The new edition of this classic guide enables you to learn from the successes and failures of leading companies * explore new cost control and risk management techniques * and assess the impact of concurrent engineering. You'll also learn how to merge total quality management methods with effective project planning, master conflict resolution, predict project success and obtain the information needed to study for the PMI Certification exam.
About the Author
Table of ContentsPreface. Overview.
Project Management Growth: Concepts and Definitions.
Organizing and Staffing the Project Office and Team.
Time Management and Stress.
The Variables for Success.
Working with Executives.
Network Scheduling Techniques.
Pricing and Estimating.
Trade-Off Analysis in a Project Environment.
Modern Developments in Project Management.
Modern Developments in Project Management.
Critical Chain Project Management.
Contracts and Procurement.
Appendix A: Solutions to the Project Management Conflict Exercise.
Appendix B: Solution to Leadership Exercise.
Exclusive Author Essay
Project Management: Present and Future by Harold Kerzner, Ph.D.
For almost 30 years, project management was viewed as a process nice to have, but not a necessity for the survival of the firm. Companies reluctantly invested in some training courses simply to provide their personnel with basic knowledge on planning and scheduling. Project management was viewed as a threat to established lines of authority and, in most cases, only partial project management was in use. This occurred simply to placate lower- and middle-level personnel.
During this 30-year period, we did everything possible to prevent excellence in project management from occurring. We provided lip service to empowerment, teamwork, and trust. We hoarded information because the control of information was viewed as power. We placed personal and functional interests ahead of the best interest of the company in the hierarchy of priorities. And we maintained the faulty belief that time was a luxury rather than a constraint.
Other than in a few major industries such as aerospace, defense, and construction, project management was erroneously viewed as simply a scheduling tool for engineers. The resistance to a changeover to project management permeated all levels of management. Every functional department was fearful of making project management a career path position and allowing the project managers to possess profit and loss responsibility. This could diminish the stature, power, and authority of other groups.
By the mid-1990s, this mentality began to subside, largely due to two recessions. Companies were now under severe competitive pressure to create quality products in a shorter period of time. The importance of developing a long-term trusting relationship with the customers had come to the forefront. Businesses were now being forced by the stakeholders to change for the better. The survival of the firm was now at stake.
Today, businesses have changed for the better. Trust between the customers and contractors is at an all-time high. All of these factors have allowed a multitude of companies to achieve some degree of excellence in project management. Business decisions are now being emphasized ahead of personal decisions.
Words that were commonplace ten years ago have taken on new meaning today. Change is no longer being viewed as entirely bad. Today, change implies continuous improvement. Conflicts are no longer seen as detrimental. Conflicts managed well can be beneficial. Project management is no longer viewed as a system entirely internal to the organization. It is now a competitive weapon that brings higher levels of quality and increased value to the customer.
Companies that were considered excellent in the past may no longer be seen as so today, especially with regard to project management. Consider the book entitled In Search of Excellence, written by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman in 1982. How many of those companies identified in their book are still considered as excellent today? How many of those companies have won the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige Award? How many of those companies are excellent in project management?
The difference between the first 30 years of project management and the last 10 years is in implementation. For more than 30 years, we emphasized quantitative and behavioral tools. Basic knowledge and primary skills were paramount. However, within the past 10 years, emphasis was on implementation. What is now strategically important is how to put 30 years of basic project management into practice. It is the implementation of project management that today constitutes advanced project management. Subjects such as earned value analysis, situational leadership, cost and change control are part of basic courses today, whereas 10 years ago they were considered advanced topics. So, what constitutes advanced project management today? Topics related to successful project management implementation are advanced project management concepts. Included in this category are risk management, customer management, supply chain management, and strategic planning for project management.
One of the primary reasons for the growth of project management has been its recognized importance as a major contributor to the strategic planning effort. With project management viewed as a necessary tool for the implementation of a strategic plan, organizations began seeking out new applications for the tools of project management.
With project management now viewed as beneficial for the entire organization, companies embarked upon the development of a standardized, corporate-wide methodology capable of servicing a multitude of projects. All functional areas are allowed to provide an input into the development of the methodology. Companies with world-class methodologies for project management have seen the benefits of improved customer satisfaction leading to additional business, higher profitability, shorter product development times, more efficient internal operations, and improved quality.
With virtually every company implementing project management in one form or another, there is now a concerted interest in project management benchmarking. Unlike other management approaches, project management benchmarking is relatively independent of industry classification. One aerospace firm that had been using project management for over 35 years found that several telecommunications firms had, in less than five years of use, surpassed the capabilities of the aerospace firm.
Benchmarking in project management has allowed organizations to maintain continuous improvement efforts. The most recent application or project management benchmarking and continuous improvement has been in the area of capacity planning. Organizations wish to know how much additional work can be undertaken without exceeding the threshold limits on the organizational resources.
With the rapid growth in the acceptance and implementation of project management, academic institutions have begun offering educational degreed programs in project management. Thirty years ago, most colleges and universities offered only one course on project management. Today we have academic institutions providing master's and doctorate programs in project management.
Project management is no longer viewed as something nice to have. Today, and in the future, project management excellence will be viewed as a strategic competency for the firm. Effective project management practices will provide organizations with a sustained competitive advantage. And, what is truly remarkable is that many companies have achieved this level of excellence in less than five years. Best practices in implementation, leading to a sustained competitive advantage, will be the future of project management well into the 21st century.
Harold Kerzner, executive director for project management for the International Institute of Learning (IIL), is currently professor of systems management at Baldwin-Wallace College in Ohio and president of Project Management Associates, a consulting and training firm that conducts seminars for leading U.S. and international corporations.