5 Reasons to Fall in Love with PM²
Project Management enables us to secure, to plan, to coordinate and to monitor and control projects thus bringing the project to the right destination, just like a pilot. Since the 1990s, Midler defined the phenomenon of “projectification” meaning that projects expand not only in economy, in the public sector and all kinds of industries, but also in all parts of private and societal life: therefore, we now live in a “Project society” and it is common to talk about the wedding project, the baby project, the moving project.
The unique context in the EU can be summarized by the motto “United in Diversity”: 27 countries, 350 regions, 24 languages and a budget of 1,211 trillion € for 2021-2027. The challenge is to harmonize the management of EU projects with a common framework to increase effectiveness and improve collaboration among all stakeholders involved.
PM² is the official Project Management Methodology from the EU and was developed by the Commission in 2007. Since 2016, the PM² guide and the artefacts are available as open source for all citizens or Project Managers. Since 2022, the PM² certification is possible for all interested Project Managers and PM² has been integrated in ESCO, the European multilingual classification of Skills, Competences and Occupations thus classifying it as Essential Project Management Knowledge.
Project Management Methodologies often seem complex, dry, and even boring. But when I encountered PM² for the first time, it was love at first sight! Let me share with you 5 reasons to fall in love with PM².
- PM² is simple, accessible, and intuitive
- PM² is attractive and visual
- PM² is adaptable and evolutive
- PM² is pragmatic and concrete
- PM² has a soul and mindsets
PM² is Simple, Accessible, and Intuitive
Because the right kind of love feels easy. Loving the person you’re with should feel as natural as breathing, most days. It should be simple and effortless. It should be straightforward more often than it’s complicated.
PM² is simple and accessible: the methodology comprises only a hundred or so pages and is based on the best of other inspiring methodologies such as IPMA, PMP or Prince 2. Since projects are always challenging, PM² is designed to be easy to use, focusing on the essentials and avoiding the superfluous.
PM² is also smooth and intuitive: the logic behind it is crystal clear thus making it easy to apply. The most important is not to know each little detail in the different processes, but to understand the reasoning behind it.
Because PM² is making life easier, Project Managers are more inclined to use it daily, thus fostering ownership and creating a solid lasting relationship with PM².
PM² is Attractive and Visual
Simplicity is not enough for a lasting love story. Attractiveness also plays a major part in love and relationships. PM² is beautiful and visual: as a Project Manager, I felt immediately seduced and I still enjoy the beauty. PM² is using representations, metaphors, and colorful graphics to illustrate the most important information. “A picture is worth a thousand words”: an impactful visualization enables a more appealing and enjoyable Project Management experience. Let me share some concrete examples with you:
Example 1: The House of PM²
The House of PM² is a metaphor to embody the fundamentals of PM²:
- The common ground is represented by the PM² methodology and Project Management best practices
- PM² is built on 4 pillars: the governance model; the project lifecycle (phases); the processes and the artefacts (templates)
- The roof materializes the effective delivery of solutions and benefits
- PM² relies on a subtle balance between control and agility
- The PM²Mindsets, in blue, are the glue that holds everything together
Example 2: The Governance model in PM²
PM² is also helping Project Managers with the visualization of the governance designed to show 2 different perspectives: the Requestor side or client and the Provider side. This governance model is also relying on different layers: the Business Governing Layer, the Steering Layer, the Directing Layer, the Managing Layer and the Performing Layer. Then each role is clearly defined within this Governance Model. This model is a very useful tool to identify strengths and weaknesses in
the governance of a project.
Example 3: An overview on PM² project lifecycle
This visual representation summarizes the main information related to each project phase (initiating, planning, executing and closing) thus showing the main activities, the phase inputs and outputs, the driver for each phase and the phase gate approvals enabling to end one phase to start the next one.
PM² is Adaptable and Evolutive
Relationships should be able to adjust to face challenges in life: otherwise, we would be stuck in a dead end. One of our most valuable human characteristics is the capacity to consciously evolve: thus, relationships need also to evolve with us. Embracing change allows relationships to develop and reinvent themselves.
We are living in an agile world: this is why Project Managers need to constantly adapt to change, thus adopting an agile mindset. An agile mindset is a flexible way of thinking that enables people to react quickly and adapt to changing situations.
PM² is a hybrid methodology mixing traditional methods with agile principles, thus giving Project Managers enough flexibility to adjust. In PM², the goal is to customize the PM² methodology to the specific context and project environment thus co-creating the perfect tools for your projects and increasing ownership and commitment.
Change means improvements. Continuous improvement is also essential in PM²: therefore, retrospectives, and lessons learned are key to improve the quality of the next projects. Just as in an ideal love story, shouldn’t we be able to evolve to always be the best version of ourselves?
PM² is Pragmatic and Concrete
Love and relationships are not just about ideals and romance. Healthy relationships rely on concrete everyday life experiences, and the ability to adapt and deal with day-to-day contingencies. Pragmatism is central in PM². PM² is not only about theoretical guidelines: PM² supports Project Managers with more than 30 templates or artefacts available in different languages. These artefacts include instructions so you can tailor the documents to your specific needs.
The spirit of PM² always encourages Project Managers to question what is really important for their projects. It is not about blindly following plans or instructions but keeping in mind that methodologies are there to serve projects and not the other ways around. PM² is also about finding the right balance between processes, plans, people, pleasure/pain, participations, perceptions and politics.
In analogy to love, PM² is all about the right balance.
PM² has a Soul and Mindsets
Core values in love or in a relationship are the guiding beliefs that direct your words and actions: they are the foundation of how you live your life, the soul of your relationship.
In PM², the mindsets are central: they are your internal compass to guide your decisions. In the House of PM², the mindsets are the glue that holds everything together. These mindsets comprise a common set of beliefs, values and attitudes to “achieve the project goals by making and acting on the right decisions, at the right time, in the right way and for the right reasons”.
The PM² mindsets include soft-skills and people competences, perspective competences, personal virtues, and the ethical profile.
In addition to the mindsets, PM² always reminds Project Managers not to drawing in project complexity but asking the right common-sense questions such as:
- Do we know what we are doing?
- Do we know why we are doing it?
- Does anyone really care?
- Do we know who is doing what?
- Deliver at any cost or risk?
- Is this important?
PM² mindsets help us navigate through project complexity: it is a solid basis to a healthy project, in analogy to a healthy relationship.
Although it has been love at first sight, my passion for PM² became a lasting evolving relationship because I can rely on solid foundations and values while adapting to change.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to adopt PM², and who knows, maybe you will fall in love too?
As an enthusiastic European, international work is both my passion and in my DNA: I am French – German and Finnish. Since we are all “United in diversity”, my mission as PM² Ambassador is to help you thrive in your European projects with this insightful and visual EU PM methodology. Passionate about gamification, I believe in the impact of learning with a more engaging and entertaining learning experience.