This section summarizes the book Project Management Battlefield. The topic is intriguing and even after spending two years in thinking about it, it continues to intrigue me.
While writing this book, many similarities were found between the two texts. The intent of the processes described in PMBOK® has similarities with the statements found in The Art of War by Sun Tzu and the two texts have a similar approach though subject matters are different. The Art of War speaks a great deal about the personal skills of the general, someone who might be a project manager in our world, an aspect that is discussed briefly in PMBOK®.
The project manager can benefit from many of the strategic and tactical principles outlined in this military classic. The Art of War is a guide to anticipating and overcoming obstacles. The Art of War is more about strategy than describing ways to win battles, and many ideas from it can be adopted to improve the chances of a positive outcome in business and to reduce the chances of failure.
Most of the messages in The Art of War are efforts to anticipate and overcome obstacles, the obstacles that have the potential to stop you from achieving success. According to The Art of War, managing threats should be first and foremost in the minds of generals in every battle. With teachings of The Art of War, the general can manage the threats in various stages of the battle. Similarly, in PMBOK®, risk management is a very important aspect of project management.
According to Sun Tzu in The Art of War, a general should aim to win the battle as efficiently as possible within the constraints. The emphasis in The Art of War is on being efficient in the use of resources to achieve results. Sun Tzu places importance on winning battles with minimal costs. In PMBOK®, the goal of the manager is not just to get the work done, but to get it done as efficiently as possible given the limited resources he can have. The emphasis in PMBOK® is not just about the successful project’s implementation but about meeting the project expectations within the defined constraints of cost, time, and quality.
Following sections summarize the different aspects similarities between the two texts, discussed in Project Management Battlefield.