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Unformatted text preview: needs a good methodology for planning projects if it is to be successful. Information
Most organizations have problems with information on two counts. Good historical data are needed for
planning projects, yet most organizations have not kept good records, so they have poor information about
their own histories. This is especially true for cost data. There is a rule in many companies that you cannot go
above budget on a project. There is another rule that says you cannot come in under budget, either. To achieve
such zero variance, projects that are overspending have charges transferred to those that are underspent, thus
contaminating both databases and making the data worthless (actually worse than worthless, because they
lead to inaccurate budgeting for future jobs). Note also the need for current information. A lot of companies
find this to be a problem. They don’t have good management information systems (MIS) for projects, only for
inventory, payroll, and manufacturing control. In fact, you may have to set up your own system initially, since
information systems departments are often slow to develop what you need (if they do it at all). Fortunately,
most scheduling software allows you to enter information and track progress yourself. With laptops, you can
transmit data from remote sites easily, so this is not the problem that it once was. Control
In a sense, the only reason you are reading this book is summed up by this one word—control. What are you
expected to do as a manager? You are expected to get desired organization results through the management
(call that control) of scarce resources. If you aren’t in control, you will soon be told about it and steps will be
taken to get you in control or to get you out of the way.
The control subsystem is supported by the planning and information subsystems. Both are needed in order to
achieve control, because control is exercised by comparing where you are against where you are supposed to
be, then taking action to correct any deviations. You need a plan to tell you where you are supposed to be, and
you need information to tell you where you are. If either of these is missing, you can’t exercise control. More
on this in Chapters 7 and 8. Key Points to Remember
• A project is a problem scheduled for solution.
If the problem is not defined correctly, you may find the right solution to the wrong problem!
Focus on desired outcomes. How will you know when you achieve them?
Try to learn from every project by doing a final audit.
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EarthWeb is prohibited. Read EarthWeb's privacy statement. www.erpvn.net Fundamentals of Project Management
by James P. Lewis
ISBN: 0814478352 Pub Da...
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This document was uploaded on 09/27/2013.
- Fall '13