Published here November, 2005.

Introduction | Book Structure | What We Liked
Some Gems Worthy of Note | Downside | Advice From an Expert | Summary

Some Gems Worthy of Note

On the subject of "buying" work through another company division, Quentin thinks that it is "amazing" that "interdivisional arrangements turn out to be the most painful for any project to manage ... Far too often, projects do not get the 'respect' they deserve within their own company ... However, at other times, the project manager may have little say in the matter and senior executives insist on the project work being kept within the company, even when a better price or better product might be available from an outside supplier."[11] Or we suggest what is even worse, is that the project is little more than "make-work" to keep the troops busy and there is little enthusiasm for it anyway.

And Quentin adds: "Controlling interdivisional work can be a nightmare ... because the internal procedures covering interdivisional cost transfers are typically created by the company accountants who are primarily concerned with the orderly allocation and the recovery of all incurred costs ... Project managers often have difficulty shutting off interdivisional costs"[12] It does not appear to be within the book's mandate to explain what a project manager should do about that one!

On project risk management: "The very worst strategy for any project to follow would be to proceed with their plans under the assumption that risks will be addressed at the time they surface. Such a strategy could prove fatal to any project."[13] Very true!

On deciding what the project will procure: "You do not procure a complex new item without having a precise technical definition, and that job will be assigned to the technical staff, not to the buying staff. There is perhaps no single issue more critical to successful project procurements than the early assignment of technical responsibilities."[14] "And there is another emotional issue that needs to be considered: most engineers didn't go to school and take perhaps the most difficult curriculum to write a 'dammed' procurement spec! That is why the critical job of writing the technical procurement definition often falls on the junior staff members. Resentment sets in. The delicate relationship between engineer and buyer often becomes strained."[15]

What We Liked  What We Liked

11. Ibid, p19
12. Ibid, p20
13. Ibid, p63
14. Ibid, p118
15. Ibid, p123
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