Friday, March 17, 2017

"..... means are authorized"


James Madison, one of the intellectuals of the American revolutionary period, writing in Federalist* 44 in the pre-constitutional period of the late 1780's, said this:
".. wherever the end is required, the means are authorized"
Whoa! Not so fast!

What about " ... means are authorized" so long as they are:
  • Morally and ethically constructed
  • Conform to legal and regulatory constraints
Actually, Madison was defending the "necessary and proper" clause of the American constitution which recognizes that 
If a government has the authority to perform a particular function, it must necessarily have the power to do what is necessary and proper to perform that function. Madison asserts that it is a basic characteristic of government to have the authority to pass authoritative law

But, again I say: Not so fast. Every nefarious and authoritarian regime would make that argument, to wit: "it's legal because I say it's legal"; or, if the supreme authority does it, then it has to be legal.

WHAT ABOUT IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT?
Same thing applies in my mind. The PMO has a fiduciary responsibility to client and business to act in their best interests -- which, by the way, may be in conflict. But, that "end" does not justify any means. Nonetheless, the PMO does have a responsibility to stand up for better regulation and more sensible and practical rules so that best interest are served with ends that are moral, ethical, and legal


* The Federalist papers are a set of 85 essays by multiple authors written to persuade state legislatures to approve and adopt the Federal constitution, written by a convention of States in the late 1780's.


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