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Published here June 2015

Introduction | Book Structure | What We Liked
Downside | Summary and Conclusions


Note that in Figure 1 presented earlier, "red" signifies "leading the project management", the first and foremost of the seven Proactive Project Management main activities. "Red" is also used to color the boxes referring to the six sequential management phases, i.e., the project's life span. In particular, three of them are marked with an "11" indicating the chapter of the book in which they are described. Observe that this book's chapter 11 encompasses how to organize three phases in the diagram compared to the others that each cover how to organize only one phase, and further that project execution typically encompasses the highest intensity of effort and stress. Then it is rather surprising to find that chapter 11 turns out to be the shortest of all of the four "red" chapters!

Therefore we turned to chapter 11 for closer scrutiny. Chapter 11: Manage Project Execution is introduced with the following statement:[13]

"After a well-performed project start-up with related detailed project planning, the task is to promote a management of the project execution that ensures coherence in the project, keeps up the steam, and promotes its result-orientation."

This statement is further clarified in the following section that we find very instructive:[14]

"A book on proactive project management might end here. If just some of the proposals in the previous chapters have been put into practice, your project is now up and running. In such a case you have during the project preparation phase accomplished analyses, master planning, and anchoring together with the involved parties. Since then, the outcome from the preparation phase has been anchored and reviewed with the project participants during the project start-up — and the detailed planning of the project execution has been carried out. Hereafter, limited project management effort should be needed.

"However, from the ending of the project start-up up to initiating the project close-out, it is also necessary to proactively organize the project management. An example of an instrument for this purpose is to arrange a project evaluation phase during the course of the project."

Subsequently, after referencing several preceding and following chapters by way of detailed explanations, this section goes on to explain:[15]

"To be competent in managing the project execution is not just a question of being able to perform project management when a situation makes it necessary — such as, to organize a steering group meeting when it is needed, to have the detailed plan updated when that is needed, and to communicate activities according to the communication plan when that is appropriate.

"It is just as important to lead the project management; for example, during the period between two main milestones. This entails applying instruments that promote a project management effort — and which encourage involvement of the relevant participants and parties in the management activities."

The term "project management" is used frequently but we were unsure just what the author had in mind in these descriptions. We looked in vain for a definition of the term "project management" for example, but the closest we could come is the following explanation:[16]

"The purpose of project management — and consequently its overall function — is to promote:

  • achievement of the expected outcome and effect of the project,
  • compliance with the agreed frameworks for time, budget and resources, and
  • realization of the involved parties' benefits from participating."

At this point we are reminded of Henri Fayol's classic description of management: "To manage is to forecast and plan, to organize, to command, to coordinate and to control."[17] That is to say: the "Monitor and Control" stages of the classic 5-stage management sequence: "Plan, Organize, Execute, Monitor, and Control".

We think that chapter 11 could be much simplified by referring directly to Fayol's classic management performance structure description.

What We Liked  What We Liked

13. Ibid, p333
14. Ibid, p335
15. Ibid, pp335-336
16. Ibid, p26
17. Fayol, H., Administration Industrielle et Generale, 1916.
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