Total Quality Management
Scope Change Control
Project Offices and COEs
Strategic Planning for Project Management
Intranet Status Reports
Capacity Planning Models
FIGURE 2-9. New processes supporting project management.
• 1994: Companies recognize that a good project cost control system (i.e., horizontal accounting) allows for improved estimating and a firmer grasp of the real cost of doing work and developing products.
• 1995: Companies recognize that very few projects are completed within the framework of the original objectives without scope changes. Methodologies are created for effective change management.
• 1996: Companies recognize that risk management involves more than padding an estimate or a schedule. Risk management plans are now included in the project plans.
• 1997-1998: The recognition of project management as a professional career path mandates the consolidation of project management knowledge and a centrally located project management group. Benchmarking for best practices forces the creation of centers for excellence in project management.
• 1999: Companies that recognize the importance of concurrent engineering and rapid product development find that it is best to have dedicated resources for the duration of the project. The cost of overmanagement may be negligible compared to risks of undermanagement. More organizations begin to use colocated teams all housed together.
• 2000: Mergers and acquisitions create more multinational companies. Multinational project management becomes a major challenge.
• 2001: Corporations are under pressure to achieve maturity as quickly as possible. Project management maturity models help companies reach this goal.
• 2002: The maturity models for project management provide corporations with a basis to perform strategic planning for project management. Project management is now viewed as a strategic competency for the corporation.
• 2003: Intranet status reporting comes of age. This is particularly important for multinational corporations that must exchange information quickly.
• 2004: Intranet reporting provides corporations with information on how resources are being committed and utilized. Corporations develop capacity planning models to learn how much additional work the organization can take on.
As project management continues to grow and mature, it will have more allies. In the twenty-first century, second and third world nations will come to recognize the benefits and importance of project management. Worldwide standards for project management will be established.
If a company wishes to achieve excellence in project management, then it must go through a successful implementation process. This is illustrated in Situation 2-1.
Situation 2-1: The aerospace division of a Fortune 500 company had been using project management for more than thirty years. Everyone in the organization had attended courses in the principles of project management. From 1985 to 1994, the division went through a yearly ritual of benchmarking themselves against other aerospace and defense organizations. At the end of the benchmarking period, the staff would hug and kiss one another, believing that they were performing project management as well as could be expected.
In 1995, the picture changed. The company decided to benchmark itself against organizations that were not in the aerospace or defense sector. It soon learned that there were companies that had been using project management for fewer than six years but whose skills at implementation had surpassed the aerospace/defense firms. It was a rude awakening.
Another factor that contributed to resistance to change was senior management's preference for the status quo. Often this preference was based upon what was in the executives' best interest rather than the best interest of the organization. It was also common for someone to attend basic project management programs and then discover that the organization would not allow full implementation of project management, leading to frustration for those in the lower and middle levels of management. Consider Situation 2-2:
Situation 2-2: The largest division of a Fortune 500 company recognized the need for project management. Over a three-year period, 200 people were trained in the basics of project management, and 18 people passed the national certification exam for project management. The company created a project management division and developed a methodology. As project management began to evolve in this division, the project managers quickly realized that the organization would not allow their "illusions of grandeur" to materialize. The executive vice president made it clear that the functional areas, rather than the project management division, would have budgetary control. Project managers would not be empowered with authority or critical decision-making opportunities. Simply stated, the project managers were being treated as expediters and coordinators, rather than real project managers.
Even though project management has been in existence for more than forty years, there are still different views and misconceptions about what it really is. Textbooks on operations research or management science still have chapters entitled "Project Management" that discuss only PERT scheduling techniques. A textbook on organizational design recognized project management as simply another organizational form.
All companies sooner or later understand the basics of project management. But companies that have achieved excellence in project management have done so through successful implementation and execution of processes and methodologies.
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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.