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Unformatted text preview: project management language to the commercial project management language is a simple, one-to-one correspondence. During the course of this chapter we introduce most of the relevant government project management terms and phrases and explain what they mean with respect to the concepts we have already developed in this book. Along the way, we also try to give a little of the rationale behind their philosophies that should justify, to some extent, why things have evolved in the way they have. Before proceeding with this task, we first say a few words of an historical nature to put some of their accomplishments in perspective. Perhaps two of the most significant project management innovations were associated with government projects. World War II, directly or indirectly, generated more technical innovations than any previous period. The war had a profound impact on our social structure and values, and the nation emerged with the view that technology held the solution to many of the world's problems. For at least two decades after the war, the nation struggled to stay ahead of the emerging Soviet technology threat. During this period, the government undertook colossal technology programs. Government programs being undertaken today are still growing larger and more complex, but, in comparison to what had preceded it, this period was unprecedented. A new genera - Page 213 tion of engineers and scientists was bred, and there was great pressure to succeed in accomplishing large-scale technological leaps. One of these gigantic undertakings was the development of the Polaris submarine. This project was a huge technological undertaking, and the engineers, scientists, and managers who accomplished it had, in general, technological backgrounds and technological outlooks. With this project is associated the two key project management techniques of earned value analysis and PERT chart-type scheduling analysis. We discussed the emergence of PERT chart scheduling analysis in Chapter 7. It is not clear exactly to whom we should credit the earned value analysis concept, but it appears that either the idea itself or at least its widespread employment came out of this project. But this was not the whole of the government project management contribution to the profession. Many of the details of cost and schedule variance analysis and of other technical project management techniques seem to have either originated on government projects or at least been developed through them. Consequently, technical excellence and innovation have characterized the government project management profession. But, on the practical side, the commercial project managers have made their own contribution, and it is equally significant, if not more so. Unfortunately, the government, as it is wont to do, has spent a great effort trying to codify and pass down its style of project management to the government project managers of the future. In so doing, it has tended to overlook some of the most significant project management developments in the commercial sector. For instance, the government has been slow to adopt the multibudgeting approach explained...
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- Spring '10