CompTIA Exam Objectives Covered in this Chapter

■ 1.1 Given a vague or poorly worded customer request, determine the appropriate course of action in order to:

o Generate and refine a preliminary project concept definition o Informally determine the business need and feasibility of the project o Identify project sponsors who will help obtain resources o Obtain formal approval by the project sponsor o Confirm management support

■ 1.2 Given a set of criteria which outlines an enterprise's minimal requirements for a project charter, together with stakeholder input, synthesize a project charter.

■ 1.3 Recognize and explain the need to obtain formal approval (sign-off) by the project sponsor(s) and confirm other relevant management support to consume organization resources as the project charter is refined and expanded.

So you're charged with the management of quite a few technical projects during the course of a year, eh? And you'd sure like to have a better feel for how projects are formally managed—what the professional project management approach might be. Well, good for you! You are very definitely taking the right step by both understanding the project management process and certifying in it.

As the enterprise grows more complex and harder to understand, individuals with both the technical prowess to understand all of the enterprise's components, as well as the project management expertise to make new projects work well, will be successful and sought after. This book is designed to be a preparation guide for the CompTIA IT Project+ certification exam, but it's more than that. CompTIA's objectives for this exam measure and illustrate all of the skills needed in order to be a successful project manager. As you read in Chapter 1, Project Management Rundamentals," the project management standards set by the industry at large dictate what a project is and, by doing so, give you a pretty clear picture of what it is not. In this chapter, I'll expand on the definition of a project and sketch the characteristics of a project manager. Then we'll examine the first stage of a project, the up-front needs and requirements analysis you must do.

We'll also talk about the formulation of a very critical document, the project charter, and about obtaining the formal go-ahead that officially starts the project. At that point, we will bring our sample project, Prestige Hotels, into play and set its wheels in motion.

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