Images of utopia of order and chaos can serve to depict paradoxes observed in projects by illustrating the ongoing challenges presented by formal organization and informal social structure at the interface of temporary/permanent organizing. This paper develops a conceptual framework that shows that governance, organizational design and governmentality are all essential to an understanding of projects. We seek to clarify these concepts and to consider temporalities in the organizational project management context. This implies examining temporary/permanent organizing interaction at macro-meso-micro levels and challenging the traditional categorization of the formal and the informal aspects into two different and isolated streams of research. The paper offers a theoretical contribution to project studies by creating a bridge between process theory, the sensemaking perspective and the study of organizational project management. It also contributes to practice through the framework’s analytical potential and improved understanding of the relationship between governance and organizational design.