Fundamentals Of Project Management

Your work and monitoring progressexercising control

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Unformatted text preview: d monitoring progress/exercising control to achieve desired project results. The approach outlined in this book is based on what is considered best practice by experts in the field. If you follow the methods presented here, you will increase the probability that you can meet critical performance, cost, and schedule targets. Admittedly, there is a lot more to project management than can be presented in this short book, but if you learn the essence of the tools, you can go on from there to increase your skill. Table of Contents Products | Contact Us | About Us | Privacy | Ad Info | Home Use of this site is subject to certain Terms & Conditions, Copyright © 1996-2000 EarthWeb Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of EarthWeb is prohibited. Read EarthWeb's privacy statement. Fundamentals of Project Management by James P. Lewis AMACOM Books ISBN: 0814478352 Pub Date: 01/01/95 Search Tips Search this book: Advanced Search Previous Table of Contents Next Title ----------- Chapter 1 An Overview of Project Management A project is a job that is done once. WHAT IS A PROJECT? What is the difference between project management and managing in general? Aren’t they really the same? The answer, of course, is no. A project is done only once, whereas most jobs are ongoing or repetitive, and managing one-time jobs is different from managing ongoing ones. For one thing, the people who work on a project may be reassigned to other jobs once the project is completed, so the team is temporary. Often the team members do not report to the project manager on a regular basis, meaning that the project manager has no direct authority over them, a situation that presents its own set of problems. Quality expert Dr. J. M. Juran defines a project as a problem scheduled for solution. This definition forces us to recognize that projects are aimed at solving problems and that failure to define the problem properly is what sometimes gets us into trouble. Interestingly, when you tell project team members that you want to begin planning a project by writing a problem statement, they tend to say, “We don’t need to do that. We all know what the problem is.” In my younger days, I was sometimes intimidated by that response. Not any more. My rejoinder is, “If that is true, it will only take five minutes, so let’s do it.” I have never yet gotten a group to write a problem statement in five minutes, because seldom do people really understand or agree on what the problem is. This failure to achieve a consensus definition of the problem leads to developing the right solution to the wrong problem or to a paralyzing bickering about goals. “A project is a problem scheduled for solution.” —J. M. JURAN To help a team at this point, I offer a definition of a problem. A desired objective by itself. not a problem The key to a problem is that there is an obstacle tha...
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