T&M

Plato, Aristotelie and Project Management

Posted on

Hello to everyone,

A couple of days ago, I was reading  the magazine “Project Management Journal, June 2016” and there was an interesting article named “The metaphysical questions every project practitioner should ask”.

In the article there is a very insightful connection between opinions of the famous Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotele and principles of Project Management.


I am quoting the specific part of the article below, enjoy:

“Plato’s Allegory of the Cave

What is ultimately a project? To gain insight into this question, we tap into the wisdom of the Allegory of the Cave, written by one of the greatest philosophers of all time, Plato (427–347 BCE) in his famous book, The Republic. Its fictional dialogue between Plato’s teacher Socrates and Plato’s brother Glaucon is well known and full of insights for this article.

Ο Μύθος του Σπηλαίου

For project management, Plato’s allegory teaches us two important things: (1) that there are different ways of seeing or not seeing a project, in other words, the contrast between Metaphysical Worldviews of Being Versus Becoming; and (2) that the project consists of both the physical or material elements and the eternal or immaterial elements that Plato calls “forms” (Solomon & Higgins, 2010), in other words, the contrast of Ancient Materialism Versus Ancient Immaterialism.

Project practitioners may focus on the physical or material elements of the project that are experienced through the senses: inputs such as money, time, and resources; project artifacts such as charter, scope statement, and plan; and outputs such as car, phone, or skyscraper. In so doing, they spend much of their time in the ordinary material world, the world of “shadows,” what Heraclitus (536–470 BCE) calls the world of “becoming” and Bertrand Russell (1912/1997) calls the “world of existence”: “The world of existence is fleeting, vague, without sharp boundaries, without any clear plan or arrangement, but it contains all thoughts and feelings, all the data of sense, and all physical objects, everything that can do either good or harm, everything that makes any difference to the value of life and the world” (p. 100).

Things in this world tend to emerge, change, die, or disappear. That’s the case of inputs that turn into outputs throughout the project. To illustrate this point, we make an analogy between the project plan and hand-drawing a triangle in an attempt to prove a theorem of Euclidian geometry about triangles: Much like one cannot draw a true triangle with straight exact lines and angles, project practitioners cannot mistake the plan for the true project. As Plato contends, the perfect project, if there is one, does not exist anywhere in the material world. Indeed, in such a diachronic world, project practitioners deal only with images of the project, never with the reality that lies behind it.

πλάτωνας-01

Project management practitioners may wonder where the “perfect” project exists. Plato would say that it is found in another world that is more real than the material world; it is a world that is pure, eternal, and immaterial, and can only be known through reason, not through experience. Parmenides (539–492BCE) would call it a “being,” permanent, synchronic, and unchanging world. “The world of being is unchangeable, rigid, exact, delightful to the mathematician, the logician, the builder of metaphysical systems, and all who love perfection more than life” (Russell, 1912/1997, p. 100). Which of the two worlds do today’s project practitioners prefer?

According to our temperaments, we shall prefer the contemplation of one or of the other. The one we do not prefer will probably seem to us a pale shadow of the one we prefer, and hardly worthy to be regarded as in any sense real. But the truth is that both have the same claim on our impartial attention, both are real, and both are important to the metaphysician. (Russell, 1912/1997, p. 100)

Plato’s Allegory of the Cave brilliantly and creatively ties together the Greek and pre-Socratic views of both ancient materialism that sees the project as consisting of purely stable, physical, or material elements (e.g., Thales, 624–546 BCE; Democritus, 460–371 BCE), and ancient immaterialism that sees the project as nothing more than numbers, minds, or spirits (e.g., Pythagoras, 571–497 BCE; Parmenides 539–492 BCE; Heraclitus 536–470 BCE). Like Pythagoras, who considers numbers more important than trees and tables, Plato gives primacy to eternal principles. Like Parmenides, Plato purports that things in our day-to-day experience are not truly real (for example, the project plan), and yet like Heraclitus, he appreciates the notion of constant change and its underlying logic, which Plato captures in what he calls “form” (Solomon & Higgins, 2010).

Plato’s Allegory of the Cave also illustrates the difference between what the project appears to be and what the project really is; this is what Russell (1912/1997) sees as “one of the distinctions that cause most trouble in philosophy.” (p. 9) In this context, the more real project (if it is real at all) is not the project plan, nor is it something practitioners can sense. Rather, with experience, project practitioners can construct and shape a project from the elements they can see, including an artifact like the project plan.

Here we have already the beginning of one of the distinctions that cause the most trouble in philosophy—the distinction between “appearance” and “reality”, between what things seem to be and what they are. The painter wants to know what things seem to be, the practical man and the philosopher want to know what they are. (Russell, 1912/1997, p. 9)

Plato’s Universals: Implications for Projects and Project Management

We can take away another lesson from Plato’s “theory of ideas,”1 which contends that particulars such as red roses, pens, and shirts can have things in common—like “redness” (Quine, 1948), or that there is a “chairiness” in the idea of a pure and universal form of a chair (Whitty, 2013). For project management, this suggests that projects can share some characteristic—let’s call it “project-ness” (Quine, 1948). This project-ness includes properties, characteristics, or “predicates” (as philosophers call them), such as having needs, objectives, scope, constraints, deliverables, milestones, budget, time-duration, resources, risks, organization structures, roles and responsibilities for project stakeholders, schedules, and tracking measures. Moreover, “the more real or perfect project” is also a universal, a form.

platonic_physical

Because project-ness and the more real project—to name but a few universals—are not particulars, they cannot exist in our day-to-day world (“the world of existence”); “they are things other than particular things, which particular things partake of and have characteristics of” (Russell, 1912/1997, pp. 92–93). The Platonic universals are very influential in project management.

There is much Platonic thinking in the world of project management. Most if not all drawings of project management processes in project management journals and textbooks such as the PMBOK Guide are of universal forms. . . . Perhaps like Plato, we feel that if we identify the universal forms that comprise projects and project management, we will in some way come to know more about the reality of project and project management. (Whitty, 2013, pp. 99–100)

Aristotle: The Everyday Project World Is the Real One

Common-sense thinker Aristotle (384–322 BCE) does not reject the all-important distinction between appearances and reality, but he strongly disagrees with his teacher Plato’s two-worldview and, in a sense, brings Plato down to earth. From the Aristotelian perspective, the everyday project world is the real one and there is no other. He believed that “formal principles or universals that form things into what they are could be found in the substance of the thing itself and not apart from it” (Whitty, 2013, p. 100). Taking this viewpoint, the project plan is just a small part of the project, yet it is the real thing—“the substance or a thing that exists in its own right.”

Aristotele

An early, extremely influential view about reality seen in its most general light is that it consists of things and their properties—individual things, often called particulars, and properties, often called universals that can belong to many such individuals. . . . Very closely allied to this notion of an individual is the concept of substance, that in which properties “inhere.” (van Inwagen & Sullivan, 2015, p. 16)

However, just because we understand that small part does not necessarily mean that we grasp the whole project—“the essence.” Much of project management today is grounded in Aristotelian thinking.

Project management processes and practices (the essential cause of a project) give the project its identifiable “life-cycle” form. So the essence of the project, that is to say those features that make an experience a project, are inextricable from the practices and process that are recognizable as project management. A point to take from this line of reasoning is that we do not apply project management to projects, but rather a body of work is identifiable as a project because project management is applied to it. It is project management, the implementation of particular practices and processes that cause the form of work to be identifiable as a project. (Whitty, 2013, p. 103)

In this light, there are two starting points to explore the question about what a project ultimately is. Project practitioners may espouse Plato’s view that the project is something other than the day-to-day project things, or they may accept Aristotle’s view that the project really is what they can see as a substance of the daily life of it, such as the project plan (Solomon & Higgins, 2010). But do these two post-Socratic metaphysical views tell the whole story?”

Note: “PMI”, “PMP”, and “PMBOK Guide” are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Νέο εξ’ αποστάσεως σεμινάριο Risk Management της Human Asset στις 27 Σεπτεμβρίου 2016

Posted on

Το 7º  εξ’ αποστάσεως σεμινάριο Risk Management μέσω της πλατφόρμας της Human Asset είναι γεγονός και ξεκινάει την Τρίτη 27 Σεπτεμβρίου 2016. Η υλοποίηση του πραγματοποιείται σε 9 συναντήσεις των 4 εκπαιδευτικών ωρών μέσω σύγχρονης πλατφόρμας τηλεκπαίδευσης κάθε Τρίτη και Πέμπτη από 19:30 μέχρι 22:30 (ώρα Ελλάδος).

Εξ αποστάσεως Μαρ 16nov-15-21

 Στις παροχές του σεμιναρίου, εκτός των παρουσιάσεων,περιλαμβάνονται πλήθος σημειώσεων και ασκήσεων, τεστ προσομοίωσης καθώς και επίδειξη ενός αναγνωρισμένου εργαλείου για Ανάλυση Ρίσκου (Quantitative Analysis). Η υποστήριξη μας δεν ολοκληρώνεται με το πέρας του σεμιναρίου αλλά συνεχίζεται τόσο μέχρι την ημέρα απόκτησης του πτυχίου όσο και μετά, με αποστολή υλικού για την απόκτηση PDUs κ.α.

Η ομάδα έχει αρχίσει να συμπληρώνεται και οι θέσεις είναι περιορισμένες για καλύτερη ποιότητα του προγράμματος. 

Λεπτομέρειες για το πρόγραμμα:

1. Newsletter for Risk Management in Projects Preparation Seminar Σεπτέμβριος 2016

2. PMI-RMP online Prep workshop – Schedule Σεπτεμβριος 2016

Εισηγητής: Αθανάσιος Φουρτούνας, at.fourtounas@gmail.com  

Επιτυχίες RMP για 2014-2016

Δείτε τι είπαν παλιότεροι συμμετέχοντες:

http://www.humanasset.gr/?portfolio=risk-management-professional-pmi-rmp-prep-%CE%B5%CE%AF%CF%80%CE%B1%CE%BD-%CE%B3%CE%B9%CE%B1-%CF%84%CE%BF-%CF%80%CF%81%CF%8C%CE%B3%CF%81%CE%B1%CE%BC%CE%BC%CE%B1

Ειδικές τιμές για όσους στον παρελθόν παρακολούθησαν προγράμματά μας!!!

Το σεμινάριο προσφέρει 20 PDUs για όσους κατέχουν πιστοποίηση PMP.

* PMP, PMI, PMI-RMP and PMBOK Guide are registered trademarks of Project Management Institute, Inc

Construction Risks and Contractors

Posted on

Hello to everyone,

In the “PM Network” magazine of April 2016 (pages 28-29) there is an interesting article about Construction Risks and Contractors. It focuses on contractors and suppliers to manage construction risks through confidence.

Cover of April 2016

I am quoting from the article:

“There is a number of risks that can be controlled or influenced through the right management of contractors and suppliers. This is because 70 to 75 percent of expenditures in capital megaprojects in the heavy engineering sector are made through these vendors. Here are the techniques for building risk control:
a. Contractor Screening

b. Bid Evaluation

c. Contract Administration

d. Support Framework

e. Application of Risk Mitigation Tools”

 

You can read the full article below:

Construction Risks and Contractors

Moreover, you can read the below relevant post:

 Construction contracts and risk allocation

If you want to learn more about “Risk Management”, get informed for our new Risk Management courses (in class or online) at:

Fourtounas Athanasios, at.fourtounas@gmail.com ή +306946003220 (Trainer)

Also read what our participants have comment after the seminars.

athens-nov-2015-6Εξ αποστάσεως Μαρ 16

3. Επιτυχίες RMP για 2014-2016

Note: “PMI”, “PMP”, and “PMBOK Guide” are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

PDU Highlights every RMP or PMP Needs to Know

Posted on

A lot of professionals are wondering: ” What’s a PDU and why do I need one?”

In a few words

A PDU is an acronym for Professional Development Unit. It’s a way of measuring continuing education and professional services for many industries. In project management, the Project Management Institute (PMI) is the leading professional training organization, and PMI has recently changed their certification and PDU requirements with their new 2016 Talent Triangle.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAANYAAAAJDNjZDhjNmNkLWZhYWMtNDE5YS04NTRlLThiZWU1MjZlZjY1Mg

In the past, Project Management and Risk Management was a decidedly technical discipline, with defined skills needed to be learned in subjects like estimating, planning, scheduling and budgeting. Now, RMPs and PMPs are expected to learn more than just technical Project and Risk Management skills. They must be proficient in a variety of skills in business management and leadership skills, too. 

PDUs are earned in two ways: through education or “giving back to the profession” which is either volunteering, sharing your knowledge by mentoring or writing articles or even participating in research.

The whole idea of certification and maintaining that status is to show that you’re invested in your job and working to stay current in the emerging technologies and methodologies. 

Also check the below link of PMI:

PMI about PDUs

Pro-Tip: Don’t wait for the last minute to begin collecting your PDUs. Be sure to design your plan like you would any project and then find the experts with which you want to fulfill your obligations.

Jennifer Bridges, answers all your questions in the below short YouTube tutorial video and explains how many PDUs you will need dependent on your certification or profession.Jennifer, in addition to being a project management trainer, is also the CEO and founder of PDUs2Go, an online provider of PDU course offerings, so she’s well versed in the details of PMI’s latest PDU requirements.

Thank you Jennifer!

Watch the video:

PDU Highlights for RMPs and PMPs 

And below there is a shot of the whiteboard for your reference:

PDU_Highlights_You_Need_to_Know_Board-768x432@2x

Moreover you can read the Video Transcription in the below link:

Video Transcription

 

If you want to learn more about “Risk Management”, get informed for our new Risk Management courses (in class or online for 20 PDUs) at:

Fourtounas Athanasios, at.fourtounas@gmail.com ή +306946003220 (Trainer)

Also read what our participants have comment after the seminars

athens-nov-2015-6Εξ αποστάσεως Μαρ 16 (2)

3. Επιτυχίες RMP για 2014-2016

References: https://www.projectmanager.com

Note: “PMI”, “PMP”, and “PMBOK Guide” are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Νεα επιτυχία στις εξετάσεις του Risk Management! Συγχαρητήρια Βαγγέλη!

Posted on

Θερμά συγχαρητήρια στον Βαγγέλη, ο οποίος σήμερα ολοκλήρωσε με επιτυχία την προσπάθεια του για απόκτηση της πιστοποίησης Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)!! Ο Βαγγέλης ήταν στην ομάδα που ολοκλήρωσε το 3ο εξ αποστάσεως σεμινάριο στα τέλη Μαρτίου 2015.

Εικόνα2Επιτυχίες στο Risk Management

Ας θυμηθούμε τι είχε δηλώσει ο Βαγγέλης με το πέρας του εξ αποστάσεως σεμιναρίου:

Vangelis Bailakis, Test Director & Range Quality Manager at NATO FORACS:

“I would like to thank Athanasios Fourtounas for the RMP seminar he has provided. It was a very well organized seminar which aimed not only at preparing the participants for the PMI RMP examination but also helped us to prepare for a realistic implementation of risk management in different areas of our business. I would highly recommend this seminar for everybody who would like to deepen into risk management.”

Ευχόμαστε κάθε επιτυχία στον Βαγγέλη.
   Ενημερωθείτε για το 5º  εξ’ αποστάσεως σεμινάριο Risk Management μέσω της πλατφόρμας της Human Asset που ξεκινάει την Δευτέρα 11 Ιανουαρίου 2016. Η υλοποίηση του πραγματοποιείται σε 9 συναντήσεις 4 εκπαιδευτικών ωρών μέσω σύγχρονης πλατφόρμας τηλεκπαίδευσης κάθε Δευτέρα και Πέμπτη από 19:30 μέχρι 22:30 (ώρα Ελλάδος).Περισσότερες πληροφορίες  στα:

Η ομάδα έχει ήδη αρχίσει να συμπληρώνεται και απομένουν ελάχιστες θέσεις….

Note: “PMI”, “PMP”, and “PMBOK Guide” are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Νέο εξ’ αποστάσεως σεμινάριο Risk Management της Human Asset στις 11 Ιανουαρίου 2016

Posted on

Το 5º  εξ’ αποστάσεως σεμινάριο Risk Management μέσω της πλατφόρμας της Human Asset είναι γεγονός και ξεκινάει την Δευτέρα 11 Ιανουαρίου 2016. Η υλοποίηση του πραγματοποιείται σε 9 συναντήσεις 4 εκπαιδευτικών ωρών μέσω σύγχρονης πλατφόρμας τηλεκπαίδευσης κάθε Δευτέρα και Πέμπτη από 19:30 μέχρι 22:30 (ώρα Ελλάδος).

Εικόνα2

Δείτε τι είπαν παλιότεροι συμμετέχοντες:

http://www.humanasset.gr/?portfolio=risk-management-professional-pmi-rmp-prep-%CE%B5%CE%AF%CF%80%CE%B1%CE%BD-%CE%B3%CE%B9%CE%B1-%CF%84%CE%BF-%CF%80%CF%81%CF%8C%CE%B3%CF%81%CE%B1%CE%BC%CE%BC%CE%B1

Επιτυχίες στο Risk Management Ιουλ 15

Περισσότερες πληροφορίες  στα:

Η ομάδα έχει ήδη αρχίσει να συμπληρώνεται και απομένουν ελάχιστες θέσεις….

Note: “PMI”, “PMP”, and “PMBOK Guide” are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Completion of 6th PMI-RMP® Prep course in Athens – Nov 2015

Posted on Updated on

The successful completion of another PMI-RMP® – Risk Management Professional prep course is a fact for a 6th time.

The participants after hard work and a number of workshops managed to gain deep knowledge concerning Risk Management but also to be fully prepared for the PMI-RMP exam according to the PMI® standards.

Athens Nov 2015 Athens Nov 2015 (3)

But the preparation and support doesn’t stops here. For the following  weeks, the participants will receive a lot of study material and mock tests from the asynchronous training platform of Human Asset Group company in order to be successfully prepared for the PMI-RMP exam and acquire the certification.

Athens Nov 2015 (4) Athens Nov 2015 (6)

Read what some of the participants have said about their experience:

  • Efthimios Giosmas, Site Manager at Paralos SA,PMP: Participating in Human Asset’s Risk Management Courses was really a great experience. Instructor Athanasios Fourtounas was committed to deliver expert and top market knowledge. Through his high level training and detail oriented teaching, we were tought the Risk Management Standard not only to cope with the relevant RMP-PMI exams, but also to incorporate the “risk way of thinking” into our business management.”

  • Dimitris Stamatopoulos, PMP®,Key Account Manager, G4S Secure Solutions S.A.: Έχοντας πιστοποιηθεί ως Project Manager μετά από την παρακολούθηση του αντίστοιχου προγράμματος προετοιμασίας που οργάνωσε η Human Asset, θεώρησα ως απόλυτα φυσική εξέλιξη την πιστοποίηση του Risk Μanagement. Η απόφασή μου να επιλέξω και πάλι το αντίστοιχο πρόγραμμα προετοιμασίας της Human Asset, αποδείχθηκε απόλυτα σωστή. Ο εισηγητής κος Φουρτούνας Αθανάσιος (Θανάσης, από του δε και στο εξής) είναι πλήρως καταρτισμένος, με πολλές εμπειρίες σε ένα μεγάλο φάσμα δραστηριοτήτων και πολύ περισσότερο σε θέματα εκπαίδευσης. Το εκπαιδευτικό πρόγραμμα είχε σχεδιασθεί προσεκτικά, έτσι ώστε η παρακολούθησή του να είναι δυνατή ακόμα και σε άτομα που δεν είχαν ασχοληθεί με το Risk Management, αν και πιστεύω ότι μία σχετική εμπειρία από projects είναι απαραίτητη. Η ατμόσφαιρα φιλική –  χωρίς όμως η ροή του προγράμματος να παρεκλίνει από τον αρχικό σχεδιασμό – το υλικό πλούσιο, και το ενδιαφέρον να τηρείται αμείωτο καθ’όλη τη διάρκεια. Σημαντικός παράγοντας η εξ αποστάσεως συνέχιση του προγράμματος και η συνεχής υποστήριξη (πρακτική και, κυρίως, ηθική). Θανάση σε ευχαριστώ!
  • Γιώργος Χατζηγεωργίου, Project Manager, Cubitech SA: “Πέραν του αδιαμφισβήτητα άριστου οργανωτικά σεμιναρίου, της πληρότητας του εκπαιδευτικού υλικού και το πολύ καλό περιβάλλον, θεωρώ πολύ σημαντικότερη την προσωπική παρουσία του κ. Φουρτούνα. Υπήρξε άριστος ως προς την μετάδοσης των εννοιών με εύστοχα αλλά κύριος πραγματικά παραδείγματα. Η ικανότητα μετάδοσης των όρων και των εννοιών ήταν σε πολύ υψηλό επίπεδο. Θεωρώ ιδιαίτερη τιμή αλλά και τύχη την γνωριμία μου μαζί του σε επαγγελματικό αλλά και προσωπικό επίπεδο. Θανάση ευχαριστώ για όλα και πολύ περισσότερο για την ουσιαστική στήριξη σου από εδώ και πέρα.”

Athens Nov 2015 (7)

Our next PMI-RMP preparation course is the Online Seminar at 11th of January 2016:

Risk Management Certification Preparation Seminar Newsletter Ιανουάριος 2016

PMI-RMP online Prep workshop – Schedule Ιανουάριος 2016

More info at:

The program provides 20 PDUs and for former participants in seminars of Human Asset, we provide special offers.

Επιτυχίες στο Risk Management Ιουλ 15

Join now!!!

Note: PMI, PMP, and PMBOK Guide are registered marks of  the Project Management Institute, Inc