for what you have been entrusted with should be at the forefront of our thinking. A team, building a solid team culture is important, the better the team is, the more successful you can be. Stakeholders, because engaging stakeholders will bring success. And the fourth one we’ll look at today is value, because we need to deliver what’s important.

But, I want to make one thing clear from the very start here. This lesson is not a reading or even a by-product or a derivative of the PMBOK® Guide. While we follow the 12 principles in the same order and use somewhat the same language, this lesson is based on our content and on our own research.

“12 Project Management Principles Explained by Experts,” that is our article, which is published on our PrepCast website. In this article, we have taken the 12 principles as a starting point. And then, we go above and beyond and we explain them with input and quotes and examples that we have gathered from a dozen experts. With that out of the way, here is what we’re going to be looking at today.

Generally speaking, we have two sections. I want to start with: What is principle-driven project management? Why are we doing principle-driven project management? And then, we will review the principles 1, 2, 3, and 4, and then a quick take-action and takeaways there at the end.

But today, this is going to be more of a conversation because in the article, we have examples of what does it mean to be value-driven, okay. And I have these examples here for you. But, I want to hear from you as well. So, those of you who are joining me live today, hello again. I will ask you to type into the chat your ideas and your thoughts about what it means to be value-driven, to follow that principle.

I’m also going to do a review of four exam sample questions. So, for each of these values, we have an exam sample question taken from my Simulator. And I want you to give me your answer there. So, you’re going to get about 15 seconds or so, during which you can type in A, B, C, or D. And I’d like to see how many people get this right. Okay, so!

So, what is principle-driven project management? Well, principle-driven project management definitely differs from process-driven, okay. Because there is more emphasis today on making your own choices. You lead the project following a set of core concepts, which guide and shape the work. And this shift has happened because it’s not really possible anymore to mandate every last process and expect them to work for every single project. Processes need to be drawn from Agile, Hybrid, and predictive ways of working. So, we project managers, we have to be free to choose the best processes for our projects and following these principles will then help us select the correct processes, okay.

Here is a definition, right, of this. The principles give you the ‘what.’ So, you look at the principles to learn about what core concepts are important for me as a project manager and project leader. And, I need to remember as I manage the project. Whereas, the processes, that’s really the ‘how.’ How do you plan a project? How exactly do you create a schedule and how do the processes work for doing exactly that? So, the process for creating a schedule, how does that work, right? So, that’s the process-focused.

Are you noticing something here? I’m talking about the principles give you the ‘what’ and the processes give you the ‘how.’ They are not exclusive, mutually exclusive, right. You can’t just use only the principles. You can’t just use only the processes. You cannot manage the project without missing one of them. You need both of them, right. So, this is a very important to know. Let me show you here.

I have this high-level conceptual graphic here. The intent is to show you that we have this overarching principles there at the top, and they tell you the ‘what,’ And, when we work in the processes, we use these principles as guidance, right, so they are overarching.

For example, the three principles on leadership, engaging with stakeholders, and team culture are what you will use as your guide once you get to the ‘how to execute’ all the processes around building a team and developing a team, or leading a team. You go back to these principles and you say: What does the principle say? And what I should be doing? And then, what does the process say in regards to how I should be doing?

The principles, they are universal. That’s also one important thing to remember. The principle is valid whether you are doing a plan-driven, an Agile or a Hybrid kind of model. So, you use the principle to guide you as you are actually executing your project, right. So it’s different, plan-driven versus Agile versus Hybrid.

So, let’s take this and take a look at it from the PMBOK® Guide’s perspective. What you see here is the, sort of the evolution of the PMBOK® Guide. You can see that it got bigger and bigger and bigger there with the page numbers, until the sixth edition, that’s the largest bar that we see here. And then, it dropped down to 350 pages for the PMBOK® Guide Seventh Edition. Don’t just look at the PMBOK® Guide Seventh Edition as you are managing your projects. You need what was in the sixth edition. The sixth edition gives you the processes, gives you the ‘how.’ The PMBOK® Guide Seventh Edition gives you the ‘what are the principles of good project management.’

Yeah, and with that out of the way, sort of explaining what principles do in project management is. Let’s take a look at our first four principles here. Doesn’t want to move on. Wait. Click again. There we go! Alright! So, we have four principles to look at today --- one, two, three, and four. And, we begin with stewardship where you want to be taking care of your project. What is this all about?

Well, being a steward means to take care of something. In a project environment, that means to look after your project and to act with its best intentions in mind at all times. To put in another way, your company has entrusted you with the project resources --- people, money, machines, computers, and so on. And, it is your job to take care of these resources in such a way that they are employed in the best interest of the project and your organization.

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Please subscribe to our Premium Podcast to receive a PDF transcript.

PDUs: Technical Project Management, PDUs: Leadership, Project Management Principles

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Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM, is the host and the author at The Project Management Podcast. He has welcomed hundreds of guests and project management experts to the podcast and has helped over 60,0000 students prepare for their PMP® Exam. He has authored dozens of articles on projectmanagement.com and PM World 360. He speaks at conferences around the world about project management, agile methodology, PMOs, and Project Business. Follow him on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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