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Project Management - Similes




Immature knowledge is the cause of grief. That was a true saying

[Miyamoto Musashi]



Project Management - some similes

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Project Manegement - Myths




A simile: a military campaign.

A military campaign needs planning, the penalty for not doing that is failure; but, as all great generals teach us, as soon as the campaign starts even the best of plans does not stay whole because of military operations’ development.

Therefore, the general must continuously take decisions which go far beyond putting into practice the original plan.

Nor is there only planning before a campaign: one needs to consider reasons and feasibility of the campaign, to consider strategic objectives, to choose the general staff, to organize the chain of command and the various units, to establish communications, to properly train soldiers, and so on.

The same is valid for a project (Project Management): reasons, feasibility, objectives, the project team, organization, internal and external communications, training, and so on






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Again a simile: the prince and Prince2 (a Project Management methodology).

All the best theorists have stressed the importance of final responsibility: it does not fall upon the general but upon the prince; it is the prince that decides to start a military campaign, that establishes political objectives, that finances the campaign, and so on.

Without knowing it, Prince2’s authors have drawn exactly the same conclusions: the Proj. Manager projects, plans and brings the project to its conclusion; but it is the Executive (he/she is the leader of the Project Board which is not a democracy) who decides to start the project (Start Up process), who establishes/approves final objectives, who has financial power, and so on


The Proj. Manager is a professional delegated to prepare a project and bring it to a successful conclusion, but one must never forget that the proj. manager reports to the customer (which can be a superior of his); it is the buyer who has final responsibility for the project.

Therefore, a buyer should never say “I want this project, come back when you are finished with it” to the Proj. Manager. The prince and the general stay in contact to advise on matters of great concern (for instance, financials), to ask for/receive money or decisions which should better be taken by the prince; likewise, the proj. manager and the buyer (in the person of the Executive in Prince2) stay in contact, the proj. manager sends regular reports and relies on the Executive (by sending recommendations) for primary decisions



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Proj. Management - Myths







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Last updated: 08/01/14.