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Fundamentals Of Project Management

Plus a host of smaller ones in the 1960s president

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Unformatted text preview: im safely to earth by the end of the decade. The budget was essentially unlimited. Within the program Kennedy outlined were a host of projects, each with its own mission. “If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?” This questions sums up the reason some projects go astray. The mission statement is developed to prevent confusion on the part of the project team concerning the direction the project should take. After it is created, the mission statement should be used to set goals and objectives, to make decisions, and to select team members—that is, to answer any and every question that arises in the course of executing the project. A mission statement provides the basis for which goals and objectives can be set and for making decisions, taking actions, hiring employees, etc. www.erpvn.net Note the word used. Once the mission statement is developed, it should be used. This seems obvious; yet many organizations seem to forget the mission statement after it is written. Perhaps it is because project managers tend to then go into the firefighting mode and forget the mission. Like the old joke, they have forgotten that the objective is to drain the swamp because they are too busy fighting the alligators. In their book In Search of Excellence, Peters and Waterman say that one characteristic of excellent companies is that they “stick to their knitting.” Two points are of significance here. First, the company knows that it knits rather than crochets. Second, it sticks to knitting and does not wander off into the world of crochet. This approach seems to be a far cry from that used in the 1960s by many organizations, which formed conglomerates for diversity under the belief that if you are really a good manager, you can manage anything. That assumption has been challenged in recent years, for the data simply don’t support it. Nevertheless, it persists. A company mission statement provides a focus that can help you select the right projects to do, and the project mission statement should keep you focused on the desired project outcomes. SATISFYING THE CUSTOMER IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT The quality movement that began in the 1980s made managers aware that a primary concern of an organization, whether a business or a not-for-profit agency, is to satisfy its customers. The same can be said for project teams. A project is conducted to solve a problem; it will be judged based on how well it meets the needs of end users, regardless of whether it came in on time and on budget. Slevin and Pinto have written that when a project comes in on time and budget but fails to meet the needs of the customer, its managers have committed an Error of the Third Kind (see Dennis Slevin, The Whole Manager, AMACOM Books, p. 313). This type of error seems to happen far more frequently than one would expect. A primary concern of an organization is to satisfy its customers. Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a method of examining product o...
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