Chapter 1. Introduction

1. Introduction

What's new about the new edition?

What do project managers really want?

Emerging standards for project management

Project management is founded on common sense

How readers can use this book

What kinds of project is this book aimed at?

Project management's nine knowledge areas

Projects as a distinct class of activity

Managing projects

The project management lifecycle

Aims of this chapter

This introductory chapter can be skipped by those who want to get straight into how to do project management. However, as an introductory chapter, the aims are to:

  • explain the current major trends and forces in project management, so as to situate the role of the project manager in that context, and especially to show how globalization and increased competition are causing increased demand for project management;

  • give the perspective of the organization on project management, as well as the project manager's perspective;

  • explain what project management is and how it relates to general management, contrast it to business processes, and summarize what makes it a distinct skill set with a distinct body of knowledge;

  • introduce the Project Management Institute's PMBOK approach to project management, as the largest and fastest growing of the three main global standards.

For those who want to skip this chapter, try the following test. Try it anyway, whether or not you like reading introductory chapters.

1. Is the need for your project understood and agreed by everyone who will have to contribute resources to it?

Yes/No

2. Do you understand the project authorization and monitoring procedures in your organization?

Yes/No

3. If you take on the management of the project, will you be given the authority to make decisions about the project direction? (What does the history of your organization tell you on this point?)

Yes/No

4. If this is your first project, will you get support and guidance from more experienced project managers?

Yes/No

5. Do you know why you have been chosen to manage this project? (What does this tell you about the motivations of the other people involved?)

Yes/No

6. Can you commit the time needed to manage this project? Do you know from experience how much time you will need?

Yes/No

7. Will you be responsible for the initial definition of scope, timing and cost? If these have already been set, can you review and renegotiate them if required?

Yes/No

8. Has the person who had the idea for the project described the concept to you directly in their own words?

Yes/No

9. Do you know enough about your organization's track record with projects? (Which succeeded, which did not, and why?) Have you got the maximum learning from others' experience?

Yes/No

10. Have you had formal training (or if highly experienced but not training, some sort of peer assessment) in project management?

Yes/No


If you score eight or more, well done you seem to be a highly experienced project manager and you have a safe project in hand. If you scored less, welcome to project management as it is in the real world; you are by no means alone. In either case, we hope you will get much out of this book.

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Definitive Guide to Project Management. The Fast Track to Getting the Job Done on Time and on Budget
The Definitive Guide to Project Management: The fast track to getting the job done on time and on budget (2nd Edition)
ISBN: 0273710974
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2007
Pages: 217
Authors: Sebastian Nokes
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