Is there an “Art” to Project Management?

When you think about “art”, words such as music, literature, film, photography, sculpture, or painting come to mind. Rarely, if ever, do you hear Project Management. Why is this? I think Project Management should be added to that list. One definition of art is “the product or process of deliberately arranging items (often with symbolic significance) in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect”.

I don’t know about you, but every project I undertake involves influencing and affecting one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect to get things done! Sure, there’s always the “science” of project management…identifying deliverables, creating a WBS, compiling schedules, and monitoring budgets. But, there’s also the “art” of project management that involves knowing when to follow your gut instincts, knowing when to talk or remain quiet, knowing when to raise a risk or let it ride and knowing just the right thing to say to different people to bring your project to closure.

What do you think? I’d love to hear if you think there is an “art” to project management and what that includes.


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