The Bigger Picture


Project Life Cycles from a Broader,

Real-World Perspective



By Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo

Jakarta, Indonesia

Why the typical “Agilista Model” is an INCOMPLETE and MISLEADING CONSTRUCT

There is no shortage of credible evidence that “project management” is not working in so many sectors.

Figure 1- Summary of Results from KPMG, IPMA AIPM Sponsored Research

So how much longer are we willing to tolerate self-proclaimed “subject matter experts” spreading blatantly false or misleading “models” that look pretty on paper but fail to reflect the reality underlying SUCCESSFUL projects?  Models, that fail to comply with the 5 Attributes of the Scientific Method?

  • Empirical,
  • Replicable,
  • Provisional,
  • Objective and
  • Systematic.

Using these 5 criteria as the STANDARD of PRACTICE allow me to challenge this common “model” that seems to be appearing in many articles written by “Agilistas”, and then you can make up your own minds as to whose “model” is “best” or “better.”

Compare what is shown in Figure 2 to what you see in Figure 3, which is derived from a methodology first developed by either Esso or Diamond Shamrock Oil around 1955 and attesting to the fact that it WORKS, is still in use today by all the Major International and nearly all National Oil companies, including those working in Australia and throughout SE Asia, Middle East and the rest of the world.

Compare what is shown in Figure 2, which we know is NOT working, vs. what we see in Figure 3, which we know has worked for the past 65 years.  Compare what is shown in Figure 3 to what the agilist community is trying to convince the people of Australia to use?  (The actual graphic shown in Figure 3 is a compilation from Chevron and Zadco Oil) Which one is the more complete model? Which one reflects REALITY more closely?  Which one has 65 years of FINANCIAL SUCCESS supporting it?


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How to cite this article: Giammalvo, P.D. (2021). The Bigger Picture: Project Life Cycles from a Broader, Real-World Perspective; Commentary, PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue VI, June. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/pmwj106-Jun2021-Giammalvo-the-bigger-picture-commentary.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/