Free Trial

Safari Books Online is a digital library providing on-demand subscription access to thousands of learning resources.

  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL
Help

Introduction

Introduction

Projects have been around since ancient times. Noah building the ark, Leonardo da Vinci painting the Mona Lisa, Edward Gibbon writing The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Jonas Salk developing the polio vaccine — all projects. And, as you know, these have been masterful successes. (Well, the products were a spectacular success, even if schedules and resource budgets were drastically overrun!)

Why, then, is the topic of project management of such great interest today? The answer is simple: The audience has changed and the stakes are higher.

Historically, projects were large, complex undertakings. The first project to use modern project‐management techniques — the Polaris weapons system in the early 1950s — was a technical and administrative nightmare. Teams of specialists planned and tracked the myriad of research, development, and production activities. And they produced mountains of paper to document the intricate work. As a result, people started to view project management as a highly technical discipline with confusing charts and graphs; they saw it as inordinately time‐consuming, specialist‐driven, and definitely off‐limits for the common man or woman!

Because the world has a growing array of huge, complex, and technically challenging projects, people are still needed who want to devote their careers to planning and managing them. But over the past 15 to 20 years, the number of projects in the regular workplace has skyrocketed. Projects of all types and sizes are now the way that organizations accomplish their work.

At the same time, a new breed of project manager has emerged. These people may not have set career goals to become project managers — many don't even consider themselves to be project managers. But they do know they must successfully manage projects in order to move ahead in their careers. In other words, project management has become a critical skill, not a career choice.

Even though these people are realizing they need special tools, techniques, and knowledge to handle their new types of assignments, they may not be able or willing to devote large amounts of time to acquiring them. I devote this book to that silent majority of project managers.

  • Safari Books Online
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint