By the end of this chapter, you should be able to:
Identify the differences between functional and project management. Explain why project management is necessary in business today. Name the major organizational structures
and explain the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Identify the requirements of an effective
project management system.
Many people become project managers by accident. Someone assigns them to manage a project because of their areas of expertise, not because they have received any project management training. However, if you manage a project by accident, it will become a disaster!
Learning project management skills can help you complete projects on time, on budget, and on target. The discipline of project management includes proven strategies for clarifying project objectives, avoiding serious errors of omission, and eliminating costly mistakes. It also addresses the necessary people skills for acquiring the cooperation, support, and resources to get the job done.
Project management is not just for project managers. Team members need to know how to carry out their parts of the project, and business executives need to understand how to support project management efforts in the organization.
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SUCCESSFUL PROJECT MANAGEMENT
WHAT IS PROJECT MANAGEMENT?
Project management is a set of principles, methods, and techniques to plan and control project work. It establishes a sound basis for effective planning, scheduling, resourcing, decision making, controlling, and replanning. Project management principles and techniques help complete projects on schedule, within budget, and in full accordance with project specifications. At the same time, they help achieve the other goals of the organization, such as productivity, quality, and cost-effectiveness.
The objective of project management is to ensure that projects meet agreed goals of time, cost, and scope.
THE HISTORY OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Project management has been around since the beginning of time. Noah was a project manager. It took careful planning and execution to construct the ark and gather two of every animal on earth, including all the necessary food and water. The pyramids of Egypt stand today because of thousands of projects and hundreds of project managers.
Although there have been brilliant project managers over the years, project management was not recognized as a formal management concept until operations research in the 1950s and 1960s pioneered methods and specialized tools to manage expensive, high-profile aerospace projects such as Polaris and Apollo. NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense established project management standards that they expected their contractors to follow. In the middle and late 1960s, business managers began searching for new techniques and organizational structures that would help them adapt quickly to changing environments. The 1970s and 1980s brought more published data on project management, leading to the development of theories, methods, and standards. The construction industry, for example, saw the potential benefits of formal project management and began to adopt standards and develop new techniques. Large-scale initiatives such as quality improvement and reengineering provided data, analysis, and problem-solving techniques, but no structured discipline to implement them. Therefore, managers turned to project management for direction in implementing and tracking such large-scale projects.
By the 1990s, industries in both profit and nonprofit sectors realized that the size and complexity of their activities were unmanageable without formal project management processes and tools.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT TODAY
Today, modern project management has emerged as a premier solution in business operations. Large and small organizations recognize that...
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