Monatsarchiv für August 2021


3-C in Project Management

As I am just preparing an English training in project management I am trying to sort my thoughts. I do not want to focus on traditional vs. agile (or even hybride), I would like to focus on what really counts in any kind project management and this is what I would call the 3-C approach, setting a clear focus in three areas – the three Cs:

  • Common Sense
  • Context
  • Communication

I have to admit: these three seem to be quite trivial but even knowing better we are loosing track on those so easily. Actually they even do not seem to be project management specific. But in complex challenges as projects are they are so important.

But let us have a short look on them.

Common Sense

Obviously we should practice common sense in everything. But do we really do that? Nothing against intuition but there are so many biases affecting our perception that we should be aware of.

Having a look on the agile manifesto most of its messages also seem to be just common sense. Even a traditional old school project manager would agree with most of them but why did theys became such a milestone for agile project management? (Got the irony?) Well, practice of traditional project management often became something very formal and bureaucratic. Focus on customers, working results and collaboration got lost. Of course that was not the fault of traditional project management, that´s just the fault of bad practice. And we can find bad practice anywhere – even in agile project management.

A last aspect of common sense I would like to reflect here: Due to their importance and complexity it should be quite obvious that we should try to face projects systematically and in a professional way (independent of the school we are following). Honestly, even this simple truth has to be recalled in our minds from time to time.


Context is everything. There is no simple truth (beside the 3Cs). Most questions can only be answered with yes or no for a specific context. Even that 1+1=2 is only true in our sense of mathematics. The tricky thing with projects is that we usually don´t really know our context enough. That is a major difference to routine jobs and processes. There we do not even have to think about the context – it is a fixed setup. But projects are different. We have to explore the context first. And even worse: the context might not be something fix and can change anytime.

In my personal opinion even the choice of our project management approach (traditional/agile/hybride) should always be the result of our context. Too often this is handled differently: we are pressing our projects and their respecting context in our ideological setup. And later we wonder why we failed.


The last of the three Cs is communication. Any kind of collaboration needs communication. If we try to explore our context, try to learn, try to solve our problems, try to convince others, and so on. We always depend on communication.

In any complex area we can only reach transparencey through communication.

Again my personal opinion: one of the major success factors in SCRUM is the institutionalization of communication. Daily standups, retrospectives, etc. are a booster for our communication. They are the opposite of paper work and status reports. We shouldn´t take so much political care of the colour of our traffic lights in a status report and focus on our common understanding shared e.g. in our daily or any other form of communication. If a working commuication model is in place, the choice of our project management approach is less important.

There is nothing right or wrong on the various approaches of project management. In the end we well only be asked: Did we succeed? Did we reach our goal?

To be honest: even a perfect implementation of project management might fail. But the 3Cs, I mentioned here, can help to raise the probabilty to succeed – and not only in project management. Loosing the focus on them is a short track to failure.