Little Black Book of Project Management, The
by Michael C. Thomsett
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Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future
Imagine this situation: You’ve just been given the job of completing a very large project. Your sources are limited, your budget is very small, and your deadline is very short. The precise goalsof the job have not been defined as well as you’d like, and you don’t know where to start.This situation challenges your management skill on many levels. You’ll have to ask for adefinition of just what you’re expected to achieve. Then you’ll need to plan well enough so that you will accomplish the desired result, by the deadline and within budget. Rarely will you begiven a well-defined, fully budgeted project and asked merely to pilot your resources through tothe end result. More likely you will be given an assignment that includes nothing beyond thedemand for a generalized end result. The rest is up to you.
This Little Black Book shows you how to take charge of a big project, define it, and then break it down intosmaller, more manageable phases. You will learn how to control a budget and schedule and lead a projectteam through to successful completion. You will find out how to anticipate problems and plan for them duringthe various project phases. And you will discover methods for establishing clear objectives for your project,even when they are not defined at the point of assignment.Because it’s a long-term process, project management causes even well-organized managers to experiencedifficulty. But if you are accustomed to controlling routine work in your own department, you alreadyunderstand recurring workload cycles, staffing limitations, and budgetary restraints—the same issues you’llconfront with projects.However, the context is different: First, a project is nonrecurring, so problems and solutions are not matters of routine; second, unlike the limitations on your department’s range of tasks, a project often crossesdepartmental and authority lines; third, a project is planned and organized over several months, whereasrecurring tasks are projected ahead only for a few days or weeks.Managing a project doesn’t require any skills you don’t already possess; you will employ the same