Project Management For Dummies
eBook - ePub

Project Management For Dummies

Nick Graham, Stanley E. Portny

  1. English
  2. ePUB (apto para móviles)
  3. Disponible en iOS y Android
eBook - ePub

Project Management For Dummies

Nick Graham, Stanley E. Portny

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Información del libro

In today's time-pressured, cost-conscious global business environment, tight project deadlines and stringent expectations are the norm. Project Management For Dummies shows business professionals what works and what doesn't by examining the field's best practices. You can learn how to organise, estimate, and schedule projects more efficiently. Discover how to manage deliverables, issue changes, assess risks, maintain communications, and live up to expectations by making the most of the latest technology and software and by avoiding common problems that can trip up even the best project managers.

This adaptation includes:

  • The latest methods to manage resources and stay on track and within budget
  • Coverage for dealing with the pros and cons of virtual teams
  • Tips and information on setting realistic expectations and meeting everyone's needs
  • Methods and strategies to get tasks done with minimal staff
  • Tips and advice for motivating a project team
  • The latest concepts and fundamentals behind best-practice project management techniques
  • The mindset and skill set of today's most effective project managers—what it really takes to guarantee a successful project
  • Information on how to involve project audiences by conducting a Stakeholder Analysis
  • Trends and tough project types
  • Assessment tools to determine strengths and weaknesses for everything from choosing software to selecting a project team
  • Tactics for team motivation and the hottest risk management strategies

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For Dummies
Project Management
Part I
Understanding Projects and What You Want to Achieve
In this part . . .
Projects are different from ordinary ‘business as usual’ work. This first part helps you understand more about the nature of projects, how they are structured and why they are needed. It also helps you answer the question ‘Is this really a project?’.
Chapter 1
Project Management: The Key to Achieving Results
In This Chapter
Understanding what makes a project a project
Seeing what’s involved in project management
Coming to grips with the Project Manager’s role
Knowing what it takes to be a successful Project Manager
Organisations are constantly changing, and ever faster, as they adapt to new market conditions, new financial conditions, new business practices, new legal requirements and new technology. Running projects often creates the change, and as a result businesses are increasingly driven to find individuals who can excel in this project-oriented environment.
Taking on a Project
Because you’re reading this book, the chances are that you’ve been asked to manage a project for the first time or that you’re already running projects and are looking to see whether you can find easier and better ways of doing things. If the project is indeed your first one, that’s a challenge and may well give you the chance to excel in something you haven’t done before; for many, managing a project even opens a door to a new career. Try not to think of project management as a career death threat, even if others do and they now avoid looking you in the eye when passing you in the corridor. The really good news here, whether you’re completely new or have some experience, is that project management has been around for a very long time. In that time, Project Managers have come up with highly effective strategies and a range of very practical techniques. You can benefit from all that experience, and this book takes you through all you need to know.
So, hang on tight – you’re going to need an effective set of skills and techniques to steer your projects to successful completion. This chapter gets you off to a great start by showing you what projects and project management really are and by helping you separate projects from non-project assignments. The chapter also offers some insight on why projects succeed or fail and starts to get you into the project management mindset.
Avoiding the Pitfalls
By following a sound approach to the project, you automatically avoid many of the pitfalls that continue to contribute to, or cause, project failure on a mind-boggling scale. You may ask why, if good ways of doing things exist, people ignore them and then have their projects fail. Good question. People make the same project mistakes repeatedly, and they’re largely avoidable. You may have come across the joke by comedian Tommy Cooper:
I went to the doctor and said ‘Every time I do this, it hurts.’
The doctor said, ‘Well, don’t do it then.’
A national public project run in the UK to create a database of offenders for use by the Prison Service, Probation Service and others has attracted heavy criticism for poor management. The National Audit Office, which checks up on government departments, investigated and reported that the project was delayed by three years, and the budget was double the original, but the scope had been radically cut back. Edward Leigh MP, chairman of the powerful Public Accounts Committee in Parliament described the scheme as a ‘spectacular failure’ and ‘a master-class in sloppy project management’.
The following list takes a quick look at the main causes of project failure (we address each of these causes in later chapters in the book). The list makes for depressing reading, particularly if you recognise some elements in parts of your own organisation. Nevertheless, the list gives a good background against which to contrast successful project management and the approach and techniques that we set down in this book.
Lack of clear objectives: Nobody’s really sure what the project is about, much less are people agreed on it.
Lack of risk management: Things go wrong that someone could easily have foreseen and then controlled to some degree or even prevented.
No senior management ‘buy in’: Senior managers were never convinced and so never supported the project, leading to problems such as lack of resource. Neither did those managers exercise normal management supervision as they routinely do in their other areas of responsibility.
Poor planning: Actually, that’s being kind, because often the problem is that no planning was done at all. It’s not surprising, then, when things run out of control, and not least because nobody knows where the project should be at this point anyway.
No clear progress milestones: This follows on from poor planning. The lack of milestones means nobody sees when things are off track, and problems go unnoticed for a long time.
Understated scope: The scope and the Project Plan are superficial and understate both what the project needs to deliver and the resource needed to deliver it. Project staff (often team members) then discover the hidden but essential components later in the project. The additional work that is necessary then takes the project out of control, causing delay to the original schedule and overspending against the original budget.
Poor communications: So many projects fail because of communication breakdown, which can stem from unclear roles and responsibilities and from poor senior management attitudes, such as not wanting to hear bad news.
Unrealistic resource levels: It just isn’t possible to do a project of the required scope with such a small amount of resource – staff, money or both.
Unrealistic timescales: The project just can’t deliver by the required time, so it’s doomed to failure.
No change control: People add in things bit by bit – scope creep. Then it dawns on everyone that the project’s grown so big that it can’t be delivered within the fixed budget or by the set deadline.
That’s ten reasons for failure, but you can probably think of a few more. The interesting thing about these problems is that avoiding them is, for the most part, actually not that difficult.
Deciding Whether the Job Is Really a Project
Before you start to think too deeply about how to set up the project, the first thing to do is check whether it really is one. No matter what your job is, you handle a myriad of assignments every day: prepare a memo, hold a meeting, design a sales campaign or move to new offices. Not all these assignments are projects. So what makes something a project?
You can consider three easy areas to determine whether a job is a project:
Is it a one-off job or something that’s ongoing? ...


  1. Cover
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Title Page
  4. Introduction
  5. Part I: Understanding Projects and What You Want to Achieve
  6. Part II: Building the Plans
  7. Part III: Putting Your Management Team Together
  8. Part IV: Steering the Project to Success
  9. Part V: Taking Your Project Management to the Next Level
  10. Part VI: The Part of Tens
  11. Cheat Sheet
Estilos de citas para Project Management For Dummies

APA 6 Citation

Graham, N., & Portny, S. (2010). Project Management For Dummies (1st ed.). Wiley. Retrieved from (Original work published 2010)

Chicago Citation

Graham, Nick, and Stanley Portny. (2010) 2010. Project Management For Dummies. 1st ed. Wiley.

Harvard Citation

Graham, N. and Portny, S. (2010) Project Management For Dummies. 1st edn. Wiley. Available at: (Accessed: 14 October 2022).

MLA 7 Citation

Graham, Nick, and Stanley Portny. Project Management For Dummies. 1st ed. Wiley, 2010. Web. 14 Oct. 2022.