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Project Management

 

Italiano

 

The Skilful Warrior

Never coscripts troops

A second time;

Never transports provisions

A third.

[Sun Tzu]

 

 

 

Project Management - a brief introduction

Proj. Management Tips (Italian)

Proj. Management - Myths

Proj. Management - Similes

 

Definitions

 

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Project Management is a discipline which allows the orderly management of projects.

In a few words, nothing is left to chance, from conception to project closure

 
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There are some project management (proj. mgmt. - solutions and results) methodologies, some of which (Prince2) are very specific, with a standard terminology and aimed at practical results. A methodology is a sort of breviary which describes how to manage the different aspects of a project and the project approach. It is then obvious that methodology development requires a lot of study and real-world observations. A methodology which does not foresee the management of a project in every aspect (or most aspects) is not a methodology

 
bulletOne has to de-myth a lot of "conventional wisdom" to explain what Proj. Mgmt. is

 
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A project managed with Proj. Mgmt. is more-or-less science; a project managed without is for adventurers. Unfortunately, nowadays the project management definition is abused: beside serious methodologies, scores of fads thrive; often, those fads are more damaging than beneficial

 

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The Proj. Manager is a person responsible for managing a project.

A true Proj. Manager is officially qualified as such; for instance, a Prince2 qualified project manager holds the “Prince2 Practitioner” certification which has been reached through 2 "state" exams and which must be renewed each 3-5 years through exams.

Unfortunately, the great majority of so-called proj. managers has never taken exams and does not hold any official qualifications; the true proj. manager is defined as "Qualified Proj. Manager" or "Proj. Manager qualified ... [Prince2 Practitioner, for example]”. Whom would you turn to, to a professional or ...?

 

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From what has been written above, it is obvious why, quite often, one has no clear ideas on what project management is: sometimes, even someone who uses project management, or is convinced of using it, does not know what he/she is doing and he/she spreads wrong impressions. That is the reason why a project must be managed by way of a methodology which is practiced by a certified Proj. Manager: this is Project Management

 

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Planning constitutes only part of Project Management: it is necessary not to muddle these two different things.

True, planning is very important, but a project includes many other aspects, not to speak of the managing of a project once “dances” have started (a project must be directed). For instance, the Prince2 methodology comprises 8 different processes, of which Planning is only one.

You may find other considerations on project management and planning on this same site link

 

 
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Proj. Mgmt. is a discipline, so method, study and seriousness are mandatory

 
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Proj. Mgmt. is not bureaucracy: true methodologies leave anyone freedom of choice on how much to apply the methodologies themselves and how formally to proceed; it is then up to responsible people to apply the methodology in a way which is adequate to their necessities and to the project’s complexity. Obviously, there is someone who does not love clearly defined responsibilities; Proj. Mgmt. is not for him/her

 

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From what has been said it is evident that Proj. Management is a wonderful weapon but it must be well understood, well honed and well deployed; the Proj. Manager must be chosen amongst professional "generals". If that does not happen, someday the unavoidable epilogue arrives: final defeat.

 

 

 

Some principles

 

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A project has to have a beginning and an end. Otherwise, one is not speaking of Project Management

 

 
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Never mistake "methods" for Proj. Mgmt: "methods" are a work philosophy; Project Management produces projects with a beginning and an end

 

 
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In the end, everything lies on the responsible person’s shoulders. How can one be sure everything is proceeding in an orderly and foreseeable way? Project Management. Serious Proj. Mgmt, with a certified Proj. Manager and a practical methodology

 

 
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“Let the proj. manager fight his own battle, if he makes mistakes he will pay for that”. Well, who is going to pay the final price for the project which has not reached the foreseen results? The buyer and the firm.

The true Proj. Manager co-operates with the buyer, does not disturb him/her unless and till foreseen, or under special circumstances; nonetheless only the buyer can take some primary decisions (e.g., increasing the budget, employing more resources, and so on).

 

The true Proj. Manager is to the buyer as the general is to the prince: he/she manages operations, but the prince is responsible for political directions, financing and so on. Most of all, the Proj. Manager is officially certified, exactly as the general is

 
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Experience: the person who has never practiced true proj. mgmt. in his life, what kind of experience does he/she have? Too often, someone is “awarded a prize” by appointing him/her to proj. manager.

Proj. mgmt. is too important for a firm; would you put a politician in charge of an army? Mind you, that has already happened with the results anyone can easily imagine

 

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Aptitude: too often, one forgets that without aptitude one is going to do nothing good. Proj. Mgmt. is a discipline, but it is an art, too: one needs study and commitment, but aptitude, too

 

 
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Proj. Mgmt. is more important than sales, marketing and HR: Project Management is organization, without which all the rest is of no use.

There should be a marketing “plan”, i.e., a project which does not include only planning: who is going to prepare it? Do you trust everything marketing experts suggest? Or do you establish checkpoints, expense tolerances, coordination with all other activities?

 

Sales: does a project exist? Is there coordination with production, or is Sales promising the moon and then the customer will not sign further contracts and/or will refuse to pay?

 

HR: a project is more necessary than ever; one mistake, and the firm risks to close down. How many HR responsible people have some sort of grounding in the proj. mgmt. area?

 

 

 

 

Visit our free Newsletter "Misfits of project management"

 

 

Operations

Operations in Ticino, Switzerland, Italy, Europe. In particolar, we bring Project Management, Prince2 and the other solutions to: Venice (project management Venezia), Lugano, Zurich, London and the UK, France, Treviso (project management Treviso), Vicenza, Padova, Rome, Milan, Verona (project management Verona) and Veneto in general, Africa.

 

Proj. Management Tips (Italian)

Proj. Management - Myths

Proj. Management - Similes

 

 

 

Contacts

 

central(at)righetconsult.com

 

Lugano - Paradiso, Ticino, Switzerland

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Last updated: 08/01/14.