Project Management Alternatives

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Integrated Project Management
By Earl Hall, Juliane Johnson
Table of Contents
Chapter 2.  The Project, the Statement of Work, and the Specification


Some efforts, called "projects," never arrive at a precise specification. In these situations, the project manager is directed by the sponsor or customer to begin an activity at a point that seems to be a promising place to deal with a general problem or opportunity. As initial tasks approach completion, the next step is decided upon. At this point, the sponsor may be making the decisions, or the project manager may be expected to make them. The project manager, backed by the sponsor, recruits and assigns people for the next step. This process continues, and desirable out-comes are identified. If and when useful outcomes are finally achieved, the project is declared a success and is stopped. If, after a while, no good outcome emerges, the project is stopped.

However, there is no "right" way to manage a project. There are many different management approaches to choose from.

  • Some project managers believe in planning a project completely before starting work: "Plan the Work and Work the Plan." Others prefer "fast track:" Start by executing the obvious first step and then plan the steps as you go.

  • Some project managers do the planning themselves. Others collaboratively plan with the project team. A variety of approaches are available for gaining collaboration of the project team members.

  • Some project managers plan from the project completion date backward. For others, the only efficient way is to plan, step by step, from start to finish.

  • Some project managers make their planning fit the project management software that they are using. The very sophisticated project managers make the software fit the needs of their planning approach and then add longhand tools where their software is inadequate.

  • Some project managers do not do risk analysis nor plan for catastrophes. They are simply hoping to successfully ad lib when problems emerge. They do not believe that it is possible to plan and manage a project to finish on time, and they take pride in their expediting skills when deviating from the plan.

IPM is designed to complete a project to specifications, on time and within budget, using only the planned resources and without the occurance of serious injury or loss of time due to accidents. (The latter condition is particularly important for construction projects.)

IPM requires the following:

  1. A technically knowledgeable project manager who is a skilled leader. He or she must be able to lead the team into collaboratively planning and cooperatively taking responsibility for the project.

  2. A detailed and precise analysis of what is required to complete the project, prepared before the work begins.

  3. A well-planned and structured change procedure to be in place at the beginning of the project. Then, when the inevitable requests for change in outcome occur, a smooth effort can be initiated to redefine and replan the project.

  4. The project's feasibility to be addressed before project planning.


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

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