This paper was printed as Chapter 5 in the GPM state-of-the-art book Dimensions of Project Management edited by H. ReschkeŠ & H. Schelle and published by Springer-Verlag in 1990. The book involved 29 authors from 16 countries and was assembled in honor of Roland W. Gutsch's 65th birthday. Roland, a personal friend, was founder and long-time leader of the International Project Management Association in Europe.

Abstract | Introduction | What is | Dimensions | Internal Culture
Corporate Culture | Influencing Environment | Internal Strategies
Surroundings | External Strategies | Stakeholders | Public Relations
Examples | Recent Projects | Consultants | Summary | References


Why worry about the project environment, when the objective of project management is to get the project completed within scope, cost and schedule? The truth is that if the real objective is to end up with a successful project, then important though these criteria are, they are not the ultimate determinants of success. Heresy? Perhaps. But success, a very elusive notion at best, is dependent upon satisfying the customers.

In the last analysis, the test of effective project management is the degree to which the project objectives have been accomplished on time and within budget to the satisfaction of the customers.

The Project Management Institute, a non-profit organization based in North America, has broadened this concept by defining project management as:

"The art of directing and coordinating human and material resources throughout the life of a project by using modern management techniques to achieve predetermined objectives of scope, quality, time, cost and participant [stakeholder] satisfaction."

Note the reference to "participant satisfaction". Thus, the degree of success of a project may be said to reflect the combined degree of satisfaction of all the participants, customers or stakeholders. Where construction projects are concerned, the stakeholders are usually many and various, frequently with opposing interests. Indeed, the cynic might say that the most successful project is one in which all the stakeholders are about equally dissatisfied!

These stakeholders may participate in the project directly or indirectly, closely or remotely, and collectively their attitudes, understandings, or particular vested interests, all contribute to the environment in which a project is created. This environment can and needs to be managed just as surely as every other aspect of the project can be managed towards success.

Abstract  Abstract

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