Unlike any other book you'll find, this IT project management book synthesizes project management fundamentals, IT processes and procedures, and the bare bones of business. Many IT professionals are incredibly bright people who have a passion for technology. If they're really good, they also get along well with others. If they're exceptional, they also understand the business implications of their department, their technology initiatives and their projects. In this book, you'll learn how to become an exceptional IT professional. Whether you're an IT manager who oversees the department and manages IT projects, or a member of the team who is sometimes an IT project manager, you'll learn how to align your projects to the company's strategic objectives, how to develop a strategic plan for your IT department, how to pick the right projects to solve the right problems and how to add value to your company. And if you've ever wondered how to get on the fast-track to CIO…you might just be holding the answer in your hands.
As a business and technology consultant, I examine and explore businesses everyday. Based on my observations, you should know that the way your company runs projects is probably like 98% of all the other companies out thereoften a bit disorganized, very stressful, and less-than-successful. I'm always surprised by how many people tell me that they've already had project management training. When I ask how much of it they still use, most tell me they use none of it. This begs the question:Why has past PM training failed to be integrated into the project process? Most will tell me in a round about way that the system was too complex, took too much effort, or required too big of a change. Human nature is such that we tend make small changes more effectively than large, wholesale changes. If you've ever tried to lose weight, start eating better or get more exercise, you know this is true. If you're completely sedentary, you might be able to consistently add a 10 minute walk during your lunch hour, but you're not likely to stick to a stringent daily hour of power aerobics at the gym.
The same holds true for IT project management fundamentals. Most people will not implement the system end-to-end unless there is tremendous pressure and support from within the company at the executive level. Failing this, PM systems (and any other improvement processes) become nothing more than the flavor of the month and this syndrome quickly engenders a cynical view of process improvement in general. So, I take a different approach. Don't try to implement the system end-to-end if that doesn't work for you. Pick one thing and do it consistently; then add anothercontinuous improvement. As I've taught this in various training seminars, I've encouraged students to pick one thing and do it consistently, then add to their repertoire until they are practicing textbook project management…one step at a time. Sure, it would be great if they could simply do everything right today, but that's not likely to happen. My goal is to gradually get you to improve your IT PM skills, even if it takes 6 or 12 or 18 months. Eventually is better than never.
This book is not intended to provide the most exhaustive look at IT PM ever written. It is intended to get you up and running in IT PM with the least amount of effort and the most amount of improvement possible. For those of you looking for the encyclopedia of formal IT project management, you won't find it here (I refer you to the PMBOK). This book and the IT PM process it describes is not process-heavy. Anyone aquainted with me knows I'm a real results-oriented person, and I loathe process for process' sake. The only process I am comfortable with is that which drives the outcomes I want, so this book takes a minimalist approach to process (less is more).Where processes are defined, they are the shortest, least complex ways to get from Point A to Point B.
I've trained in Shotokan karate for many years and my sensei, Mr. Ken Carson, always says "Power comes from good fundamentals, speed comes from practice."As 6th dan black belt (karate and judo) who has trained and taught for over 60 years, if Sensei Carson says it's so, it's so. Companies (and IT professionals) that implement consistent project management practices will build a solid foundation. As the organization becomes familiar with the processes and internalizes them, they will also gain speed and knowledge. Companies that are stronger, faster and smarter win in the end. It's not just a one-shot effort, either. It is a process of continuous improvement (kaizen). As you consistently implement project management practices, you, your IT projects, your department and company will continuously improve as well. This book gives you a shortcut to those skills so you can get the basics quickly and start using them today.
Yoki Shuppatsu Wa Hanbun Michi O Sugitaru Go Gotoshi
(Well begun is half done.)