General management theory has long attested that competitive advantage accrues to organisations with unique competencies, systems, and customer relations. Companies often use projects to adapt quickly and uniquely to market complexities. In turn, the creation of unique products and services is inherent in the definition of 'project'. Herein lays an important question. Could Cooperative Competency emerge as a critical success factor for new product development projects? This article reviews literature in marketing, systems theory, and project management to explore the relative neglect of 'soft' skills in advancements of mainstream bodies of knowledge and competency standards. It proposes that advancements are being limited by assumptions underlying the current definition of project management. To rectify the neglect, a change of project definition is recommended, from 'creating unique products, services, or results' to 'solving problems in a unique manner. Its exploration addresses an important question. If 'hard' hierarchical control styles of managing projects are declining in favour of 'soft' controls, and if management-by-projects is a successor, then how could the alarming rate of project failures be overcome? Project professionals, academics, and MBA students contemplated these questions in a Forum titled 'The Future of Project-Based Management'. This article summarises debates and Delphi research findings from the Forum held in Sydney, Australia.