This book provides a masterly description of how to install an all-pervasive project management influence in a very large organization. One might shudder at the thought of the sort of political infighting that could occur in the lower management ranks without very strong leadership from the top. Such a cultural change takes determination and time - and lots of both.
However, as this book's cover sheet observes:
"In a world where every company is striving for the most competitive weapon, project management has become renowned for streamlining processes and keeping initiatives on track in a wide array of industries. And applying the principles on an enterprise-wide basis has proven to completely transform companies by improving both their bottom lines and the quality of their products. Although industries like aerospace, construction, and engineering have adopted the principles and practices of Enterprise-Wide Project Management, or EPM, for years, many other businesses find the task of keeping their teams, departments and divisions aligned with larger organizational goals daunting."
Here, the "other businesses" referred to often imply those in the business of, or heavily involved in, the information technology (IT) sector where the projects are significantly different. IT projects tend to be far more numerous, of much shorter duration, and individually less capital intensive. Interestingly, a competing management philosophy in this arena is the "Agile Project Management" approach that appears to be the very antithesis of the sort of heavy organizational setup described in Dennis and Darrel's book.
We are not particularly partial to either extreme, but perhaps one day the two may even come together in some sort of practical middle ground. In the meantime, maybe the authors will consider producing a second edition that addresses the omissions that we have identified so that the book is less process driven and more outcomes oriented.
R. Max Wideman
20. Ibid, front cover sheet