In Summary ...
As I said earlier, there are many views on how to manage a project. Project managers discuss, and the literature chronicles, a rich set of experiences in many areas of application. We can learn how Company X managed Project Y and what the results were. Quite often the experience involves the development of a new information system, reporting scheme, display device, or resource allocation algorithm.
While these reports represent useful, perhaps essential, contributions to a growing body of knowledge, it is a question of happenstance whether any individual report will be useful to another project manager in helping to decide how to manage his or her particular project.
While the process I have outlined in this article certainly does not represent a foolproof formula for success in the design of project management systems, it is a way of getting a handle on a very complex problem. The process of designing a temporary management system abounds with tradeoffs.
Taking the necessary time to clearly identify strategic needs makes it possible to evaluate the tradeoffs and to stay focused on the ultimate targets when the trails get winding and confusing.