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Foreword

Foreword

Note from the Olde Curmudgeon: Differing from standard publishing practice, this Foreword has been written by three individuals because of their different and essential perspectives on project management: Dave Cleland, the strategic and conceptual; Hans Thamhain, the technology research and consulting; and Les Prudhomme, the practitioner.

PM 101 According to the Olde Curmudgeon is a significant contribution to the literature of project management. Fran Webster offers the book as an introduction to the basic concepts of modern project management—and he delivers just that in this readable and enjoyable book.

The timing for this book is just right. There have been several hundred books published on project management—these books offer many different treatments of the discipline. Not many of them provide a clear and fundamental examination of the basic concepts and processes of project management. The strength of this book is that it provides sufficient information and basic explanations on how to manage projects.

The root cause of failure—and success—in the management of projects depends on how well the basic concepts and processes of project management have been carried out by the project manager in managing and leading the project stakeholders. Failure is seldom caused by some esoteric factor—rather failure is caused by the lack of sound, basic project management principles and processes. This is why mastery of the basics of the discipline as put forth in this book is so important.

Anyone involved in the management of projects should find this book quite useful. The range of chapter topics includes some that are particular noteworthy—and usually not found in competitive books. The author's treatment of the technical and administrative skills of the project manager, as well as project leadership ideas, provides valuable insight into the discipline. Young professionals entering the field of project management should find the clear presentation of the basics of the discipline in this book useful. “Oldtimers,” who need reinforcement of their knowledge, skills, and attitudes in project management, will find value in a careful perusal of this excellent book.

David Cleland, Ernest E. Roth Professor, University of Pittsburgh

PM 101 represents a refreshing and much different approach to other books on project management. It is about the principals of modern project management and how to apply them effectively in today's demanding project environment. As project operations have become highly complex, both in concept and in practice, it is delightful to see the issues being brought into perspective. What we need is not to invent more tools, but to use the ones that we have effectively. PM 101 skillfully summarizes the concept, tools, and techniques of modern project management that have stood the test of time, and have become threshold competencies for project management professionals today. Yet, Francis Webster does not stop with the principals. He offers great perspective, integrating the processes and metrics with the human side of modern project management. Filled with anecdotes of contemporary project management practice, PM 101 tells the reader how to get into the proper frame of mind for becoming an effective project management professional who understands the concepts, tools, and processes, and can adapt them to today's dynamic project scenarios.

From my perspective as researcher and practitioner of project management, I appreciate Webster's perspective and integration of the human side of project management, ranging from communications to leadership, negotiations, and team building. I have seen firsthand how difficult it is for project leaders in today's lean, flexible, and power-shared organizations to deal with the human issues that drive important success factors such as resource commitment, creativity, buy-in, and. ultimately, project performance.

PM 101 pulls together many threads from different domains of established project management knowledge and best practice. Clearly, Webster's book deserves careful reading by all project management professionals.

Hans J. Thamhain, PMP, Ph.D., Bentley College

You've heard the expression, “Yesterday I couldn't spell ‘Project Manager.’ Today I are one.” Now what? You've just been assigned to manage a project, which is part of a larger business initiative being managed by one of the company's senior managers. Your manager referred to your part as a “project” and called you a “project manager.” What do you do now? Where do you start? What is project management?

Fran Webster, the Olde Curmudgeon, has taken his years of experience in the field of project management and condensed it into a basic primer on the subject. Fran recognized that, while many books have been written on project management in general and on the many different specific aspects of project management, there was a need for a starting point for someone new to the field or someone needing a basic understanding of project management. Well, here it is. This easyreading primer won't make you a project manager, but it will provide you with a basic understanding of what project management is all about and will get you started in the right direction.

Les Prudhomme, PMP, Associate Director,

Construction Industry Institute

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