Foreword | Introduction | Simplicity | Problems | Content | New Section | Appendix

Problems appeared early

The problems started with Step One. There seemed to be so many subject areas just not identified within the present ESA. Where, for example, does one find definitions of project management terms like project and management? Or where does one place a discussion of project management environment, or the process of control, or the procurement function or an analysis of project risks? Again, the application to project management of Pareto's Law of Distribution, or success/failure factors in project management - where do these belong?

Still other subjects appeared to be fairly obvious, yet nonetheless not specifically identified within the current ESA publication. The development of a Work Breakdown Structure, and the precise rules which must govern an effective structure are surely part of Scope Management? Management of contingency allowance and value engineering are clearly part of Cost Management, while negotiating is no doubt part of Communication Management. But is it a major division or a subset of Personal Skills?

In all this it occurred to me that what the ESA Management Group had boldly and successfully identified was a conceptual framework for the body of knowledge of project management. Concept by definition infers development in a "top down" fashion. This is akin to the estimator who in the concept stage of a project develops an "Order of Magnitude" estimate "top down" .

Figure 5
The practices of Human Resources and Procurement: project facilitation
Figure 6: The practices of Human Resources and Procurement: project facilitation [RMW 1985]

What I had on my hands, however, was a whole lot of scattered bits of information at the detail level. Like the estimator developing a fixed price tender estimate, with all the detail at hand, I was endeavoring to put it together "bottom up". Quite a useful exercise I thought to myself.

What I was trying to do was to look at the ESA breakdown from the point of view of classifying my material for teaching purposes, albeit industry specific project management. Since education is the backbone for advancing any profession, surely someone else must have done this before? Yet so far no one has come forward with positive recommendations for enhancing the ESA work to date.

  An Attempt at Simplicity

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