The Six Ps of Project Management



By Srinivasan Radhakrishnan

Arizona, USA


Project management is a complex, multi-layered task, that when done well, can add tremendous value to an organization. This begs the question: what are the considerations that make one project manager (PM) more successful than another? The answers require an examination of the technical skills necessary to be a PM, a discussion about whether project management excellence is an art or a science and the role of people skills.

To put it in context, there are six critical characteristics PMs need to possess to execute projects well and advance in their careers. They include process, people, proficiency, passion, patience and perfection.


In-depth knowledge of project management processes is critical to a PM. Starting from the process groups per Project Management Institute’s (PMI®) Project Management Framework from the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®), through the organization-specific Project Management Life Cycle (PLC) processes to the scorecards and other reporting requirements, the PM needs to be up to date on the processes.

Following a standard set of processes always helps the PM to address challenging and ambiguous projects. Processes help the PM to ask the right questions to the stakeholders to bring clarity to the scope and level set expectations. Understanding the processes will make sure that there are no surprises.

But processes alone cannot make one a successful PM. It is the right application of the processes that will make the PM successful. A PM needs to have the right skills and know when and how to use the available tools and practices. The PM also needs to tailor the processes as necessary for a given project. Knowledge of the processes, leveraging the right process at the right time and customizing those processes for a given project are all equally important to the PM.


People management is an integral part of project management. Whether resolving conflicts, assigning the right work to the right people, or keeping the team motivated and energized, people management is necessary. One aspect of people management means acquiring the right resources from the beginning.

Second, savvy PMs know they need to develop their teams. Motivation and recognition are critical components of people management. One tactic to accomplish this goal is to ask the team to design an award and provide the award to those who perform above and beyond expectations. In addition, PMs should know the work styles, strengths, weaknesses, and motivating factors of each member of the team.  


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How to cite this article: Radhakrishnan, S. (2021).  The Six Ps of Project Management, PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue V, May.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/pmwj105-May2021-Radhakrishnan-the-six-ps-of-project-management2.pdf

About the Author

Srinivasan Radhakrishnan

Arizona, USA


Srinivasan Radhakrishnan (Srini) is an Information Technology professional with 25+ years of global IT and academic experience. Srini holds an M.S. in Engineering and multiple professional certifications (PgMP®, PMI-ACP®, PMP®, CSCP®, CSM®, LSSYB, SAP® BW®, AWS-CCP & SAA). Srini worked with Intel for 16 years and is currently a faculty with W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, USA. For more information please email rsrini02@gmail.com or visit www.sriniradhakrishnan.com