❺PATHS™ Project Management Philosophy

pre-title Ⓟ Processes | Ⓐ Acquirements | Ⓣ Technologies | Ⓗ Human resources | Ⓢ Structures pre-title


A Success-Oriented PM Philosophy

❺PATHS™ Project Management philosophy and methodology is fundamentally based on the fusion of the western Goal-Directed Project Management approach and the ancient eastern 'Five States of Change' (or rather 'Five Movements of Change') theory.

The five phases of Project Management Life Cycle (❺PATHS™ PMLC) are aligned with the principles and five elements (㊍ ㊋ ㊏ ㊎ ㊌) of the holistic Chinese 'Five States of Change' philosophy.

This ancient eastern theory depicts the elements/movements of the change in the order of natural lifecycle from beginning to completion.

There are also other important sources applied such as Silva's Mental Screen Technique (Mind Control Concept) and the Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) of Summit-D Systems Delivery methodology to make our approach more efficient, practical and understandable.

The term FIVE PATHS basically refers to the five essential result paths of a goal-directed, result-driven project.

Please note that the letters of mnemonic acronym 'PATHS' also refer to the five elements/phases of PMLC, just in another order (SAHTP).

The five result PATHS are the following:


Development and change of PROCESSES


Development and change of DATA, REPORTS and KNOWLEDGE


Development and deployment of
APPLICATIONS, SYSTEMS, and architectures

Human resources

Development of Human SKILLS and Resource Management


Development of ORGANIZATIONAL and TEAM structures




pre-title Ⓟ Ⓐ Ⓣ Ⓗ Ⓢ / IDEAL / SMART pre-title

The road to PATHS™

From the very beginning...

2016 - to date GDPM & ❺PATHS™ principles in easyPROJECT tool by Attila Lukács
2005 - to date Development of ❺PATHS™ philosophy / methodology by Attila Lukács
2006 First Hungarian GDPM book was translated and introduced by Zoltán Véry & Béla Ulicsák
2005 The idea of merging ancient eastern & recent western management philosophies (❺PATHS™) by Attila Lukács
2005 Hungarian translation and implementation of 'GoalDirector' GDPM software tool by György Törő & Attila Lukács
2004 Third edition of 'The more Goal Directed' GDPM was released by Andersen, Grude and co-authors: Mike Katagiri, Rodney Turner & Tor Haug
2002 Five elements to model workplace dynamics by Tom Graves
1994-1998 GDPM was introduced to PwC, GE Budapest Bank & MATÁV in Hungary by György Törő
1992-1997 GDPM Excel tool was developed by Coopers & Lybrand / PwC consultants
cca. 1989 - 1992 GDPM was introduced to business life World-wide and became standard within C&L by Coopers & Lybrand
1987 Goal Directed Project Management is published by Kogan Page Erling S. Andersen, Kristoffer V. Grude, Tor Haug, Rodney Turner
1984 First release of Goal Directed Project Management (GDPM) - 'Målrettet prosjektstyring' Erling S. Andersen & Kristoffer V. Grude
1959 'Project Manager' expression in the Harward Business Review by Paul Gaddis
1956 US-Air Force: C/SCSC (Cost/Schedule Control System Criteria) US-Air Force Project Management Manual
1944 - 1970s Theoretical basics of modern Project Management. Linear, mainly task-driven PM US-Air Force, US-Navy, NASA, etc.
cca. 1941 - 1944 Manhattan Engineering District Project First Project Management documentation
cca. 770–476 BC (China) 五行 Wǔ Xing (woo sshing - 'Five Elements' or 'Five States of Change') First known Management Theory in the World

They had an influence on me...

My first project was in 1993. I managed it without any methodological background, using a very simple sequential, task-driven thinking. Then I met GDPM in 1998...

From 1999 to 2011 I have studied and researched thoroughly ancient cultures back to 5.000 years including the Taoism, the book 'I Ching' and the 'Five States of Change' theory.

In 2005 I had a dream to combine the recent western management methodologies with ancient eastern management philosophies.

Thanks to Tom Graves for his great essay 'Five elements to model workplace dynamics' published in 2002. In 2005 this essey illuminated how to combine the five elements theory with GDPM basics.

Thanks to the developers of the New York State Project Management Guidebook. This open guidebook had also an influence on the development of 5-PATHS methodology framework.

Thanks to Allan Elder's "Five Elements of a Project" essay. Allan's five project elements point out the essence of the Project Management. "#3 - One Accountable Entity"

Thanks to Jose Silva's 'Mental Screen' technique of his Mind Control method. This is really aligned with the Goal-Directed, Success-Oriented Project Management philosophy.

Many thanks to my mentor György Törő for introducing the GDPM basics in 1998. Thanks for all his great ideas, instructions, and help in Project Management. 'A Project has only ONE Project Manager'

Special thanks to Erling S. Andersen, Kristoffer V. Grude, Tor Haug, Rodney Turner and Mike Katagiri for the fantastic GDPM philosophy

And last but not least thanks to the ANCIENT EASTERN SAGES for the 'Five Movements of Change' (五行) theory and 'I Ching' (易經).

Attila Lukács

Owner of 5-Ways Lp., developer of ❺PATHS™


❺PATHS™ Project Management Life Cycle corresponds to the 'Five States of Change' theory in the order of NATURAL life cycle from beginning to completion. The ancient five elements are percieved here as dynamic states and qualities of Change (default interpretation).

The letters of PATHS are sorted here according to the natural life cycle (S A H T P).

5-PATHS™ components / Five elements as dynamic states and qualities of Change
㊍ Wood: originating qualities of changes
㊋ Fire: developing qualities of changes
㊏ Earth: harmonizing qualities of changes
㊎ Metal: realizing qualities of changes
㊌ Water: finishing qualities of changes
The five stages / phases of
Project Management Life Cycle (PMLC)

1. Origination

2. Initiation

3. Planning

4. Execution & control

5. Closure
The initials of five essential result paths (PATHS) matched to the life cycle (PMLC)
S Structure of Wood,
origin, organic, organizational
A Acquired knowledge,
illuminating as Fire
H Humans of the 3D World,
center as the Earth
T Technologies,
associated with Metal
P Processes
flowing as Water, finishing
Tom Graves' workplace dynamics model
"Forming" - Origin
"Storming" - Creativity
"Norming" - Center & balance
"Performing" - Execution, control
"Adjourning" - End, close

Please note that 5-PATHS™ differentiates between Project Management Life Cycle (PMLC) and Project Life Cycle (PLC) as terms used commonly in project management methodologies. PMLC refers to the delivery of the project from management point of view. On the contrary, PLC refers to the expected project results from delivery point of view utilizing Project Management components, elements, stages, processes, and tools. Project life cycles may vary from the nature of the project.


Components of PATHS™

The most important components of our methodology correspond to the five elements listed in the table below.
As far as 5-PATHS components are concerned the ancient five elements are percieved as physical things, subtsances.

The order of the five elements are aligned here with the mnemonic acronym 'PATHS' instead of 'SAHTP' (order of letters according to the natural life cycle phases).

5-PATHS™ components
Five elements as subtsances
Ⓟ Processes
㊌ Water quality
Ⓐ Acquirements
㊋ Fire quality
Ⓣ Technologies
㊎ Metal quality
Ⓗ Human
㊏ Earth quality
Ⓢ Structures
㊍ Wood quality
Please note that not all components can be matched exactly to the qualities of five elements
Processes, procedures, projects
Acquirements, acquired knowledge, data
Technologies, tools, systems, applications
Human resources and their skills
Structure of organizations
Five ENTERPRISE project types of 5-PATHS™ (Change types)
Process and procedure changes, developments
Data, information, knowledge developments
Technology changes, developments
People skill developments
Organizational structure changes, developments
Five uncertainty & RISK categories of 5-PATHS™
Work and Schedule (timing) risks
Scoping and Budgeting risks
Technological risks
Human resource risks
Organizational risks
Five key success factors of 5-PATHS™
Work and Schedule are predicted
Scope and Budget are managed, Risks are mitigated
Quality is assured
Stakeholders are committed, Project Team is high performing
Delivery Organization benefits are realized
Five IDEAL responsibilities of 5-PATHS™ Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)
I: providing Information and advise /I in RACI/
D: making Decisions (based on acquired knowledge) /A in RACI/
E: Executing, performing the work /R in RACI/
A: Activating, arranging Human resources
L: Looking over (organizational level) /C in RACI/
Five SMART goals - This is a 'guest' technique. The mnemonic acronym SMART can not be matched exactly to Ⓟ Ⓐ Ⓣ Ⓗ Ⓢ.
S: Specific
M: Measurable
A: Achievable
R: Relevant
T: Time-bound