Basic Projects and Their Limitations

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Integrated Project Management
By Earl Hall, Juliane Johnson
Table of Contents
Chapter 16.  Basic Projects, Major Projects, and Macro Projects


There are important reasons why the IPM practices used to manage basic projects are exceptionally efficient. These IPM practices are as follows:

  1. Collaborating, competent project team members share in the project planning.

  2. Planning time is kept short, and attention to planning is intensified by having project team members working at planning efforts in parallel, instead of sequentially.

  3. Good communication and coordination is achieved by short, efficient planning meetings and by walk-about management.

  4. Risk analysis can be carefully done at the task level, and risk time buffers are determined and applied at the project team level.

The IPM project management practices noted above that produce IPM results have the following limitations:

  1. Collaborative management, team communication, and cooperation break down with more than 30 project team members. (Conventional wisdom, particularly regarding self-managing work teams, suggests that 12 members is a good upper limit for a collaborating team; however, the project management team has a structured, well-defined series of planning meetings with a facilitator and a well-developed plan to follow for execution that makes a somewhat larger group doable.)

  2. Projects that involve several different technologies or methodologies can produce a situation in which one project manager does not have the breadth of knowledge and experience to effectively facilitate the planning and organizing in each subject area.

  3. Walk-about management and communication facilitation capabilities for one individual can become overloaded when too many parallel tasks are being executed at the sametime.

A good solution is to break down the project into several parallel or sequential basic projects and add a level of management to coordinate the work of the several basic project managers. The project that takes on these characteristics is called a major project. A major project can function well with up to eight basic projects within it. When the needs of a project suggest a more complex pattern of management relationships than this, we refer to it as a macro project.

Categorizing projects as basic, major, and macro is useful when dealing with the full range of projects. Because these three types of projects vary in size and complexity, the project manager must approach the job of managing a project in each category differently.


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    Integrated Project Management
    Integrated Project Management
    ISBN: 0071466266
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2005
    Pages: 190

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