People with practical experience of working on projects invariably identify the handling of people as one of the most important aspects of project management. What people like Amanda and Brigette will want to know is whether the effective and sensitive management of staff comes only from experience or whether guidance can be usefully sought from writers on the topic.
The field of social science known as organizational behaviour (OB) helps. This has evolved theories that try to explain people's behaviour and that tend to be structured 'If A is the situation then B is likely to result'. Attempts are then made to observe behaviour or to conduct experiments where variables for A and B are measured and a statistical relationship between the two variables is sought. Unlike physical science, it is rarely, if ever, the case that it can be said that B must always follow A.
A major problem is that in the real world there is bound to be a very wide range of influences on a situation, many of which will not be apparent to the observer. It is therefore difficult to decide which set of research findings is relevant. A danger is that we end up with a set of maxims that are little better than superstitions. However, it is to hoped that by examining these questions people can become more sensitive and thoughtful about the problems involved.
In what follows, we will be making references to workers in the OB field such Charles Handy, as Taylor, Mayo and McGregor. Rather than overwhelming the reader with Understanding references, we recommend the reader who is interested in exploring this topic organizations, 4th edition, further to look at Charles Handy's book. Where we have given references these Penguin, 1993. tend to be for works related specifically to an IT environment.
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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.