This paper is a slightly updated version of a Feature Interview published on line by PMWorld Today in October and November 2007.

Published here July, 2008.

Introduction | Project Management | Construction Management
Heavy Construction | Project Manager | PART 2

Project Management

PMWT: Max, how did you first get interested in "project management", and when did it happen?

Max: I suspect that the seeds for project management were sewn long, long ago when my father first admonished me for never ever finishing some "project" or other that I had started. Consequently, my bedroom was strewn with things like unfinished Meccano models, half carved wooden boats, copy-printing jellies that didn't quite set (and that was in the days of carbon copying), and the like. So, when I did manage to get my first "project" finished, an elaborate treadle car for an eight-year-old, there was an enormous sense of satisfaction.

Of course, it was not until years later that the issue of "process" became paramount. That was when I was practicing in the field on construction projects. It seemed to me that there must be some logical sequence, but that a lot of people had difficulty in getting it right, with resulting chaos, mayhem and wasted effort. Still later I was involved in preparing legal contracts for construction work. That's when I discovered it takes a special kind of lawyer to understand the construction process, preferably a person who had first taken an engineering degree before migrating into law.

In struggling with conflicts and claims under construction contracts I came to realize that most of the problems were generated by flawed concepts or plans. In other words, a lot had already gone on, long before construction was started. Even today, a lot of people do not recognize a project until production work actually starts. But that drove me "upstream" so to speak with the question: "When does a project really start?" and "What is the ideal generic model?" - and that's where we are today.

Introduction  Introduction

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