Summary of Guide to Project Management

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In 1994, after much ballyhoo and two decades of effort, Japan’s Kansai International Airport opened on an artificial island in Osaka Bay. To create the island, the Japanese excavated three mountains and moved 21 million cubic meters of landfill. Ten thousand workers spent 10 million work hours on the enormous project, the most expensive civil works project in modern history. Just one problem: The island and the airport are sinking into the sea. Whoops! There goes more than $20 billion in construction costs. Those in charge could have benefited from professional project management of their island and airport project. Now, instead, they may need boats at the airport. To ensure that your organization’s next big project doesn’t turn into a giant boondoggle, read Paul Roberts’s comprehensive, masterful and highly detailed book on project management. He thoroughly outlines many of these vital professional discipline’s proven techniques and procedures. getAbstract appreciates this compact guide to the best practices in project management.

About the Author

Paul Roberts is a consultant with extensive experience in project management and risk management. He trains professional project managers.



The Project Versus “Business as Usual”

A project differs substantially from business as usual, the customary manner in which an organization conducts its day-to-day affairs. A project has a particular goal and budget, and delivers notable change. It depends on numerous capabilities and resources, follows a definitive life cycle with start and end dates, and incorporates the contributions of a variety of people who may enter, leave and re-enter the process as needed. Most importantly, a project involves agreed-upon – and highly specific – plans. A project represents a temporary management effort undertaken to achieve a defined beneficial outcome.

Project management is the professional, systematic way to accomplish project goals and meet stakeholders’ expectations regarding “time, cost and quality.” Project management always involves various audits to ensure that activities remain on track, ending with “post-project reviews” that summarize how well the company achieved its return on investment.

Most organizations have numerous projects under way at any one time. Many companies group these separate projects into a portfolio governed by an internal portfolio management...

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