Summary of Project Management JumpStart

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Kim Heldman's definition of a project is so broad that even people who do not work in business or government can benefit from her experience and suggestions. Although she draws on the recommendations of the Project Management Institute (PMI), she seasons its advice with helpful observations about which recommendations to follow and which to ignore. The book's organization is logical and easy to follow, and Heldman's style is generally no-nonsense and concise. She avoids jargon, and includes enough anecdotes and examples to keep the book lively and easy to follow. Few how-to books are as well executed as this one. getAbstract recommends it to anyone facing the challenge of managing a project, especially first timers.

About the Author

Kim Heldman is the director of the Project Management Office of the Colorado Department of Revenue and the author of the best-selling PMP: Project Management Professional Study Guide.



What Is a Project?

Projects are different from business as usual, which produces the same thing over and over, and has no completion date.

Projects are temporary, produce a designated product, use designated resources, and have beginnings and endings. Not all proposed projects merit time, effort and investment. So, the first step in any project is to decide whether or not to do it.

The Three Kinds of Organizations

Organizational structure often determines whether projects are achievable or not. In traditional, "functional" organizations, work activities, such as accounting, human resources and marketing, determine organizational divisions, and the lines of command are clear. However, such organizations can be bureaucratic. As a project manager, you may have difficulty crossing organizational boundaries, cutting through red tape and obtaining resources. Moreover, you may have to take on the management of a project on top of your usual daily duties.

In "projectized organizations," the organizational culture revolves around projects. Project managers may report directly to the chief executive and often have the authority to make decisions. However, ...

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