In June 1992, AEI won a one-year research project for new material development. Blen Carty was chosen as project manager. He had twenty-five years of experience with the company in both project management and project engineering positions. During the past five years Blen had successfully performed as the project manager on R&D projects.
AEI used the matrix approach to structuring project management. Blen was well aware of the problems that can be encountered with this organizational form. When it became apparent that a follow-on contract would be available, Blen felt that functional managers would be reluctant to assign key personnel full-time to his project and lose their services for thirty months. Likewise, difficulties could be expected in staffing the project office.
During the proposal stage of the Mask Project, a meeting was held with Blen Carty, John Wallace, the director of project management, and Dr. Albert Runnels, the director of engineering. The purpose of the meeting was to satisfy a customer requirement that all key project members be identified in the management volume of the proposal.
John Wallace: "I'm a little reluctant to make any firm commitment. By the time your program gets off the ground, four of our other projects are terminating, as well as several new projects starting up. I think it's a little early to make firm selections."
Blen Carty: "But we have a proposal requirement. Thirty months is a long time to assign personnel for. We should consider this problem now."
Dr. Runnels: "Let's put the names of our top people into the proposal. We'll add several Ph.D.s from our engineering community. That should beef up our management volume. As soon as we're notified of contract go-ahead, we'll see who's available and make the necessary assignments. This is a common practice in the industry."
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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.