Among Mao Zedong’s writings was a text he, then in his 40s, wrote right after the Long March. That was Problems of Strategy in China’s Revolutionary War. Mao explained in the lessons he learned from the Long March :

 

[People] say that it is enough merely to study the laws of war in general… They do not see that these manuals give merely the laws of war in general and moreover are wholly copied from abroad, and that if we copy and apply them exactly without the slightest change in form or content, we shall be “cutting the feet to fit the shoes” and be defeated.

 

If you read Mao’s book further, you will read this:

 

  • The laws of war—this is a problem that anyone directing a war must study and solve.
  • The laws of revolutionary war—this is a problem that anyone directing a revolutionary war must study and solve.
  • The laws of China’s revolutionary war—this is a problem that anyone directing a revolutionary war in China must study and solve.

 

If you discuss this text and paraphrase it, you can replace war by project management, revolutionary war by major project management, and China by the name of the where your project takes places, for example your organization. Here is what it produces:

 

  • The laws of project management—this is a problem that anyone directing a project must study and solve.
  • The laws of major project management—this is a problem that anyone directing a major project must study and solve.
  • The laws of transformation major project management at [Organization]—this is a problem that anyone directing a major program at [Organization] must study and solve.

 

One size does not fit all.

 

To your continued success

 

Philippe Husser

 

The citations of this article come from my book The High-Impact PMO a series of real-life stories of quirky solutions adopted by complex project sponsors, managers and PMOs to better deliver value.