Confucius and the Art of Project Management - Sponsored Whitepaper

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The Sayings of Confucius and The Art of Project Management Processes By Bernie Keh, President and CEO, BOT International

According to tradition, the Chinese philosopher and sage Confucius was born in 551 BC in the village of Zou in the state of Lu as a descendant of the noble K'ung clan. Distressed by constant warfare be- tween the Chinese states and by the tyr- anny of the rulers, he urged a system of governance and fairness that would pre- serve peace and provide people with sta- ble and just government. It is said that he accepted aid from his disciples according to their means and that he had little respect for those among them who did not truly want to learn. In his time, his fame and legend as a man of great knowledge and character spread throughout China and it is still with us today. While it is unclear whether or not Confucius obtained certification as a Project Management Professional, his sayings clearly were rooted in the prac- tice and continuous improvement of Project Management Processes…!

Confucius Saying #1. “One who goes unrecognized yet isn't annoyed - isn't that a noble person?” This first saying serves as a guiding principle for the pro- fessional project manager. Rather than hero worship, true recognition comes from within. Quiet pursuit of continu- ous improvement and helping others perform better will save more than the day, it will secure the future.

Confucius Saying #2, “One who has committed a mis- take and doesn't correct it, is committing another.” How many times are repeat mistakes made? Too many. And who is in the best position to understand and correct workplace defects? Management? The front line? Almost always, those closest to the problem are best able to fix it. Project managers are in the unique position of seeing first hand opportunities for defect elimination and reduction of waste. Management must ensure that lessons learned feedback is communicated and acted upon as part of the PM Process, not just documented and filed away.

Confucius Saying #3. “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” Many people confuse pursuit of continuous improvement
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