Here is today’s episode of the “Campfire Talks with Herbie”.

Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo

Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo A

Name (and Company/Affiliation if desired)

Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo, PTMC/APMX, Jakarta, Indonesia

Who are you?

Mini-Bio… Best to visit my Linked In Profile

“Agile” whether disciplined, agnostic or any other combination or permutation is nothing more than the same “trial and error” method used by our Neanderthal ancestors 300.000 years ago to tame fire and the same method used 6000 years ago to invent the wheel, and the same method given the name of the “Scientific Method” around the 12th Century and which for the past 1000 or so years, has brought us hundreds of thousands of new products and services, including the telephone (Bell), the lightbulb (Edison) and penicillin (Fleming).

I am considered to be a heretic, particularly by PMI and APM/APMG. I have little or no use for these supposedly “not for profit” professional societies as I see them as being nothing more than sanctimonious versions of the trade unions.

I believe that we need to INTEGRATE Asset Management (ISO 55000) with Project and Program Management (ISO 21500).

Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo B

How did you get involved with Agile, Coaching, Organizational Performance - and in particular with TameFlow?

I was invited to speak by Mark Jørgensen Chaudhry based on my views that Agile is nothing more than another of the “asset delivery systems” that any organization can choose from to “create, acquire, expand, upgrade, maintain, repair and eventually dispose of, organizational assets.

That when looked at from an asset delivery option this is what the landscape looks like:

Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo C

These views are further devloped in the paper “Agile” is NOT a subset of Project Management BUT A Stand-Alone Alternate Methodology that is Equal to Project Management.

Are you currently (or do you intend) making a living in this sector? And with TameFlow?

I make a living developing and delivering competency based training, assessments and consulting in applied asset, portfolio, program (operations) and project management to the oil, gas, mining, telecommunications and infrastructure development sectors. I am not an IT guy, although I have worked on some IT projects.

I am still looking at Tameflow and thus far, consistent with my views that “project management” is an integral part of human kinds development and evolution, I don’t see a whole lot of difference between Tameflow and the work of Henri Fayol, who I consider to be the father of “modern” project management. I see Tameflow as being Fayol’s 14 Points updated for 2020.

Give us a typical day in your life!

Being a 73 year old Widower, who absolutely loves my work, I pretty much work 15 hours a day, 7 days a week and when I get bored or have some free time, I go fishing or scuba diving which I also love (and one of the reasons I have been based in Jakarta, Indonesia for 28 years now as it is so close to the ocean with good fishing and diving year round).

What makes you happy at the end of a day?

I like a nice glass of wine and good sex is always appreciated. But I love to be able to help develop the competency of younger people.

What’s the most important skill or insight you’ve developed while getting involved with this industry?

The ability to develop competency in others.

Definition of “competency”: Competency is the quality or state of being functionally adequate when assessed against a standard.

Competency is characterized by appropriate and sufficient aptitude + attitude + skills + strengths + knowledge necessary for the job.

Restated from the Merriam Webster Dictionary.

Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo E

What are the greatest challenges on your path to using/improving the techniques you favor in this sector? Where do you see TameFlow in this?

Too many people who think that passing multiple choice exams qualify them as being competent asset, portfolio, program or project managers.

Fundamental truth: You cannot develop competency by reading books… The only way to develop competency is through “hands on” experience…

“The only source of knowledge is experience” - Albert Einstein.

“Experience is a tough teacher. She gives the tests first and the lessons after” - William H. Ottley

“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from experience of others, are also remarkable in their apparent disinclination to do so” - Douglas Adams

Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo F

Some of the biggest problems having little or nothing to do with the various tools and techniques but with human nature* - specifically, “Optimism Bias” and “Strategic Misrepresentation” (lying).

Here is 10+ years’ worth of research from Glenn Butts, NASA and Prof. Bent Flyvbjerg, Oxford University showing why projects continue to fail and despite having been around for 10+ years, organizations such as PMI, IPMA, APM/APMG, AACE et al continue to ignore these “root cause” problems and more importantly, what we can and should be doing to fix them.

Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo G

Until or unless we start to hold people legally accountable, in both the civil and criminal courts for their misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance, we are never going to see any improvement in “project success rates”.

To my knowledge, the only professional organization that has made it an ethical violation to knowingly accept a “Death March” project is the Guild of Project Controls which has adopted/adapted the model code of ethics from the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) professionals.

What are the greatest rewards you’ve had (personally or professionally) or would like to receive in this industry?

Seeing the people I have mentored over the years being successful. I absolutely despise organizations like PMI and IPMA giving “recognition” for every little thing. What happened to people being satisfied just knowing they did a good job? Are we getting to the point that we too need what amounts to “show up” trophies or gold or silver stars for simply doing our jobs? Is no one capable of being self-satisfied anymore?

What do you want to learn from a community of peers, like the one here TameFlow Community site?

I like my thinking to be challenged by sharp and competent practitioners to keep my own ideas and perspectives “fresh” and on the “cutting edge”.

What question(s) would you like to ask Steve, or what topics would you like him to develop (in relation to the TameFlow Approach)?

I’d love to debate/discuss my views on “agile” (in whatever form) as being nothing more than the “trial and error” method used by our Neanderthal ancestors 300,000 years to ago to tame fire or 6000 years ago to invent the wheel and which evolved around the 12th Century into the “Scientific Method”.

How is Tameflow “different” or “unique”? Also the same goes for comparing Tameflow to Fayol.

If other TameFlow enthusiasts want to reach out to you, where do they find you? And what is your TameFlow Community handle?

On LinkedIn: projectdoctor/.

In the TameFlow Community: dr_pdg.


If you found the topics in the “Campfire Talks with Herbie” interesting, there is much more to learn about them in the Tame your Work Flow, How Dr. Goldratt of “The Goal” would apply the Theory of Constraints to rethink knowledge-work management book.


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