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A Guide to Project Management

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Unformatted text preview: le to do things that they would not otherwise do." In similar fashion, Eccles et al. (6) say that "politics is about getting collective action from a group of people who may have quite different interests. It is about being willing to use conflict and disorder creatively. The negative sense, of course, derives from the fact that attempts to reconcile these interests result in power struggles and organizational games that can sometimes take on a thoroughly unproductive life of their own." 2.5 SOCIAL-ECONOMIC-ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES Like general management, socioeconomic influences include a wide range of topics and issues. The project management team must understand that current conditions and trends in this area may have a major effect on its project: a small change here can translate, usually with a time lag, into cataclysmic upheavals in the project itself. Of the many potential socioeconomic influences, several major categories that frequently affect projects are described briefly below. ment ment geE L geE PL P 2.5.1 Standards and Regulations The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) differentiates between standards and regulations as follows (7): A standard is a "document approved by a recognized body, that provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines, or characteristics for products, processes or services with which compliance is not mandatory." There are numerous standards in use covering everything from thermal stability of hydraulic fluids to the size of computer diskettes. A regulation is a "document, which lays down product, process or service characteristics, including the applicable administrative provisions, with which compliance is mandatory." Building codes are an example of regulations. Care must be used in discussing standards and regulations since there is a vast gray area between the two; for example: Standards often begin as guidelines that describe a preferred approach, and later, with widespread adoption, become de facto regulations (e.g., the use of the Critical Path Method for scheduling major construction projects). Compliance may be mandated at different levels (e.g., by a government agency, by the management of the performing organization, or by the project management team). For many projects, standards and regulations (by whatever definition) are well known, and project plans can reflect their effects. In other cases, the influence is unknown or uncertain and must be considered under Project Risk Management (described in Chapter 11). 26 NAVIGATION LINKS ACROYMNS LIST ACRONYMS LIST ACROYMNS LIST A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) 2000 Edition 2000 Project Management Institute, Four Campus Boulevard, Newtown Square, PA 19073-3299 USA Chapter 2--The Project Management Context 2.5.2 Internationalization As more and more organizations engage in work that spans national boundaries, more and more projects span national boundaries as...
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