According to Cognitive Project Management research, neither Project Management nor Project Time Management is homogenous or monolithic constructs. To clarify its contrary view that both business models are multi-dimensional, ICS-Research developed an easy-to-remember mental framework, based on the acronym, T.I.M.E, which stands for Technology, Ideology, Methodology, Ecology.
Any discussion of Project Management principles, or Project Management fundamentals, will benefit from this intellectual aid. And this model is valid no matter what level of Project Management one is studying, since Project Management is chiefly a fractal.Thus, whether we are talking about Project Time Management, Project Cost Management, Project Quality Management, or even Project Management itself, these four aspects of a Management model can be discerned, and used to further our understanding of just how any models really work.
Cognitive Project Management’s T.I.M.E. Framework: An Overview
- Ideology refers to what we value, what we believe, and what goals we pursue.
- Methodology describes what we do in order to manifest our Ideology into reality.
- Technology includes the tools and techniques with which we do what we do (through Methodology). In terms of construction technology, think of construction management techniques in general, and planning techniques in particular.
- Ecology provides the operational context by which our Ideology is formed and substantiated.
Two Opposite Perspectives of the Same Framework
The Cognitive T.I.M.E. Framework exposes an interesting dichotomy when it comes to how we understand and apply Project Time Management. We approach the topics in one order when first learning about them. But then we follow a different order when it comes to actually implementing Project Time Management on a project.
Learning Perspective: The ideal sequence, as shown in the illustration to the left, calls for both Technology and Ideology to be fully understood before studying Methodology, and yet after considering Ecology.
Implementation Perspective: During the implementation phase, the Project Execution Team should begin by first discussing Ecology (what we are up against, what the project entails, what constraints it has and challenges it poses), before going on to develop a Project Time Management Ideology. Once the Ideology is locked down, the Project Team can then design and develop a coherent and compatible Methodologies that, in turn, considers the limitations and capabilities of the chosen Technologies (see illustration at right).