Away from a Cybernetic Theory of Project Management
There is a tendency in academic PM circles to lament the fact that there is no "theory" of PM, and to attempt to remedy the situation by identifying PM with control systems theory and particularly with cybernetics (feedback loops). The essence of the solution is usually to model PM as a closed-loop control system.
More advanced papers on the topic commonly arrive at the conclusion that such linear approaches do not suffice for PM. To address this new understanding of the problem, an adaptive controller approach is suggested, in which attributes of the controller -- in essence the "rules" of project management -- can be updated in real time to respond to inputs that vary nonlinearly.
Overlooked in such approaches is that no general theoretical method of designing adaptors exists. Adaptors cannot cope with arbitrary or unknown perturbations, and so are usually developed for specific applications. Adaptive controllers therefore do not provide a model that can be used to develop a general theory of PM.