Published here August 2012

Introduction to the Books | About the Authors and Their Books
Book 1 - What Executives Need to Know about Project Management
Book 2 - What Functional Managers Need to Know about Project Management
Book 3 - Value-Driven Project Management
Book 4 - Introduction | Book Structure | What We Liked in "Framework" / in "Integration"
Downside in "Communications" | Summary

What We Liked - in "Framework"

As can be seen from the Table of Chapters described earlier, the majority of chapters deal with the details of the impact of stakeholders on the respective knowledge areas. However, we found the three largest chapters to be of most interest because of their broader coverage. We therefore concentrated on these chapters that, as we mentioned previously, are Project Management Framework; Integration Management; and Communications Management.

We were particularly gratified to see the first chapter labeled Project Management Framework because this enables a broader discussion of the environment in which a project takes place. Regrettably, the authors feel obliged to bring up the obsolete construct of Triple Constraint but at least in this book it is remodeled to encompass several triangles with a much broader range of potential constraints.

Here is what they had to say on this subject:[8]

"The traditional triple constraint that has been used for decades includes time, cost, and scope. Some practitioners prefer to use performance instead of scope, where performance can be scope, quality, or technology. However, for complex projects involving multiple stakeholders, ... there can be more than three constraints that are considered to be important,

For complex projects, quality, risk, image/reputation, and value can carry a great deal of importance. But the exact degree of importance can vary from stakeholder to stakeholder and from country to country."


"In some host countries, the project's risk is extremely important, especially if the failure of the project can damage the host country's image or reputation. Risks and politics may go hand in hand in some host countries to the point where the early cancellation of a project may be necessary rather than incurring added risks that could damage one's reputation ... [Further] the relative importance of each constraint can change from phase to phase ... For non-traditional or highly complex project, cost is an issue until we approach the end of the project. At this point, risk and final value become important."[10]

These are all excellent points that are also illustrate in the book by a number of actual examples. While these observations are targeted at "complex projects", we suspect that many of them are also an issue in much smaller projects.

This chapter goes on to discuss critical requirements for successful execution. Here they suggest:[11]

"Although there are several factors that can have a major influence on the project environment, three of these are identified as [follows]:
  • With multiple stakeholders and possible cultural barriers, it is important that the project manager and all stakeholders have a unified agreement and understanding of the project's goals and objectives.
  • Cradle-to-grave user involvement in complex projects is essential. What is unfortunate is that user involvement can change based on politics and the length of the project. It is not always possible to have the same user community attached to the project from the beginning to end [emphasis added]
  • Governance is the process of decision-making. On large complex projects, governance will appear in the hands of the many rather than in the hands of the few. Each stakeholder will either expect or demand to be part of all critical decisions on the project. The channels for governance must be clearly defined at the beginning of the project, possibly before the project manager is assigned. Changes in governance, which is expected the longer the project takes, can have a serious impact on the way the project is managed.

The authors conclude this part of the discussion with the following table describing the difference between managing traditional projects and managing non-traditional projects.[12]

Managing Traditional Projects

Managing Non-Traditional Projects

Single-person sponsorship

Governance by committee

Possibly a single stakeholder

Multiple stakeholders

Project decision making

Both project and business decision making

Inflexible project management methodology

Flexible or "fluid" project management methodology

Periodic reporting

Real-time reporting

Success is defined by [performance, schedule and cost]

Success is defined by [performance, schedule and cost] and business value

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are derived from earned value measurement (EVM)

Unique value-driven KPIs can exist on every project.

Figure 2: Differences in management approach

The final pages of this chapter discuss such issues as "value" as a key decision driver, the impact of virtual teams, partnering and "engagement" expectations, and long-term globalization as a management strategy.

Book Structure  Book Structure

8. Ibid, p17
9. Ibid, p17-19
10. The authors might have explained here that there is good reason why other factors, especially completion and hand over, become more important near the end of the project. This is because the day-by-day carrying cost of the incurred project financing of a large project may well far exceed the added cost to accelerate for an earlier completion by one day.
11. Ibid, p25
12. Ibid, p38
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