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Preface - Pg. x

x Preface This book started as a series of tutorial articles aimed at answering Sam's question (What do I do now?) and guiding every Sam through the experience and anxiety of learning to deal with the am- biguity, uncertainty, conflict, leadership, and all other privileges of being a project manager. The articles, originally published as PM 101 in past issues of PM Network® , have been revised and supplemented to include information that was precluded by size limitations in the original articles. Some have benefited from further consideration since that time. It is hoped that these chapters will be found useful for those who want to learn about the concepts and practice of modern project management (MPM). Perhaps it will also be useful to others interested in the ideas, concepts, and benefits of using MPM. PM 102 , to be published in 2000, completes the originally anticipated series. Modern project management is a term that was promoted in PM Network while I was editor-in-chief for the Project Management Institute (PMI®). The need for a descriptor of PMI came about as fol- lows. I could imagine walking into the office of an old-timer, perhaps with the title of vice president of manufacturing, and saying, "Sir, you really ought to start using project management." Still having an image of myself as being a young whippersnapper , I could imagine this oldtimer saying something like, "What the hell are you trying to tell me? I've been doing projects all my professional life. Don't you think I've been managing those projects?" The monologue would go on and on, depending on how deeply I had gored his ox. So I started promoting the term, modern project management. That way, I would be insulting him a little more subtly, and maybe he would allow me to say something more before he threw me out of his office. Well, all the time that I used the term, I was asking myself, "Okay, what do you say next? What do you mean by that?" Like so many other things in my professional career, I never really had time to think about it very thoroughly. Now that I am retired (and can no longer deny that I am an old-timer), I've had time to ponder and believe that at last I have some answers to the question, which may be found largely in Chapter III, Modern Project Management. Perhaps you have a better approach; if so, I would be happy to hear about it. THE OLDE CURMUDGEON The Olde Curmudgeon (OC) first came on the scene in an article published in Project Management Journal (1984) and was prefaced by the following caveat: This is the first of a series of commentaries proffered by "The Olde Curmudgeon." The purpose of these memos to the editor is to be a thorn in the side of the confident and comfortable project manager, to ask questions that even your own best friend won't ask (like, "Why isn't your deodorant working?") and to invite a dialogue to challenge both the conventional wisdom of practitioners and puncture the theories of sanctimonious academicians who have never had to make their theories work. The opinions set forth are solely the responsibility of The Olde Curmudgeon and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Editor or of the Project Management Journal . Thus, the OC is a salty character who may have coined the phrase, "Been there, done that!" He is willing to share his accumulated wisdom, if you are willing to endure his anecdotes and callused attitude. The wisdom of the OC should be applied with some caution, as it can have unintended consequences. Nevertheless, he would say something like, "Forewarned is forearmed!"