Today I am attending TEDxRamallah from Amman. So far several interesting speakers have taken to stage and in the tradition of TED have presented many ideas that are worth spreading. I find though that I am drawn to a quote on the brochure by Muriel Rukeyser, an American poet, “the universe is made of stories, not atoms.”

Story telling has been the primary mechanism that the TED events has leveraged to deliver powerful ideas focused on transforming the world. As I reflect on the above quote I quickly realize that story telling had a rich tradition in project management.

To some this may seem a bit of a stretch, especially as they read thru dry documents such as PM standards and textbooks. However, if we dig q bit deeper and we look to how standards are formulated we realize that the best practices and lessons learned that are captured in these documents are extracted from the rich experiences that professionals have gone through during their careers.

Stories play a central role in bringing people together. In project management the same is true and what is exciting is that the outcomes of our successful projects provide for a powerful framework that can bring stakeholders a higher level of prosperity.

As I talk to colleagues at this event and many others focused on project management I realize that our common language can help us make a real difference in people’s lives. Here are some of the ways that I think that the bridging of project management and story telling can make this happen.

– igniting passion. People who hear of experiences in project management develop a great deal of passion.
– making a difference. Professionals who become familiar with the results that successful projects bring to the lives of stakeholders realize that project management makes a difference.
– overcoming challenges. Understanding project management and mastering it’s basic tenants helps practitioners learn how to navigate through risks and overcoming obstacles.

The above list is only but a sampling of making project management relevant as a true force in people’s lives. As professionals we have to constantly work to make project management mainstream so as to take it to the next level. We have to help people relate to it. The only way we can do so in fact is through story telling.