Book Image

Effective Project Management - Eighth Edition

By : Robert K. Wysocki
Book Image

Effective Project Management - Eighth Edition

By: Robert K. Wysocki

Overview of this book

There are so many things that can fail in a project. Failure to complete on time or maybe failure to stay under budget. Many projects fail to deliver a viable product that satisfies the needs of the customer. These and a multitude of other failures are usually the results of poor project management. Although there are many methods for managing projects, most are inadequately understood. Effective Project Management, Eighth Edition will teach you to use the most up-to-date tools and methods for project management. The book begins by explaining the project management landscape by answering questions, such as ‘what is a project’ and ‘what is a collaborative project team’. Then you’ll learn about traditional project management and its fundamentals as most would understand it from casual conversations and experiences. The final chapters give an in?depth presentation of the contemporary world of project management and five PMLC models, including hybrid project management. By the end of the book, you’ll have learned several techniques and best practices to successfully manage your project and avoid pitfalls.
Table of Contents (12 chapters)
End User License Agreement
APPENDIX A: Terms and Acronyms
APPENDIX C: Case Study: Pizza Delivered Quickly (PDQ)
APPENDIX D: Cited References

The Rationale for This Organization

This book does not advocate following fixed recipes and pre‐defined procedures for managing projects. Rather, it is based on constructing a best‐fit project management approach based on the characteristics of the project, its environment, the business climate, the team skills profile, and other descriptors.

A Bottom‐Up Learning Experience

To begin your study I introduce six questions that form an architecture for any effective project management approach:

  • What business situation is being addressed by this project?
  • What does the business need to do?
  • What are you proposing to do?
  • How will you do it?
  • How will you know you did it?
  • How well did you do?

As long as your chosen approach provides answers to these six questions, you will have defined an effective approach.

Learning about Process Groups

The Project Management Institute (PMI) has provided a comprehensive definition of the basic building blocks from which every project management methodology can be defined. You first learn these and then apply them later in the book to specific project management methodologies and models.

Learning How Process Groups Form Life Cycle Processes

PMI defines the five basic Process Groups that can be used to form project management life cycle processes. Every effective project management life cycle will contain these five Process Groups. In some life cycles the Process Groups will appear once, in others several times.

Learning Effective Life Cycle Management Strategies

In this book the profile of the project and the degree to which requirements are specified and documented form the strategies for defining the best‐fit project management life cycle. As the project work commences, the profile of the project and the requirements definition may change, prompting a change of strategy. Always keeping the project management approach aligned with the changing profile of the project is the unique feature of my approach to project management.

Learning How to Adapt to the Realities of Projects

In Part III you learn about the infrastructure for project support. In a sense this will be a peek into the future for many enterprises. It is a suitable conclusion to my book. Projects, programs, and portfolios as well as the project management processes that support them can impact the business of the enterprise.

Learning to Be a Thinking Project Manager

If you are looking for a book of recipes look elsewhere.

Cooks can only use recipes developed by others and such is the case with complex project management. The complex project landscape is populated with projects that are uncertain and high risk. They are executed in a dynamic and changing environment both from an internal and external perspective. It would be foolhardy to assume that an off‐the‐shelf project management model would fit the situation. A chef could do better. Chefs can create and adapt a recipe.

I use a cook/chef metaphor to further explain my disruptive observation. A cook is a person who arms themselves with recipe books and an inventory of food stuffs to execute these recipes. As long as they can deliver client requirements with one of these recipes, they are on safe grounds. But if a need arises to deviate from these recipes to meet a unique requirement the cook will have been put in harm's way.

Deviations from the recipes take the cook out of their comfort zone. Enter the chef. Their recipes book has been replaced with an acute memory for how various ingredients interact with one another to produce a desired result.

I have a real‐life example that illustrates how the chef differs from the cook. Heather was my soulmate and knew her way around the kitchen like any good chef would. It was late Sunday night and she asked me if I would like some cheesecake. Her cheesecake was to die for, so I said “Yes.” A few minutes later I heard a groan coming from the kitchen. “What's wrong?” I asked, only to hear that she was out of vanilla extract. Vanilla extract was a critical ingredient in her recipe and all the stores were closed. So, I thanked her for her offer and said, “Let's do it tomorrow.” About 30 minutes later I could smell a cheesecake baking in the oven! “What happened?” I asked. She said we had some vanilla frosting in the pantry and it had vanilla extract in it. So, she figured out how much vanilla frosting she would have to use in order to substitute for the vanilla extract. The cheesecake was her best ever. She can adapt and create recipes, not just follow them.

My goal for you is that this book will help you become a chef—a project manager who can think her way out of complex and unique situations and succeed despite the odds.