Aaron J. Shenhar, Professor of Technology Management, James J. Renier Visiting Chair, Center for the Development of Technological Leadership, University of Minnesota, MN and R. Max Wideman

This paper is the first of a series of six papers describing the search for a best practices linkage from project classification through management style to project success. It represent part of the research conducted between 1992 and 1998. This paper was presented to an INFORMS Conference in Washington, DC, in May, 1996, and briefly reviews the genesis of modern project management and its scope in today's business and technical environment.

Published here December, 2001.

Background  | Genesis | Scope | Typology | Classification | Linking | Conclusion


Project management is not new, although our understanding of it, and its application to a much broader range of project types may be. In fact the seeds of project management theory and practice were sown over a thousand year ago. Two simple philosophies state that success depends on preparation, and preparation must address the issues of doing the right thing, while the focus of the subsequent production is on doing the things right.

However, project management is more than just planning and doing. Modern project management encompasses managing as many as five primary areas including: the project's external and internal environments; its life cycle; integration/interfacing/configuration through reliable information; control processes; and success through effective communication.

Projects may be classified according to a two-dimensional typology of three levels of program/project scope versus four general levels of technology content. It is suggested that this form of classification provides broad guidance to the relative and respective levels of project process management and project technical management required for the project

© 1996, 2001

Linking Scope-Technology Classification with Project Management Processes  Linking Scope-Technology

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