Target-oriented mutual interacting opens new options for agency and spectrums of action. It enables new objectives and releases its own dynamic. Most importantly, though, are the by-products that come into focus through the shared motive. These by-products themselves are not the purpose of an action; they are contingencies that are not intended, yet happen anyway. These unavoidable yet unknown by-products of action emerging out of a system’s interplay can spur unexpected, unplanned, yet productive processes. Once considered as inevitable, contingency – the awareness of meeting and the necessity of dealing with unexpected by-products – allows calculating the unforeseeable and deploying these by-products. Considering target-oriented action as a poietic form of production and making use of something non-intended are a lesson learnt from performance and Hannah Arendt:
'Das ursprüngliche Produkt des Handels ist nicht die Realisierung vorgefasster Ziele und Zwecke, sondern die von ihm ursprünglich gar nicht intendierten Geschichten, die sich ergeben, wenn bestimmte Ziele verfolgt werden, und die sich für den Handelnden selbst ersteinmal wie nebensächliche Nebenprodukte seines Tuns darstellen mögen. Das, was von dem Handelnden schließlich in der Welt verbleibt, sind nicht die Impulse, die ihn selbst in Bewegung setzten, sondern die Geschichten, die er verursachte.' (Wildfeuer 2013, 1791)
Focusing on accidental or circumstantial products entails the need to be aware of, make use of and be in control of the uncontrollable contingencies of action.
Performance cannot be thought without also thinking contingency. Coincidence, the unforeseeable is what constitutes performative processes. Insofar as cultural practices can be understood as performative processes, we have to consider that their unique, future-oriented qualities can only be gained, as long as the strong and almost irresolvable connection between performance and contingency is taken into account. Future-activities constitute reality by producing a setting, that is never subsumable under just individual action, they constitute reality by also shaping and displaying the unplanned and the unforeseeable. Any performative process can therefore be considered as one that is due to emergence.
Wildfeuer, A. and Kolmer, P., 2013. Praxis. In: Neues Handbuch philosophischer Grundbegriffe. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1774–1804.
What makes it unlikely for the project manager to realise everything as planned?
The situation as found. A project manager is part of a complex and contingent project world continuously enacted by human and non-human actors. There is no such thing as a tabula rasa situation.