Project Management has often been called the "accidental profession." That designation has come about due to the preponderance of PM practitioners who have found their way to this field, not through a structured education or career strategy, but rather as a side trip from their planned careers. My side trip has lasted some 40 years and, thanks to many whom I have met along the way, the side trip has become a journey of discovery and fulfillment. This book records much of what I have learned and disseminated during that trip. Therefore, it is only fair that I express my gratitude not only to the direct contributors to this material, but also to those who helped to pave the way.
It was way back in 1962 that Adelaide Oppenheim offered me the opportunity to change careers and try my hand at planning and scheduling at GE's Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory. Adelaide encouraged personal growth and enlisted us soldiers to spread the word about the benefits of structured planning and control of projects. Later, moving on to GE's commercial operations, I was afforded the opportunity to bring the benefits of project management to several divisions of this conglomerate. Along the way, Jack Gido encouraged me to present my first technical paper, which eventually led to my emergence as a writer and educator, as well as stimulating me to get involved in the Project Management Institute. After the support of many led to opportunities to teach at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, to publish a book for Osborne/McGraw-Hill, and to be elected President and Chairman of the Project Management Institute (all in 1985-1986), I was further encouraged to leave the comfort of the corporation and to strike out on my own. The apprehension associated with such a decision was eased by Joel Koppelman, President of Primavera Systems, who became my first client and a supporter for the next 15 years. Joel was the first of dozens of leaders in the project management tools and services industry that extended a friendly hand and allowed me to become an active member of their community. I wish that I could name all of these people who became an important part of my life, but they would number in the hundreds. But I will single out Roger Meade, CEO of Scitor Corporation, for his faith and support for a decade and a half.
A special attribute of this profession, which has been so endearing to me, has been the willingness of my fellow practitioners to share their ideas and wisdom with each other. People like David Cleland, Harold Kerzner, Francis Webster, Max Wideman, Bill Duncan, Paul Dinsmore, who through their publications, seminars, and support for the development of a body of knowledge in the field of project management, have helped PM to become a recognized and respected profession. I am honored to have been in their company and to have had them as my colleagues.
Much of what is presented in this book is based on work that I have prepared during the past decade, based on my experiences in the field. There were a few areas for which I reached out to others for the benefit of their insight and expertise. I offer my gratitude to the following colleagues, who responded to my invitation to participate in this project: Lois Zells, Patrick Durbin, Wendy Wheeler, Brad Holtz, Richard Hayden, Nancy Allen, Matt Light, and Ted Tzirimis. My thanks also to some of the consulting firms that provided reports and data, including Gartner Group, SPEX, KPMG Consultants, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLC, and Project Partners, LLC.
To the many hundreds of people with whom I have had professional contact through the years (you know who you are), I thank you for the enrichment that you provided and for the opportunity that you extended for me to share my knowledge and ideas with you. You are all clearly contributors to this book.
Harvey A. Levine
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.