In more ways than we can recall, imagination plays a pivotal role in our daily endeavors, to the extent that the successes we achieve have been enabled through the influence of imagination. Without our consciousness or permission, we tend to respond to challenges by first forming, conjuring or perceiving words, images, structures and processes; make affirmation or confirmation about a target objective, and then tend to act out in concert with the quiet but powerful force called imagination. 

Think for a moment about the last time you were aware of this capacity and actually activated it to achieve a task. 

I must confess that I have no training whatsoever in psychology and most definitely cannot take you deeper into this fascinating subject, but rest assured that publications from several protagonists like, C.S. Lewis (Image and Imagination), Belleruth Naparstek (Guided Imagery), and others can provide greater elaboration. The power of imagination and imagery you will discover triangulates all facets of our human experience, from healing to learning, developing and repairing individual relationships, managing pain and stress relief, even achieving material wealth! You may also find many instances of this practice in Storytelling, which is an equally exciting human interaction phenomenon. So, why not apply it in the practice of project management as well?    

The project charter 

The project charter is a highly significant document since it is an authorization to the project manager to apply organizational resources to create unique outcomes. This document actually names the project, stipulates the starting date, duration, and the appropriated funding. With this document in hand, the project manager may now proceed immediately with the process of developing the charter by adding greater detail of how this project will be achieved. Many of the documentation for the project are created at this time. The project scope is a major output of the phase, and guess what, this is where imagination and imagery come alive. Translating the sponsor’s original charter into the Scope – how we intend to implement this project, an initial mental conception is fired up, and from then on, the project is sustained in conformity to the imagination and imagery, and in concert with knowledge, experience, and collaboration with selected critical team players. 

Integrating the project 

From here on, the project will be guided along the path envisioned by the project manager and the team – first by adhering to the project management life cycle framework and the attendant processes and sub-process activities, and then by applying knowledge, tools, and techniques to achieve the desired outcome. 

In conclusion 

Imagination and imagery are related ideas but not exactly the same. Both however can significantly highlight competencies among professionals in all fields of endeavor. The skill to employ and leverage imagination and imagery in professional practice is learnable. Consider an investment in it and remember to fire it up when confronted by new challenges. The more you employ and deploy it, the greater accomplishments you can realize.