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The mcgraw hill 36 hour course project management


T H E

McGRAW-HILL

36-Hour Course

PROJECT
MANAGEMENT
SECOND EDITION


Other books in The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course series:
The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course: Accounting
The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course: Business Writing and
Communication, 2E
The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course: Finance for Nonfinancial Managers
The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course: Operations Management
The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course: Organizational Development
The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course: Product Development
The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course: Project Management, 2E

The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course: Real Estate Investing, 2E
The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course: Six Sigma


T H E

McGRAW-HILL

36-Hour Course

PROJECT
MANAGEMENT
SECOND EDITION

Helen S. Cooke and Karen Tate

New York Chicago San Francisco Lisbon London Madrid Mexico City
Milan New Delhi San Juan Seoul Singapore Sydney Toronto


To Richard and Andy, the wind beneath our wings

Copyright © 2011 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Except as permitted under
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permission of the publisher.
ISBN: 978-0-07-175042-4
MHID: 0-07-175042-8
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MHID: 0-07-173827-4.
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CONTENTS
Chapter 1 Project Management
1
Overview and Goals 1
What Is Project Management? 1
Why Make a Distinction Between Projects and Operations? 12
The Relationship of Project Management to Implementing
Desired Change 17
The Value-Added Proposition: Declaring and Revalidating
Project Value 26
Benefits of Adopting Project Management Approaches 28
Summary 29
Review Questions 30
Chapter 2 Project Management Concepts
33
Overview and Goals 33
What Is a Project? 33
Natural Phases of Projects 42
Contrasting Project Life Cycle and Product Life Cycle 46
Types of Projects 57
How Project Management Is Applied in Different Settings 59
Summary 63
Review Questions 64
Chapter 3 The Project Management Leader
67
Overview and Goals 67
The Project Leader’s Integrated Skill Set 68
Essential Characteristics of the Project Management Leader 70
v


vi

Contents

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities of the Project Manager
Other Leadership Roles on Large Projects 88
Summary 91
Review Questions 92

Chapter 4 The Process of Managing Projects
Overview and Goals 95
The Basics 96
How Projects Get Started 102
The Project’s Life Cycle: Project Phases 107
Summary 110
Review Questions 111

80

95

Chapter 5 Planning Concepts
Overview and Goals 113
Project Planning 113
Detailed Planning 122
Plan Approval 130
Summary 131
Review Questions 132

113

Chapter 6 High-Level Planning
Overview and Goals 133
It Is All About Planning 134
High-Level Planning 134
Scope and Objectives Planning 144
Documenting the Plan 152
Completing Initial High-Level Documentation 157
Review of the Overall Plan Before Detailed Plan
Development 158
Summary 160
Review Questions 161

133

Chapter 7 Detailed Planning for Execution
Overview and Goals 163
Creating a Work Plan for Execution 164
The Go/No-Go Decision 170
Implementation Detail for Start-Up 173
Planning for Team Management 180
Communications Plan 183
Planning for Stakeholder Management 184
Quality Plan 186
Summary 187
Review Questions 188

163


Contents

vii

Chapter 8 Building and Developing a Team
Overview and Goals 189
Creating an Environment for Success 190
The Importance of Communication on Projects 191
Team Development 191
Human Resources Management 192
Creating Teams of Similar and Dissimilar People 193
Creating a Project Management Culture 195
Team Building 201
Establishing Project Management Culture on Virtual
Projects 202
Managing Team Resources 205
Summary 207
Review Questions 208

189

Chapter 9 Facilitating Project Execution and Closeout
Overview and Goals 211
Creating a Success Environment with Processes 212
Communications 213
Managing Quality 217
Managing Cost 218
Managing Time 220
Managing Risk 221
Policy and Standards 224
Project Integration Management 225
All Projects Have a Beginning and an End 226
Turnover of Responsibility for Deliverables 227
Lessons Learned and Process Improvements 229
Summary 230
Review Questions 231

211

Chapter 10 The Context for Project Management
233
Overview and Goals 233
Quality Assumptions 234
The Project Culture: Continuous Learning and
Improvement 238
Project Decisions as an Element of Quality 239
The Wright Brothers’ Project to Create Controlled Flight 241
Project Managers Do Not Always Get High Visibility 246
Staying Aligned with the External Environment 247
Summary 247
Review Questions 248


viii

Contents

Chapter 11 Controlling Project Work
Overview and Goals 251
Project Control and the Triple Constraint 253
Earned Value as a Means of Control 264
Project Management Tools 267
Leveraging Technology 268
Summary 270
Review Questions 271

251

Chapter 12 Organizational Project Management Maturity
Overview and Goals 273
Management Structure and Culture 275
Improving the Project Environment 280
Definition of Organizational Project Management
Maturity 280
How Process Improvement Applies to Project
Management 284
A Project’s Business and Work Context 289
Leveraging the Organization’s Resources 293
Determining the Organization’s Project Management
Maturity 295
Technology to Enhance Organizational Project Management
Maturity 301
The Project Management Office or Program Management
Office (PMO) 306
Standard Processes to Improve Project Management 313
Standard Metrics 313
Conclusion 315
Key Concepts to Remember 321
Advancing Both the Project and the Profession 323
Review Questions 324

273

Appendix A: Process Model 327
Appendix B: Templates 335
Appendix C: Organizational Assessment 357
Appendix D: Case Study 363
Appendix E: Deliverables’ Life Cycle 369
Notes 373
Index 383
Instructions for Accessing Online Final Exam and
Chapter Quiz Answers 390


C

H

1
A

P

T

E

R

PROJECT MANAGEMENT
OVERVIEW AND GOALS
This chapter provides a general overview of the broad field of project management and its role in the work world. It describes how an age-old process
became formalized in the late twentieth century, shows how professional
project management evolved to where it is today, and distinguishes thousands
of people in the occupation of project management from the new project
management professional. It explains why organizations undertake projects,
clarifies terms, and provides examples of different types of projects. Its goal
is to distinguish project management from other functions.

WHAT IS PROJECT MANAGEMENT?
Many sectors of the economy are identifying project management as a new
key business process. As project management gains recognition as a distinct way of managing change, differences exist in how it is applied and
understood across industries, corporations, governments, and academia. The
term project management is used freely throughout profit-oriented companies, not-for-profit organizations, and government agencies, but people do
not always mean the same thing by it. Some organizations use the term
project management to describe the task of managing work. Others use it
to define the field of work focused on the delivery of project results. Still
others mean the profession of project management, encompassing not only

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The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course: Project Management

project managers but also other project-related specialists. Some use the
term to describe traditional management practices or technical management
practices, simply transferring those practices from organizational operations
to projects. Because this field is emerging into the mainstream, definitions
abound. During the course of describing project management practices and
concepts, this book will help to distinguish what is unique to this field from
what it has in common with general management and the management elements of technical disciplines. It also will identify many of the misleading
assumptions about project management that obscure the value of this new
field of professionalism.

Project Management Evolves
Projects have been managed since prehistory. Strategies for project management can be found in records of the Chinese warlords (Sun Tzu), Machiavelli,
and other, more obscure writers (see Chapter 2). Large projects such as the
1893 World’s Fair in Chicago clearly used it. As projects became more complex and more difficult to execute in a context where profit, time lines, and
resource consumption competed with defined objectives, twentieth-century
managers began to codify the practices needed to plan, execute, and control
projects. The government led the way in developing the techniques and practices of project management, primarily in the military.

It is popular to ask, “Why can’t they run government the way I run my business?”
In the case of project management, however, business and other organizations
learned from government, not the other way around. A lion’s share of the credit for
the development of the techniques and practices of project management belongs
to the military, which faced a series of major tasks that simply were not achievable
by traditional organizations operating in traditional ways. The United States Navy’s
Polaris program, NASA’s Apollo space program, and more recently, the space shuttle
and the strategic defense initiative (“star wars”) programs are instances of the
application of these specially developed management approaches to extraordinarily
complex projects. Following such examples, nonmilitary government sectors, private
industry, public service agencies, and volunteer organizations have all used project
management to increase their effectiveness.1
Thus, for modern-day project management, the Polaris submarine program and later the Apollo space program launched the systematic application
of knowledge, tools, methods, and techniques to the planning, execution,
and completion of projects. While these techniques have proliferated broadly
among other government programs since the 1960s and 1970s and through


Project Management

3

research and demonstration programs among other branches of government
as well as their contractor organizations, the construction industry was a key
beneficiary of these improvements. Large, complex projects, such as the construction of Hoover Dam and the carving of the faces of American presidents
into stone at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, applied these improvements.
Since then, project management methods have been implemented in information management and movement, pharmaceuticals, information systems, the
entertainment and service sectors, and a variety of global projects. Project
management’s value continues to grow.
For a clearer idea of what the term project management means, compare it with the term medicine in a health context. Each term can have many
meanings. The all-inclusive view of project management—just as in medicine—will address the practice, as well as the role, the field, the occupation,
and the profession. The variations of meaning will also expand depending
on which view is taken. Project management in a professional context means
applying knowledge, skills, processes, methods, tools, and techniques to get
desired results.
Like the word medicine, the term project management can take on
a broad definition or a narrow one. A doctor practices medicine (broad).
A patient takes a dose of medicine (narrow). Athletic discipline is said to
be good medicine—an ambiguous definition that combines both. The term
medicine takes on a different meaning depending on the context in which
it is used, yet the term is always associated with certain values and goals:
medicine supports health; it does not compromise it. Medicine therefore
implies a commitment of individuals to the goal of preserving or restoring
health. Similarly, although one definition of project management may not
fit all uses, there are common elements inherent in all meanings ascribed to
it. These common elements bind together the individuals and the practices
within project management. Together they create a common understanding
of what project management is and help us come to grips with why project
management is getting such visibility today and why we need to know about
it. This book will define a context for project management and put its various
roles and uses in perspective for both individuals and organizations.

Definition of the Project Management Profession
A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product,
service, or result. Because projects create something for the first time, there
is a fundamental uniqueness to project work that makes it different from the
operational work of the organization: the uncertainties of a project, its lack
of existing procedures, and the need to make trade-offs among variables


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The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course: Project Management

necessitate more dedicated planning and a unique body of knowledge, skill,
and capability.
In the late 1960s, several project management professionals from the
construction and pharmaceutical industries believed that project management had moved beyond being simply a job or an occupation.2 Together they
undertook the task of defining professional project management and created
a professional association to put the elements of professional support in place.
They called it the Project Management Institute (PMI). They expected PMI
to have as many as 1,000 members someday, and they ran initial operations
out of the dining room of one of the members in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania.
These visionary leaders considered project management to be an international profession; early members were from not only the United States but
also from Canada, South Africa, Europe, and Australia. By the mid-1970s,
the goal of 1,000 members had already been reached. PMI chapters had
been formed in five countries, and discussions of professional standards were
under way at the association’s 1976 annual meeting in Montreal, Canada. By
1983, the discussions included topics such as ethics, standards, and accreditation. University programs were being developed (see Chapter 12), a formal
examination was created, and by 1984 professionals began to be designated
as project management professionals (PMPs). Over the following decades,
that effort would spread to countries all over the globe, with PMI offices
today located not only in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, the more recent
location for the Global Operations Center in the United States,3 but also in
Singapore, Brussels, Mumbai, and Beijing, and their efforts are certifying
almost 400,000 credential holders across 385 countries—more certifications
than all of PMI’s active membership worldwide. There are certified professionals active in the project management profession all around the globe.
Definition of Project Management Standards

The creation of a professional association allowed hundreds of professionals
from the field of project management to collaborate in developing an acceptable definition of what project management means. The original founders of
the Project Management Institute, together with colleagues from business,
government, and academia, assembled the professional writings on project
management into a massive book-length document called the Project Management Body of Knowledge. It started by focusing on the project itself, but
by 1986 a framework had been added to incorporate the relationship between
the project and its external environment and between project management
and general management.
Almost 10 years later, the standards committee published a new version of the document that described the processes used to manage projects,


Project Management

5

aligning it with the common knowledge and practices across industries,
adding knowledge areas, and reducing the original document’s construction
emphasis.4 More than 10,000 people in almost 40 countries received the
document for review, and the “standard” truly began to proliferate around the
world. In a few years 300,000 copies were in circulation. There was common
agreement that project management involves balancing competing demands
among:



Scope, time, cost, risk, and quality
Stakeholders with differing needs, identified requirements, and
expectations

A project was defined as distinct from operations in that operations are
ongoing and repetitive, whereas projects are temporary and unique. Further,
it clarified terms: “Temporary means that every project has a definite beginning and a definite end. Unique means that the product or service is different
in some distinguishing way from all similar products or services.”5
An Evolving Professional Standard

The purpose of PMI’s A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) was to identify and describe that subset of the project
management body of knowledge that is generally accepted, or “applicable to
most projects most of the time.” With so many professionals contributing to
the definitions and processes, and given its proliferation around the world,
A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge was becoming a de
facto professional standard. While everyone seemed to agree, however, that
the environment in which a project operates is important, they could not
agree on what it should consist of. Different levels of organizational project
management maturity across industries prevented building a consensus on
the organizational context for project management. For this reason, parts
of the original Project Management Body of Knowledge (1986) that related
to organizational responsibilities were left out of the published standard. It
was 10 years before those concepts were accepted broadly enough that the
scope could be extended to include programs and portfolios as organizational
contexts for housing and strategically managing multiple projects within a
single organization.
Projects are now linked explicitly to achieving strategic objectives,
and organizational planning is considered part of the human resources management function. Processes and process groups are also now more fully
defined.6 Some work was done in various countries around the world on
professional competencies and credentialing, but these cannot yet be defined


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The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course: Project Management

as a “standard” because the business context differs so much from one country to the next.7 As the profession advances, these areas also may merge into
one common definition, providing significant benefits to organizations that
operate globally.
A New Core Competency for Organizations

Awareness grew that project management, far from being an adjunct activity
associated with nonstandard production, actually was the means by which
organizations implemented their strategic objectives. The consensus also
grew that project management has become part of the core competency of
organizations. The definition captured in the 2000 Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge reflects this growing awareness:

Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to
project activities to meet project requirements. Project management is accomplished
through the use of the processes such as: initiating, planning, executing, controlling,
and closing. The project team manages the work of the projects, and the work
typically involves:
Competing demands for: scope, time, cost, risk, and quality.


Stakeholders with differing needs and expectations.

Identified requirements.8
This change reflected a shift from seeing project management not only as
a profession but also as an organizational function with defined processes
addressing both the needs and the expectations of people with a stake in the
project’s outcome, as well as the functional requirements of the product or
service to be produced. It also set as a standard the understanding that the
organization has explicit responsibility for the success of its projects. An
organization’s management is responsible not only for establishing an environment that allows and enables project success but also for approving and
authorizing the requirements that the project is to meet. The project team
uses those approved requirements to embark on their work.
The shift to an organizational context meant that the project manager
was no longer an independent practitioner within the organization, making
projects successful despite contrary forces. He now had a defined job title,
function, and place on the organizational chart. Just as an attorney works
within the organization’s legal function, the project management professional
works within the organization’s project management function. Formalizing
the occupation into jobs and career tracks creates a space in which the professional can operate legitimately (see Chapters 3 and 12).


Project Management

7

New Groups Embrace Project Management
Organizations and industries tend to embrace project management when they
stand to gain significantly by doing so or to lose by not doing so. Many historical projects left a visible legacy behind them, but those in prior centuries
left little in the way of a project record. In the twentieth century, the navy
and NASA projects mentioned earlier could not have been achieved without
project management. The construction industry and other government contractors that won major contracts began to embrace the same project management practices as their sponsoring government agency did. Other industries,
such as the pharmaceutical industry, made significant gains in quality and
mitigated complexity by using project management. The examples could go
on and on.
During the past several decades, most large organizations were integrating computer technology, first into streamlined operations and then into
their strategic business systems. This evolving technology was generating
hundreds of projects. The shift to an organizational context in project management therefore coincided with an influx of professionals from information
systems, information technology, and information management functions
into project management. They joined the professional associations in record
numbers. Previously, professional practitioners were from the construction
industry, streamlined as it was by project management methods and tools
from government. The motto of the Project Management Institute’s marketing thrust during the early 1990s was “Associate with Winners.”
In contrast, information systems and information technology projects
were getting media coverage citing 200 percent budget overruns and schedule delays.9 Low project success rates unheard of in the quality environment
were routine.
As these groups shifted their attention from software engineering to
project management, they brought the attention of management with them.
All were aware of the wasted resources and the opportunity costs of not
managing projects well. The idea resonated with senior management that
projects simply were not “nonstandard operations” but rather a core business process for implementing strategic initiatives. Senior management was
ready to begin managing projects more systematically. Project management
became the topic for executive forums, and some executive groups began to
review all projects biannually to determine the best use of the organization’s
strategic resources (see Chapter 12).
The response of the marketplace to recognition of the project manager
and the project management function caused interest to skyrocket. Member-


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The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course: Project Management

ship in the professional association grew quickly, swelling in a single decade
from just under 10,000 members in 1992 to 100,000 by 2002, then to 150,000
by 2005, and 300,000 by 2009.10 There were more certified personnel than
there were PMI members. An increasing contingent of practitioners working on projects around the globe continued to apply for certification without
joining PMI. Project management was the subject of articles in business
newspapers and corporate journals.11 Research began to show that organizations with mature project management environments derive more value from
project management than those beginning to implement it.12
The government had funded a means by which software engineering
professionals could judge the maturity of their software development environments,13 but no parallel instrument existed for assessing the maturity
of project management environments. By 1999, professionals from all over
the world were collaborating to create an “Organization Project Management Maturity Model” (OPM3), released in 2003 (PMI).14 Various maturity
models were developed in leading business schools (e.g., Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley), as well as by vendors,
and these models were applied to products serving the maturing project
management marketplace (see Chapter 12). Like people weaving different
corners of the same tapestry,15 the detail and richness of the profession
are emerging from the combined cooperative efforts of many professional
bodies and are being advanced by their common application of standards
and training in the agreed-on and “generally accepted” project management
process. While there is still a good deal of work to be done before these
separate fronts merge into one picture, movement toward that end is steady
and positive.
Recognition of professionalism in project management remains uneven
across industries. In 1986, at the same time the corporate sector was beginning to implement project management fundamentals, the government sector already was moving forward to implement earned-value measurement
and performance management. Information systems (IS) and information
technology (IT) were expanding into strategic business initiatives, but they
were too new to have both product development methodology and project
management methodology in place (see Chapter 12). It will be a while before
these different parts of the marketplace all speak the same language.

The Role of Project Management in Organizations
When an organization undertakes to develop something “new” and sets out
to have it delivered within a specific time frame with the consumption of
time, energy, and resources, the effort eventually generates a result. The


Project Management

9

result typically is turned over for use to those with a stake in the project and
its outcomes. Then the team is disbanded.
The role of project management in the world of work generates certain
expectations. This is as it should be. People want results, and they look to
project management to deliver those results. Ambiguity in the use of the
term, however, jeopardizes fulfillment of those expectations. By examining
some examples of the application of modern project management, as well as
situations where misuse of the term project management creates unrealistic
expectations, individuals can learn to:







Distinguish modern project management from look-alikes to gain a
clearer understanding of what today’s professionals mean when they
use the term
Explain the role project management plays in organizations today
Clarify some ways to tell what qualifies as a project and what does
not
Clarify the distinctions among the project management work of the
professional (leadership), the project tasks (estimating, scheduling,
tracking, reporting, and managing quality and risk), and the product
development tasks (designing, developing, building, and testing)

Some organizations use the term project management to describe the
task of managing work that includes projects (see Figure 1-1). This is defined
more accurately as managing portfolios or managing programs if it is a
higher-level initiative or a cluster of related projects, not constrained as a
project is with specified resources, specified time frames, or performance
requirements. Some organizations manage all their work using a project
approach. Management consulting firms, think tanks, consulting engineers,
and custom developers (furniture, houses, medicines, or products) run their
businesses project by project. These are “projectized” organizations, and the
PMBOK Guide refers to this as “managing by projects.”16 Project management would have a central role in these organizations because they rely on
projects to generate their revenue and profits. One would expect to see more
mature practices and knowledgeable professionals in these types of organizations. The roles of individuals in the projects themselves are the subject of
Chapter 3.

The Field of Work Focused on Projects
Often the term project management is used to define the entire field of work
that is focused on the delivery of project results. Others use it to describe


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The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course: Project Management

FIGURE 1-1 Role of project management in organizations. The authority,
role, resources, and title given to project management vary by type of organizational structure. (PMBOK Guide 2004)
Project
Management
Areas/
Structure
of the
Organization
Amount of
authority
of the
project
manager
Amount of
staff working
full-time
on projects
Amount of
project
manager’s
time spent
on projects
Common
titles for
project
manager’s
role

Organized
by
Functional Weak
Areas
Matrix

Balanced Strong
Matrix
Matrix

Almost
none

Limited

Low to
Moderate High to
moderate to high
almost total

None

Up to
1/4

Between
1/6 and
2/3

At least
1/2 up
to 90%

Almost all

Some

Some

All

All

All

Project
Project
Project
Program
leader or
leader or
officer or manager
coordinator coordinator manager or project
manager

Administrative Part-time
staff
or none
supporting
projects

Part-time
or none

“Projectized”

Program
manager or
project
manager

Part-time Full-time Full-time

traditional management practices or technical management practices, simply transferring those practices from organizational operations to projects.
The field of project management encompasses the planning and execution of
all sorts of projects, whether they are construction planning and execution,
events planning and execution, design planning and execution, development
of new products, creation or design of complex tools, mitigation of negative
effects such as radiation cleanup or oil spills, or the exploration and production of new resources. Large and small projects alike are included in the field,
as are simple projects, sophisticated projects, and complex projects. Complex


Project Management

11

projects are easy to identify as legitimate projects, but there is a gray area
where it is more difficult to determine whether we are addressing a project
or simply a refinement of “operations.” Why would we want to know? The
rules are different, and the roles are different.
Here are a few examples to aid in making the distinction between
projects and operations.
Research and Development

Some projects develop entirely new products or services; this is often called
research and development. Examples of terms for these types of activities
are:






Design
Synthesis
Prototypes
New development
Product creation

Because the new product or service is “different in some distinguishing
way from all similar products or services,” these efforts qualify as projects.
Another term, called research and demonstration in government circles,
applies development from one context in a completely different context that
varies widely in environmental, legal, or social elements. While the product
may not be significantly different, the context in which it is applied makes it
different; it therefore qualifies as a project (e.g., nuclear power plants transferred from the United States to developing countries such as South Korea
or Brazil).
Revisions and Enhancements

Other groups undertake major revisions to existing products and services,
and these may or may not be projects, according to the generally accepted
definition. Sometimes these are referred to as:





New releases
Updates
Enhancements
Redesign

A familiar process or software tool released on a completely different
technological platform may seem the same but may require a major design
effort to create.17 If the work is temporary, if the group disbands after com-


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The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course: Project Management

pleting it, and if the work is turned over to someone else to operate, then
it is probably a project. In cases of evolving technology, the uncertainties
and complexities of an enhancement or redesign may qualify the work as a
project.
Refinements

In contrast, some organizations produce versions of a similar product or
service repeatedly. This is more commonly referred to as production. Other
terms for this type of activity are:






Capacity increases
Remodeling or modernization
Renewal
Release maintenance
Refurbishment

To be classified legitimately as a project, each distinct effort must meet
the criteria of “every project has a definite beginning and a definite end”
and of product or service uniqueness, meaning that “the product or service is
different in some distinguishing way from all similar products or services.”
For example:
• A developer of residential housing may be executing a “production”
by building multiple houses of the same design or configurations of houses
that are repeated over and over. This is not a project, because it is a repetitive
fabrication, except for the first development or when a repeat of the development is done on significantly different terrain.
• A custom developer creating homes of different sizes, styles, and
materials for separate customers is managing a series of projects. In this
example of a “projectized” organization, the developer is using a new design
and new contractors each time.
• A person designing and building her own home, alone or using
professional contractors, is definitely implementing a temporary endeavor
creating a unique product.

WHY MAKE A DISTINCTION BETWEEN PROJECTS
AND OPERATIONS?
It is important to make a distinction between projects and operations for
several reasons, the first of which is that there are major differences in:


Project Management









13

The decision-making process
The delegation of authority to make changes
The rules and methods for managing risk
The role expectations and skill sets
The value sets
The expectations of executive management for results
Reporting relationships and reward systems

Project scope or complexity can vary, so size can cause a project to fall
within the generally accepted definition of a project. A subgroup enterprise
unit may initiate its own products or services using projects, complete them
autonomously with a single person in charge, and then turn them over to
another group to operate. Designating this accurately as a project depends on
its temporary nature and reassignment of the staff member after completing
the unique product or service (contrasted with just moving on to another job
assignment).

The Decision-Making Process
The decision-making process relies on delegation of authority to the project
manager and team to make changes as needed to respond to project demands.
A hierarchy of management is simply not flexible enough to deliver project
results on time and on budget. The detailed planning carried out before
the project is begun provides structure and logic to what is to come, and
trust is fundamental to the process. The project manager uses the skills and
judgment of the team to carry out the work of the project, but the decision
authority must rest with the project manager. The PMI standard for program management explicitly requires this delegation of authority. Whether
the project is large or small, simple or complex, managed by a temporary
assignment of staff from other groups (matrix structure) or with full-time
team assignments, the delegation of authority is fundamental to the project
manager’s ability to perform the job.18
Projects with a strong link to the organization’s strategic objectives
are most likely to be defined by executive management and managed at a
broader level, with higher degrees of involvement and participation from
multiple affected departments. Depending on organizational level, the project
manager’s involvement in establishing strategic linkages for the project with
the organization’s mission will be more or less evident. Some larger organizations use a process of objective alignment to ensure that projects complement
other efforts and advance top management’s objectives.19 Projects at higher


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The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course: Project Management

levels in the organization probably will state the link with the organization’s
mission in their business case and charter documents. Projects at a lower
level will need to clarify that link with management to ensure that they are
proceeding in a way that supports the organization’s mission. Many organizations formalize the process and use portfolio management to monitor project
and resources priorities (see Chapter 12).
It is unlikely that a project linked directly with the organization’s current
strategic initiatives would be implemented by a single person;20 a team would
be assigned to implement it. The project manager has delegated authority to
make decisions, refine or change the project plan, and reallocate resources.
The team conducts the work of the project. The team reports to the project
manager on the project job assignment. In non-“projectized” organizations,
team members might have a line-manager relationship for reporting as well.
Line managers have little authority to change the project in any substantial
way; their suggestions are managed by the project manager—along with
other stakeholders. (Line managers do, however, control promotions and salary of “temporary” project team members.)
A subgroup project generally has more input from local management,
has less coordination with other departments, and generates less risk for the
organization should it fail to deliver. It might be coordinated by an individual
working with a limited number of other people for a few weeks or months,
until completion of the deliverable. In many large organizations, only larger
projects of a specific minimum duration or budget are formally designated as
projects and required to use the organization’s standard project management
process.

Role Expectations and Skill Sets
Whereas a few people can accomplish small projects, larger projects—
especially those critical to an organization—tend to be cross-functional.
Participation by individuals from several disciplines provides the multiple
viewpoints needed to ensure value across groups. An important high-level
project will be more likely to involve people representing various groups
across multiple organizational functions; it may even be interdisciplinary
in nature. The varied input of a cross-functional team tends to mitigate the
risk of any one group not supporting the result. Interdisciplinary participation also helps to ensure quality because each team member will view
other team members’ work from a different perspective, spotting inconsistencies and omissions early in the process. Regardless of whether the
effort is large or small, the authority to manage risk is part of the project
manager’s role.


Project Management

15

Basic project management knowledge and understanding are required
for the individual project manager to complete smaller projects on time and
on budget. However, professional-level skill, knowledge, and experience are
necessary to execute larger, more complex or strategic projects. The project
manager leads, orchestrates, and integrates the work and functions of the
project team in implementing the plan. The challenges of managing teams
with different values and backgrounds require excellent skills in establishing
effective human relations as well as excellent communication skills and team
management skills. Honesty and integrity are also critical in managing teams
that cross cultural lines.
The project manager of a small project may carry the dual role of managing the project team and performing technical work on the project. The
project manager of a large, strategic, complex project will be performing the
technical work of project management, but the team will be doing the technical work necessary to deliver the product or service. Often a larger project
will have a team or technical leader as well and possibly an assistant project
manager or deputy. Small projects are a natural place for beginning project
managers to gain experience. The senior project manager will be unlikely to
take on small projects because the challenges and the pay are not in line with
the senior project manager’s level of experience. An exception, of course,
would be a small, critical, strategic project for top management, although if
it is very small, it too could be considered simply “duties as assigned.”
People who work in project management will have varying levels of
skill and knowledge, but they all will be focused on the delivery of project
results. Their background and experience will reflect the functional specialties within their industry group, as well as the size of projects they work on.
The diversity of projects is so broad that some people working in the field
may not even recognize a kinship or commonality with others in the same
field. They may use different vocabularies, exhibit diverse behaviors, and
perform very different types of work to different standards of quality and
with differing customs and behaviors.
The project management maturity of the organization hosting the project also will cause the organization to place value on different types of skills
and experience. A more mature project environment will choose professional
discipline over the ability to manage crises. A less mature organization or a
small project may value someone who can do it all, including both technical
and management roles, in developing the product and running the project.
It stands to reason, then, that hiring a project manager from a different
setting or different type or size of project may create dissonance when roles,
authority, and alignment with organizational strategy are involved. Selection
of the right project manager for different projects is the subject of Chapter 3.


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The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course: Project Management

The Occupation of Managing Projects
The field of project management includes not only project managers but also
specialists associated with various functions that may or may not be unique
to projects. Those who identify themselves with the occupation of “managing projects” implement projects across many types of settings. They are
familiar with the basics in project management and know how projects are
run. They may take on different roles within a project setting or the same role
on different types of projects. But they always work on projects. Specialists
exist in a type of work associated with projects, such as a project scheduler,
a project cost engineer, or a project control specialist. Others will specialize
in the use of a particular software tool, knowing all the features and capabilities of that tool, even targeting a particular industry (see Chapter 12). Some
specialists perform a sophisticated project function, such as an estimator on
energy-development sites (a specific setting) or a project recruiter (a specific
function). Still others specialize in implementing a unique type of project,
such as hotel construction, transportation networks, large-scale training programs, or new mainframe software development.
Some of the individuals associated with projects may have entered the
field by happenstance, perhaps through a special assignment or a promotion
from a technical role in a project. What distinguishes those in the project
management occupation from those in the technical occupation of that project is that they choose to tie their future and their development to project
management, expanding their knowledge and skills in areas that support the
management of a project rather than the technical aspects of creating, marketing, or developing the product or service resulting from the project. There
are thousands of people engaged in the occupation of project management,
most of them highly skilled and many of them extremely knowledgeable
about what it takes to plan, execute, and control a project.

Emphasis on the Profession of Project Management
A growing number of people recognize the emerging profession of project
management. The profession encompasses not only project managers but
also other project-related specialists taking a professional approach to the
development, planning, execution, control, and improvement of projects.
The profession is getting broader because of a number of factors in business today:
• The increased rate of change in the business environment and the
economy. It used to be OK to say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Today, if


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