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SUMMARY

It is an interesting anomaly that all people have performed a variety of projects. It is somewhat like learning to walk or speak. Certainly, projects have been used throughout the ages to accomplish many of the needs of society. However, in the last fifty years, we have learned a great deal more about the nature of projects and how they differ from other modes of work efforts. The knowledge has been converted from conventional wisdom to precise concepts and tools that enable projects to be performed more efficiently and effectively. It has been difficult to codify all this knowledge, as projects have such great variety. However, one of the precepts of PMI is that there is an extensive body of knowledge common to all projects. There are excellent opportunities to learn how your projects can be performed better by observing and listening to how others have performed their projects—even though they seem quite different.

Sam had learned that projects come in all forms, shapes, and sizes. Some work is clearly best done by projects. Other work is best done in craft, job-shop, progressive-line, or continuous-flow mode. Indeed, some of the work in projects may be accomplished more efficiently, more effectively, or both in one of the other modes. Thus, the project manager must be aware of these possibilities.

Some of the work that has traditionally been done in one of these other modes may now be done more efficiently, more effectively, or both in project mode. Thus, it is important to question old adages such as, “We've always done it this way,” and, “We tried that once, and it didn't work.” New opportunities are available today as the result of the development of modern project management.


  

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