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Unformatted text preview: d monitoring progress/exercising control to achieve desired
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
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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 Date: 01/01/95
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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 iswww.erpvn.net by itself.
not a problem The key to a problem is that there is an obstacle tha...
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This document was uploaded on 09/27/2013.
- Fall '13