Published here November, 2006. 

Introduction | Book Structure | What We Liked | The Books Premise
Other Things We Liked | Research-Based Data | Case Studies | Downside | Summary

Other Things We Liked

The authors have identified three factors that they consider are:

"... crucial to organizational project success:
  • The essential role of projects in corporate strategy
  • The management of projects as a 'whole organization' activity, and
  • The special skills and practices required for the management of projects.
  • As the authors observe:

    "The project management profession may have obscured the centrality of these factors by adopting special jargon ('project scope', 'schedule float', 'work breakdown structure') and a specialized literature (focused on the 'bodies of knowledge' and the like) and forming professional associations with all the rites of an ancient religion into which people have to be initiated."[10]

    The authors devote a chapter[11] to the importance of project sponsors and their influence on the success of a project by interacting effectively with other senior executives. In this high-level context, the chapter describes how:[12]

    "Sponsors play a number of roles, including
  • Owner of the Business Case
  • Harvester of benefits
  • Governor of the project
  • 'Friend in high places' to the program or project manager, and
  • Champion of the project"
  • To this list the authors might have added:

    • Enable and facilitate all aspects of the project, especially in removing business-as-usual organizational roadblocks!

    On the matter of project success based on time, cost and quality, at last two respected authors have had the courage to declare that:

    "The fallacy of the project management triangle is that it's too simple. An additional factor pushes the triangle into a four-cornered form, since the classic three points are strongly influences by a fourth factor: scope. [See Figure 1]"[13]
    Figure 1: Four Criteria for Project Management Success
    Figure 1: Four Criteria for Project Management Success

    However, the authors go further and suggest that a fifth criterion should be added, namely:

    "... safety. For projects in which people's safety is at risk or the project poses a potential hazard to the environment, external standards are normally imposed for health, safety, and environmental reasons (HSE). [See Figure 2]"[14]
    Figure 2: Five Criteria for Project management Success
    Figure 2: Five Criteria for Project management Success

    However, we would argue that HSE is a technology management issue and not a project management issue and is therefore not present on a majority of projects. Or, alternatively, if HSE is to be added, then why not configuration management, which is also a technology management issue and is arguably present in more projects? We suspect that the reason for the choice is to be found in today's political sensitivities and "correctness". Still, if that is what it takes to dispose of that wretched triangle, so be it.

    The Book's Premise  The Book's Premise

    10. Ibid, pp27-28
    11. Chapter 6
    12. Ibid, p123
    13. Ibid, pp221-222
    14. Ibid, p222
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