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Project Management: Best Practices for IT Professionals / Edition 1

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Overview

Master project management, today's most critical business skill!

Project management leadership is today's #1 business skill. Talented, knowledgeable project managers command the best assignments and compensation: they are the future leaders of business. But expert project managers aren't born that way: they've learned specific, proven techniques and strategies for achieving outstanding results. In Project Management, Richard Murch shares those techniques and strategies. Whether you're managing your first project, or you're an experienced project manager facing tough, new challenges, Project Management offers expert solutions. You'll find coverage of all this, and more:

  • The fundamentals of project management, planning, reporting, team building, and team leadership
  • The project lifecycle: planning, analysis, design, construction, testing, rollout, and beyond
  • Responding to constant changes in market conditions, resources, requirements, and schedules
  • Mastering today's latest rapid development management techniques
  • Managing risks and problems more effectively
  • Handling the unique challenges of IT and knowledge management
  • Leveraging Internet and intranet-based project management tools and resources

At last, there's a single source for all the expertise project managers need to be successful! Next time you're called upon to do the impossible—and do it yesterday—reach for the one book that can help you make it happen: Project Management by Richard Murch.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Possessing possibly the most demanded business skill, project managers provide the leadership businesses feel is critical for success. This book seeks to train those interested in the field, or help those already involved to become better project managers, by sharing various techniques and strategies. Topics covered included project lifecycle, correct responses to changes in market, resources and schedules, rapid development management techniques, IT and knowledge management projects, and leveraging Internet and intranet-based tools required to get the impossible done yesterday. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

RICHARD MURCH has worked with IBM and Andersen Consulting and is currently a Project Manager and Consultant in Columbus, Ohio. A regular speaker at systems development conferences throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and the Pacific, he has managed IT projects of virtually every type and size over a period of 30 years. Murch is author of Intelligent Software Agents and Open Source (both from Prentice Hall PTR).

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Read an Excerpt

Preface

Project management leadership has become a highly sought-after skill. An increasingly competitive global marketplace demands that businesses get new products, services, and business development completed quickly, on time, and within budget.

From small companies to web-based businesses to giant global financial institutions, project managers are fueling much of the successful development of exciting new business enterprises. They do this by delivering projects that have consistent value and help increase profits.

Talented and knowledgeable project managers will command the best assignments, salaries, other compensation and bonuses. They are the future business leaders, entrepreneurs, and global citizens, proving their value to any organization competing in today's fast-paced marketplace.

Regardless of how much in demand they are, good project managers are not born, but rather created through a combination of experience, time, talent, and training. Although excellent organizational skills are a prerequisite for the project manager, other key attributes may not be naturally occurring and need to be developed. Unfortunately, most of this development time occurs on the job, so few individuals who are promoted to the role of project manager ever feel fully ready to take on the challenge offered to them.

When faced with a first project, many project managers are worried that they don't yet know what they should know. Historically, project management, particularly in the Information Technology (IT) arena, has had a reputation for always being late and over budget. Even under the best of circumstances, project management is not easy; the project manager iscontinually faced with changing conditions, technology, resources, requirements, and schedules. Technology only serves to complicate matters further because today's computing environments tend to become obsolete with ever-increasing speed. Thus, a good project manager must not only be proficient at managing, but he or she must retain that proficiency as the technology changes. This light-speed adaptability is not an option, but rather an absolute requirement of the job. Clearly, the job of project manager is not for the faint-of-heart. Good preparation and knowledge about what the job entails is hugely valuable and key to surviving a first project.

The purpose of this book is to provide the new project manager with an accessible resource that presents the key topics and subject areas that he or she is likely to encounter. The book's broad coverage should be especially useful to a busy project manager who will not have time initially to research all of these topics in-depth but requires an immediate working knowledge of the overall functions and behaviors of an IT project. As the project manager becomes more comfortable with the basics, the book continues to be a valuable tool because it includes a wealth of additional resources such as books, papers, and web sites for additional learning as needed.

The hardest part of any project is knowing where to begin. It is hoped that this book will be a great jumping-off point to a successful career of well-managed endeavors for many a project manager.Who Should Read this Book

This book is intended for the novice project manager responsible for IT projects, regardless of size or complexity. Because of the broad nature of its coverage, it can be used as an introduction to key topics on the entire project lifecycle for someone previously unfamiliar with the nature of IT projects. For moderately experienced individuals, it can become a convenient reference manual to help reinforce the basic understanding of IT project management. Additionally, the sections on specialized topics will be useful to project managers seeking to increase their learning and to grow their experience base into niche areas such as Knowledge Management or Risk and Crisis Management.Organization of this Book

This book is organized into five parts that broadly categorize the information contained in it. These parts and their subjects are:

Part One: Introduction to Project Management provides a brief overview of this book and some historical background on Project Management and its overall evolution.

Part Two: Principles of Project Management covers ground-floor information such as basic skills, elements of project planning and reporting, and the makeup and issues surrounding good project teams.

Part Three: The Project Management Lifecycle categorizes the project by phase, explains each phase's purpose and describes in finer detail the activities, deliverables, and resources for and intentions of each phase.

Part Four: Project Management Techniques provides information on a number of techniques and topics facing Project Managers today, such as the types and use of methodologies, managing risks and problems, and specializations such as Software Quality Assurance, Configuration Management, and Crisis Management.

Part Five: Special Topics in Project Management concludes the main portion of this book with some discussion of hot topics such as Knowledge Management and the impact of the Internet on Project Management.

Finally, there are numerous additional sources of information available to the Project Manager included in several Appendices.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Ch. 1 Evolution of Project Management 3
Ch. 2 Basic Skills for Project Managers' 13
Ch. 3 Project Planning and Reporting 27
Ch. 4 Project Teams 43
Ch. 5 Project Lifecycle Overview 57
Ch. 6 Project Planning Phase 69
Ch. 7 Analysis and Design Phases 79
Ch. 8 Construction Phase 99
Ch. 9 Test Planning and Preparation 107
Ch. 10 Roll-out Planning and Implementation Phase 125
Ch. 11 Project Management Methodologies 137
Ch. 12 Managing Rapid Application Development 147
Ch. 13 Managing Risks 161
Ch. 14 Managing Problems 175
Ch. 15 Other Techniques 187
Ch. 16 Knowledge Management 203
Ch. 17 Project Management and the Internet 211
App. A Software Engineering Institute 221
App. B Project Management Institute 225
App. C Additional Project Management Resources 231
App. D A Sample Crisis Plan 237
Index 240
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Preface

Preface

Project management leadership has become a highly sought-after skill. An increasingly competitive global marketplace demands that businesses get new products, services, and business development completed quickly, on time, and within budget.

From small companies to web-based businesses to giant global financial institutions, project managers are fueling much of the successful development of exciting new business enterprises. They do this by delivering projects that have consistent value and help increase profits.

Talented and knowledgeable project managers will command the best assignments, salaries, other compensation and bonuses. They are the future business leaders, entrepreneurs, and global citizens, proving their value to any organization competing in today's fast-paced marketplace.

Regardless of how much in demand they are, good project managers are not born, but rather created through a combination of experience, time, talent, and training. Although excellent organizational skills are a prerequisite for the project manager, other key attributes may not be naturally occurring and need to be developed. Unfortunately, most of this development time occurs on the job, so few individuals who are promoted to the role of project manager ever feel fully ready to take on the challenge offered to them.

When faced with a first project, many project managers are worried that they don't yet know what they should know. Historically, project management, particularly in the Information Technology (IT) arena, has had a reputation for always being late and over budget. Even under the best of circumstances, project management is not easy; the project manager is continually faced with changing conditions, technology, resources, requirements, and schedules. Technology only serves to complicate matters further because today's computing environments tend to become obsolete with ever-increasing speed. Thus, a good project manager must not only be proficient at managing, but he or she must retain that proficiency as the technology changes. This light-speed adaptability is not an option, but rather an absolute requirement of the job. Clearly, the job of project manager is not for the faint-of-heart. Good preparation and knowledge about what the job entails is hugely valuable and key to surviving a first project.

The purpose of this book is to provide the new project manager with an accessible resource that presents the key topics and subject areas that he or she is likely to encounter. The book's broad coverage should be especially useful to a busy project manager who will not have time initially to research all of these topics in-depth but requires an immediate working knowledge of the overall functions and behaviors of an IT project. As the project manager becomes more comfortable with the basics, the book continues to be a valuable tool because it includes a wealth of additional resources such as books, papers, and web sites for additional learning as needed.

The hardest part of any project is knowing where to begin. It is hoped that this book will be a great jumping-off point to a successful career of well-managed endeavors for many a project manager.

Who Should Read this Book

This book is intended for the novice project manager responsible for IT projects, regardless of size or complexity. Because of the broad nature of its coverage, it can be used as an introduction to key topics on the entire project lifecycle for someone previously unfamiliar with the nature of IT projects. For moderately experienced individuals, it can become a convenient reference manual to help reinforce the basic understanding of IT project management. Additionally, the sections on specialized topics will be useful to project managers seeking to increase their learning and to grow their experience base into niche areas such as Knowledge Management or Risk and Crisis Management.

Organization of this Book

This book is organized into five parts that broadly categorize the information contained in it. These parts and their subjects are:

Part One: Introduction to Project Management provides a brief overview of this book and some historical background on Project Management and its overall evolution.

Part Two: Principles of Project Management covers ground-floor information such as basic skills, elements of project planning and reporting, and the makeup and issues surrounding good project teams.

Part Three: The Project Management Lifecycle categorizes the project by phase, explains each phase's purpose and describes in finer detail the activities, deliverables, and resources for and intentions of each phase.

Part Four: Project Management Techniques provides information on a number of techniques and topics facing Project Managers today, such as the types and use of methodologies, managing risks and problems, and specializations such as Software Quality Assurance, Configuration Management, and Crisis Management.

Part Five: Special Topics in Project Management concludes the main portion of this book with some discussion of hot topics such as Knowledge Management and the impact of the Internet on Project Management.

Finally, there are numerous additional sources of information available to the Project Manager included in several Appendices.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2002

    No Answers, Just Questions

    After you read this book, you are left with more questions than answers. It claims it's a book for a PM novice, which it is, I suppose, but as someone who's been exposed to different PM methodologies, this borders on incoherent. There were few, if any, points that were connected. It appears to have been written in one of those "stream of consciousness" styles, which, for a novice or anyone else for that matter, isn¿t a very good way to begin your foray into project management. There are no transitions. There is nothing that ties once section to another. It¿s like ¿yeah here are some ideas but I can¿t give you any real concepts to sink your teeth into.¿ It¿s littered with the author¿s ¿predictions¿ about the future of PM and frankly, I don¿t care. Had I wanted prognostication, I would have read a magazine.

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