Comparison with Traditional Management Philosophy
It is important to note that Project Management, in the context
considered here is a total organizational concept. It includes the
coordination and direction of financial, regulatory and environmental
specialists, consultants and contractors, together with the owner's
and user's staff as members of a project team. It starts with identifying
and developing the basic project idea and continues through feasibility,
construction and commissioning.
Thus Project Management may be defined as:
"The application of modern management techniques and systems
to the execution of a project from start to finish in order to
achieve pre-defined objectives within limits of time, budget and
Project management should also be clearly distinguished from Construction
Management. Construction Management refers to the direct management
of the construction stage and is a valuable major technique which
can be used within the project management structure outlined above.
As discussed later, it may be used to advantage as an alternative
to the general contractor, particularly on large projects where
time savings and continued flexibility are required.
The project manager may have specialist skills but he needs to
act as, and be looked upon as, the 'general practitioner'. He should
bring to the job a background of experience in planning and management
of similar projects, as well as general know-how in design and construction.
Except for the individual specialists themselves, to whom he should
be ready to refer, he should be as knowledgeable as anyone about
the economic and regulatory environment, engineering technology,
project planning, scheduling and cost accounting, as well as construction.
His job is to interpret the client's requirements to the specialists
and direct their efforts to achieving the best combination of the
project's key criteria. The key criteria are commonly recognized
as scope, cost, time, and client satisfaction. This last item is
sometimes overlooked, but is perhaps the most significant, since
unless the project is seen to be satisfactory, it will not be recognized
as such. On it, hangs the whole reputation of project management
and the opportunity for follow-on business, The four criteria inevitably
come into conflict; judicious trade-offs, with the client's
approval, are constantly necessary.