Published here July 2002.

Introduction  | Leader  | Project Management | Project Manager's Skills 
Project Manager's Types of Leadership | Servant Leadership
Ten Characteristics of a Servant-Leader | Characteristics Compared 
Project Management by a Servant Leader | Risks & Benefits | References

Project Management

What is a project? According to Eric Verzuh (1999), a project is a series of work tasks that have a definite beginning and an end and leads to an outcome (p.3). The outcome may be a new product, implementation of new technology, or changes in work processes to enhance the organization's product line. Charles C. Martin (1976) states "Projects are impermanent. The clearly identifiable goals that mark success of a project also mark its end" (p.38). He also states that a project is an "integrated collection of efforts by all affected parts of the organization" (p.2).

Projects need managing. They are dynamic and impart change in organizations. A project manager is, according to Martin (1999), "responsible for achieving the project's overall objectives and leading the project team. Project management concentrates on end products and related schedules and budgets-the what and when of the project" (p.21). The way the tasks are completed and what resources are used should be left to others. Charles C. Martin (1976) describes project success:

"People sense that a really good project is an opportunity to excel. Goals are clearly visible, freedom of action is greater, and superior performance will be applauded and rewarded. Under enlightened leadership, this environment can stimulate creative talents to achieve goals that had seemed hardly attainable. Projects must be managed to achieve this extraordinary success."

There are many responsibilities and skills that a person must have to manage a project. Bruce and Langdon (2000, p.9) describe the required responsibilities:

  • planning the project in detail
  • organizing the project team and convincing them to participate
  • communicating the status of the project to all parties involved
  • managing the progress of the project
  • closing the project

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