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LifeStyle with Tai Chi and Qigong >> Tai Chi Qigong for Daily Life

How a Project Manager/Engineer Blends Tai Chi in His Work

by Dr. Chung Wu , published in June 2018

Dr. Chung Wu is a Supervisory IT Project Manager at the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC) in Silver Spring, MD. He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering (E.E.) from the National Taiwan University, and then attended the University of Maryland, where he received a Ph.D. in E.E. in 1983. Dr. Wu is a certified Expert Systems Engineering Professional (ESEP) of International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) of Project Management Institute (PMI), and a certified Tai Chi Master Instructor of American Tai Chi and Qiqong Association (ATCQA).

As a strong advocate of "adapting Tai Chi to life and harmonizing life with Tai Chi", I have always emphasized blending Tai Chi in our daily work and living activities in my decades of teaching of Tai Chi.

Engineering and project management professionals utilize the project management process in order to enhance their chances of success. This management process consists of five generic groups: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing. Information flow will typically follow the same order. Among these five groups, the Executing Group is the most expensive group in that it consumes the majority of funding and resources of the project. The Monitoring and Controlling Group provides regular measures of progress, assessments of variances and risks to allow both the Planning Group and Executing Group to interact iteratively and effectively, therefore all working together to carry out the defined objectives of project plan.

A notional analogy and adaption of project management process and Tai Chi life adaption process is summarized in the following Table:

Project Management Process

Tai Chi Life Adaption Process


Core Input

Core Output





Stakeholders’ input/requests

Authorization with project charter and project plan (with scope, schedule, cost)


Health needs and incentives of life benefits  

Determination to learn Tai Chi with levels of goals (e.g. forms, push hands, etc.)


Project charter and project plan

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)  with activity sequence diagram


Determination to learn Tai Chi with levels of goals and plans

Tai Chi learning plan with leaning sequence for identified goals   


WBS and activity sequence diagram

Implemented results and deliverables 


Tai Chi learning plan  and sequence

Attended class to learn and practice regularly

Monitoring and Controlling

Project plan  and  deliverables

Regular progress measures with variance and risk assessment

Monitoring and Controlling

Tai Chi principles and learning progress

Regular progress assessment to continue improving



Acceptance and delivery of final products, services, and results 


Gain Tai Chi skills and lifelong benefits

Tai Chi practitioner  and adaption of Tai Chi to real life

With this table, we are now ready to discuss the key objective of this article on the experience of how Tai Chi practitioners, engineers, project managers and its project teams can adapt their experiences with each other.

For Tai Chi practitioners, they can adapt the organized engineering and project management process to help (1) make the determination on learning Tai Chi based on their health needs and life benefits, (2) develop a learning plan and find classes and instructors for the identified needs and goals, (3) be committed to learn and practice Tai Chi, (4) conduct regular measurement of progress and assessment in accordance with Tai Chi principles, and (5) gain Tai Chi skills to be a successful practitioner and enjoy the lifelong benefits of harmonizing life with Tai Chi.

For engineering and project management professionals, they can adapt the philosophical aspects of Tai Chi principles to the project management process to further enhance their chance of success. As an illustrative example, when we adapt the "Body" with "Project Task", and the "Force" with "Project Risk", then "Do Not Use Excessive Force" principle can easily relate to leveraging the structure and momentum of project task itself. Similarly, "Do Not Confront Outside Forces while Balancing the Body at All Times" principle can then relate to assessing the nature and impacts of project risk and to adaptively controlling the execution of project task to gain the situational command and control ability with minimal project resources.

Through years of adapting and practicing experiences, Tai Chi principles can indeed benefit the project teams to have more effective management and control for their projects. As a result, the project teams can then execute their project plan more effectively and accurately to increase their chances of success.

We sincerely hope that this article can help the readers have a better understanding of Tai Chi and its physical and philosophical benefits. Tai Chi brings good things to life, and it is a good and lifelong activity and exercise for all of us to proceed regardless of age.

The author thanks Andrea Wu, M.D., Allen Jang, Ph.D., N.D., and Shuenn-Jue Wu, Ph.D. for their thorough reviews and suggestions on this article.




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