Public-Sector Project Management: Meeting the Challenges and Achieving Results / Edition 1

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Public-Sector Project Management

Meeting the Challenges and Achieving Results

David W. Wirick

Business & Economics/Project Management

Your guide to project management success in the public sector

There may be no simple formula for success in public-sector projects, but Public-Sector Project Management delivers the next best thing: a complete set of skill-building strategies that puts success well within your reach.

Building on industry standards and best practices as well as almost thirty years of public-sector experience, this definitive sourcebook clearly explains how to manage projects in the public sector and navigate their many challenges. Here is where you'll find all the tools to accomplish your goals for any public-sector project, whether you are overseeing military and security operations, the construction of public infrastructure, improving agency processes, deploying new systems or public programs, or any other public initiative.

The book describes both the obstacles and basic processes of public-sector project management and examines the differences between public-sector and private-sector projects, including the management of the wide array of public-sector stakeholders. Public-Sector Project Management is your comprehensive professional template for making a positive contribution to your agency or organization. Inside, you'll find:

  • Expert guidance consistent with project management best practices
  • In-depth coverage of public-sector constraints, including purchasing systems, legal mandates, political and media oversight, and complex rules and processes
  • Specific strategies to enhance the management capability of public-sector managers and private-sector project managers working under government contracts
  • Emphasis on the role of planning in managing customer, manager, and project team expectations, and coping with the overlapping systems of constraints that impede public-sector projects
  • Techniques for managing contractors and vendors
  • Tools for managing the complexity inherent in most public-sector projects
  • Insightful case studies of notable and historic public-sector projects; chapter-ending discussion questions and exercises; numerous tables and figures; and key terms in the glossary
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470487310
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/28/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

David W. Wirick, PMP, CMA, is a Visiting Scholar, John Glenn School of Public Affairs, Ohio State University, and is Principal at Kreider-Wirick, LLC.

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Table of Contents



Outline of the book.

The Great Pyramid of Giza.

Chapter 1: The Challenges of Public-Sector Project Managementand the Coming Storm.

The Distinguishing Characteristics of the Public Sector.

The Public-Service Purpose.

Overlapping Oversight Mechanisms.

A Short Planning Horizon.

A Contentious Environment.

Overlapping Service Delivery Mechanisms.

The Challenges of Public-Sector Project Management.

The Coming Storm.

New Tools for Public-Sector Managers as They Cope with theDemands of the New Economy.

Discussion Questions for this Chapter.

Exercises for this Chapter.


Chapter 2: The Foundations of Public-Sector Project Management.

The Problem with Projects.

Why Do Public-Sector Projects Fail?.

The Good News About Projects and Project ManagementStandards.

The Value of Project Management to a Public-SectorOrganization.

The Downside of Project Management.

The Critical Success Factors for Public-Sector Projects.

Project Management Maturity Models in the Public Sector.

"Scaling" Project Management Methods.

The Use of Software for Project Management.

Discussion Questions for this Chapter.

Exercises for this Chapter.


Chapter 3: The Framework for Managing Public-Sector Projects.

The Project Management Framework for Public Projects.

Grouping Projects for Better Management.

Breaking Projects into Components.

Project Process Groups.

Project Initiation.



Monitoring and Control.


Project Management Knowledge Areas.

The Triple Constraint Model.

Project Processes.

Applying Project Functions and Processes for Public-SectorProjects.

Step 1: Get the project started correctly.

Step 2: Build a triple-constraint model.

Step 3: Apply other planning processes as necessary.

Step 4: Integrate the planning documents you’ve createdand build the project plan.

Step 5: Do the work of the project.

Step 6: Compare the work completed to the plan, make changes asnecessary, and ask stakeholders to accept the work.

Step 7: Close the project.

The Necessary Skills for Public-Sector Project Managers.

Discussion Questions for this Chapter.

Exercises for this Chapter.


Chapter 4: Project Integration.

Public-Sector Project Integration: Wrestling with theOctopus.

Overview of the Necessary Functions for Public-Sector ProjectIntegration.

Framing and Initiating the Project.

Develop the Project Plan.

Performing the Project Work.

Comparing the Work to the Plan and Managing Changes.

Closing the Project and Contracts.

Best Practices for Public-Sector Project Integration.

Discussion Questions for this Chapter.

Exercises for this Chapter.


Chapter 5: Managing Project Scope.

Project Scope Management.

The Challenges of Scope Management for Public-SectorProjects.

The Two Roles of Project Scope.

The Required Activities for Public-Sector Project ScopeManagement.

Creating a Scope Management Plan.

Defining and Confirming Project Scope.

Controlling Scope.

Verifying Acceptance of Deliverables.

Best Practices for Managing Public-Sector Project Scope.

Discussion Questions for this Chapter.

Exercises for this Chapter.


Chapter 6: Managing Project Time.

The Challenges of Project Time Management in the PublicSector.

The Required Functions for Public-Sector Project TimeManagement.

Defining Project Activities.

Creating the Project Schedule.

Putting the Activities in a Logical Order.

Estimating How Long Each Activity Will Take to Complete.

Identifying the Necessary Resources for Each Activity (toidentify conflicts that could impact the schedule).

Creating the Schedule by Pulling the Pieces Together.

Best Practices in Public-Sector Project Time Management.

Discussion Questions for this Chapter.

Exercises for this Chapter.


Chapter 7: Managing Project Cost.

The Challenges of Public-Sector Cost Management.

Project Selection and Prioritization.

Required Functions for Managing Public-Sector Project Costs.

Estimating the Costs of the Project.

Acquiring the Financial Resources for the Project.

Managing Project Costs and Reporting on Expenditures.

Earned-Value Management of Public-Sector Projects.

Best Practices in Public-Sector Project Cost Management.

Discussion Questions for this Chapter.

Exercises for this Chapter.


Chapter 8: Managing Project Quality.

The Basics of Project Quality Management.

The Challenges of Public-Sector Project Quality Management.

The Functions Required for Public-Sector Project QualityManagement.

Identify Project Quality Standards.

Managing Project Quality.

Lean Government as a Tool for Quality Improvement.

Managing Project Requirements.

Best Practices in the Management of Quality in Public-SectorProjects.

Discussion Questions for this Chapter.

Exercises for this Chapter.


Chapter 9: Managing Project Human Resources.

The Challenges of Human Resource Management in Public-SectorProjects.

The Required Functions for Public-Sector Human-Resource ProjectManagement.

Creating a Plan for Optimizing the Use of Human Resources.

Motivating and Managing the Project Team.

Resolving Project Conflict .

Strategies for Managing Human Resources in Public-SectorProjects.

Public-Sector Leadership.

Best Practices for Human Resource Management in Public-SectorProjects.

Discussion Questions for this Chapter.

Exercises for this Chapter.


Chapter 10: Managing Project Communications.

The Challenges of Project Communications in Public-SectorProjects.

The Functions Required for Public-Sector Project CommunicationsManagement.

Creating a Communications Plan.

Providing Information to Project Stakeholders.

Capturing and Managing Knowledge.

Best Practices in Public-Sector Project CommunicationsManagement.

Discussion Questions for this Chapter.

Exercises for this Chapter.


Chapter 11: Managing Project Risk.

The Challenges of Managing Risks in Public-Sector Projects.

The Required Functions for Public-Sector Project Risk Management.

Creating a Plan for Risk Management.

Identifying Risks.

Analyzing Risks.

Developing Risk Responses.

Creating a Plan for Managing the Project’s Legal andAdministrative Constraints.

Best Practices for Public-Sector Project Risk Management.

Discussion Questions for this Chapter.

Exercises for this Chapter.


Chapter 12: Managing Project Procurement and Vendors.

The Necessary Functions of Public-Sector Project ProcurementManagement.

Identifying Necessary Purchases and Resource Acquisition.

Working with Purchasing Offices to Identify and SelectVendors.

Managing the Contract and Vendors.

The New Demands on Managers and New Tools for Managers.

The Differences Among Activities, Outputs, and Outcomes.

The Challenges of Outcome Management for Contractors andVendors.

Performance Management.

Managing the Cultural Changes Necessary for SuccessfullyManaging Vendors.

The Legal Framework for Outsourcing Project Products andServices to Vendors.

Elements of the Outsourcing Contract:.

The Service-Level Agreement.

Managing Changes and Expectations in the VendorRelationship.

Best Practices for Public-Sector Project ProcurementManagement.

Discussion Questions for this Chapter.

Exercises for this Chapter.


Chapter 13: Managing Complexity and Chaos in Public-SectorProjects.

The Role of Complexity and Chaos in Public-Sector Projects.

Modern Insights into Chaos, Complexity and Turbulence.

Five Specific Themes of Chaos Theory Related to ProjectManagement.

The Butterfly Effect.

Self-Organization and Evolution.

The Edge of Chaos.


Complex, Responsive Processes of Relating.

The Challenges of Chaos and Complexity for Projects and theRecognition of the Limits of Certainty.

Progressive Elaboration.


Project Lifecycles.

Stochastic versus Deterministic Estimating.

Ongoing Risk Identification and Analysis.

Change Management Processes.

Factors Creating Complexity in the Project Environment.

Three Supplementary Methods for Managing Chaos and Complexity inProjects.

Social Network Analysis.

The Application of Social Network Analysis in Projects.

Contextual and Relational Management:.

The Application of Contextual and Relational Management to aProject.

Bifurcation Points.

The Application of the Management of Bifurcation Points toProject Management.

Concluding Comments on Chaos and Complexity in Projects.

Discussion Questions for this Chapter.

Exercises for this Chapter.



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