Project Management versus Leadership - is there a difference?

What do you think?

Project Management is a well used phrase institutionalized by the Project Management Institute (PMI) through their Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and the American Society for the Advancement of Project Management (an IPMA association). In years gone by, the term Project Leadership was popular to denote the practices of delivering value on projects aligned to the business needs.  Today there is Project Management, Project Governance, Program Management, Portfolio Management, System Management, and a raft of other management topics, but somehow the notion of Leadership has been forgotten in the quest to manage. Or perhaps it is a matter of leadership being taken for granted.

navigationI’ve posted often about the fact that given a set of solid requirements, software engineers can and will deliver great software solutions and I stand by that.  What is missing, however, is solid leadership or steersmanship to lead customers to the right business solutions and guide software and systems engineers to deliver to those needs.

This is the very area where Scope Management (using northernSCOPE) is different from Project Management and can deliver a huge ROI (return on investment) by leveraging and tying together the gaps in the problem-design-solution-delivery life cycle.

Last week in Tampa FL, two forward-thinking Peruvian IT engineers joined several early adopter American software professionals and attended Certified Scope Manager (CSM) training in Tampa.  What they took home from the four days of intensive scope manager training and a day of certification exam/consulting was a toolkit of new ideas and a solid methodology that’s working in Finland. These newly certified Scope Managers are customer advocates akin to professional real-estate-agents and architects long the mainstays in home building.

Watch this column for more upcoming workshops in the US and throughout Europe.  As the successes of unit pricing coupled with tangible high quality results become more prevalent with the newly certified Scope Managers, you’ll be seeing more about northernSCOPE(TM) and scope management. It’s project leadership in a new, evolutionary way.

To your successful projects!


Carol Dekkers

For more information on northernSCOPE(TM) visit (in English pages) and for upcoming training in Tampa, Florida and in Europe, visit
=======Copyright 2010, Carol Dekkers ALL RIGHTS RESERVED =======

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