Follow on Commentary and Elaboration:


The “P’s” & “Q’s” of Assessing Program

& Project ‘Outcome’ Effectiveness article

by Dr. Ken Smith



By Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo

Jakarta, Indonesia

As a follow up to and in support of my longtime friend and highly respected colleague from SE Asia Pacific, Dr. Ken Smith, Col. US Air Force (retired), who initiated this discussion thread in a “Letter to the Editor” in the PM World Journal Volume XI, Issue 2 February 2022, entitled “ON THE SUBJECT OF THE PMBOK GUIDE, 7TH EDITION”[1] and his follow up commentary, the “P’s” & “Q’s” of Assessing Program & Project’ Outcome’ Effectiveness, PM World Journal, Vol. XI, Issue III, March.  Online.[2]

While I am in substantial agreement with Dr. Ken’s positions that “PMI’s new stance of holding Project Managers and their teams responsible for also attaining those Outcomes is excessive, incongruous, misdirected and untenable,” my biggest concern and my reason for following up lies in using PMI’s definition of “Project Manager, being the “person assigned by the performing organization to lead the project team that is responsible for achieving the project objectives.”

Figure 1 below originated with published work from Dennis Cohen and Robert Graham around 2000, but I believe the concept dates back well before that to the 18th Century Industrial Revolution.  Unfortunately, I’ve found no evidence that either PMI, AACE, IPMA or APM/APMG have formally recognized this model.  In particular, it is clear our Agile colleagues do not understand it.  The fundamental question is, where, in this model, does the project manager, whether EXTERNAL or INTERNAL, have any control over the ASSET?  Not only the ASSETS CREATED by the project but even control over those assets required to “initiate, plan, execute, control and close” the project?  Often missed by PMI, AACE, IPMA, APM/APMG et al. is the fact that it “takes assets to make more assets.”

Figure 1- The real or true relationship between CONTRACTORS (external) and OWNERS[3]

As Dr. Ken is coming primarily from working in OWNER organizations and I am representing primarily a CONTRACTOR’S perspective, it is essential that all the professional societies purporting to represent the practice of project management include BOTH perspectives, understanding that for CONTRACTORS, projects are PROFIT CENTERS and the processes to “initiate, plan, execute, control and close” projects are the CORE COMPETENCIES around which we build our businesses.  On the other hand, for OWNER organizations, projects are COST or INVESTMENT centers meaning that for OWNERS, projects are cash OUTFLOWS.  Owners can only “solve problems” or “exploit opportunities” not from the PROJECT directly but from the ASSET that the project was undertaken to “create, acquire, expand, update, repair, maintain and eventually dispose of.” Explained another way, for OWNER organizations, projects are nothing more than a “means to an end,” an “ASSET Delivery System.” For OWNER organizations, projects CANNOT and DO NOT add any value.  Only the PRODUCT of the project (which is always an ASSET) has the ability to “add value” to the organization.


To read entire article, click here

How to cite this work: Giammalvo, P. D. (2022). Follow on Commentary and Elaboration: The “P’s” & “Q’s” of Assessing Program & Project ‘Outcome’ Effectiveness article by Dr. Ken Smith, PM World Journal, Vol. XI, Issue IV, April. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/pmwj116-Apr2022-Giammalvo-follow-on-to-ps-and-Qs-article-by-Ken-Smith.pdf

About the Author                   

Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo, CDT, CCE, MScPM, MRICS

Jakarta, Indonesia


Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo, CDT, CCE (#1240), MScPM, MRICS, is a Senior Technical Advisor (Project Management) to PT Mitratata Citragraha. (PTMC), Jakarta, Indonesia. www.build-project-management-competency.com. He is noted for the development and delivery of graduate level, blended learning curricula designed for the mid-career path, English as Second Language (ESL) professionals to develop competency in the local practitioner and build capacity for the local organizations. For 25+ years, he has been developing and delivering Project Management training and consulting throughout South and Eastern Asia Pacific, the Middle East, West Africa, and Europe.

He is also active in the Global Project Management Community, by playing a “thought leadership” role for the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International, (AACEI) http://www.aacei.org/ since 1991; He has also been active in two IPMA member organizations: The Green Project Management Association (GPM) http://www.greenprojectmanagement.org/ where he served on the Certification Board of Directors for two years and the American Society for the Advancement of Project Management http://www.asapm.org/ for which he served for four years on the BoD as Director of Marketing. He also sat on the Board of Directors of the Global Alliance for Project Performance Standards (GAPPS), www.globalpmstandards.org, Sydney, Australia and is active as a regional leader. Currently, he is a compensated consultant to the International Guild of Project Controls. http://www.planningplanet.com/guild  as the primary author of their “Compendium and Reference” as well as the chief architect of their competency-based credentialing program. http://www.planningplanet.com/guild/certification

He has spent 35 of the last 50 years working on large, highly technical international projects, including such prestigious projects as the Alyeska Pipeline and the Distant Early Warning Site (DEW Line), upgrades in Alaska and the Negev Airbase Constructors, Ovda, Israel and the Minas Oil Field in Rumbai, Sumatra. His current client list includes Fortune 500 major telecommunications, oil, gas and mining companies plus the UN Projects Office and many other multi-national companies, NGO organizations and Indonesian Government Agencies.

In addition to 45+ years of hands-on field experience, Dr. Giammalvo holds an undergraduate degree in Construction Management, his Master of Science in Project Management through the George Washington University and was awarded his PhD in Project and Program Management through the Institute Superieur De Gestion Industrielle (ISGI) and Ecole Superieure De Commerce De Lille (ESC-Lille) under the supervision of Professor Christophe Bredillet.  “Dr. PDG” can be contacted at pauldgphd@gmail.com.

To view other original work by Paul Giammalvo, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/dr-paul-d-giammalvo/

[1] PM World Journal Volume XI, Issue 2 February 2022

[2] https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/pmwj115-Mar2022-Smith-the-Ps-Qs-of-assessing-outcome-program-project-effectiveness.pdf

[3] Dennis J. Cohen and Robert J. Graham Adapted from “The Project Manager’s MBA: How to Translate Project Decisions into Business Success 1st Edition” https://www.amazon.com/Project-Managers-MBA-Translate-Decisions/dp/0787952567