Project Management | Harold R. Kerzner

Summary of: Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling
By: Harold R. Kerzner


Dive into ‘Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling’ by Harold R. Kerzner for insight on how to achieve success in managing complex projects. The book offers a strategic approach to project management, emphasizing the importance of clear definitions, the role of project managers, and executive involvement. Furthermore, it delves into 16 points to project management maturity that provide professional guidelines for executing projects successfully. You will also learn about the stages and gates of project development, how to integrate methodologies into company culture, and the skills needed for effective project managers. The book is a goldmine of information for those looking to instill structure and success in their project management endeavors.

16 Professional Guidelines for Project Management

Executives have two choices when faced with tough situations, cutting jobs yields short-term profits, but implementing internal improvements leads to long-term profitability. For successful projects, a strategic approach is necessary that includes establishing a definition of success, defining the role of the project manager, and involving executives. To build project management capacity and bring your projects to fruition, follow the 16 professional guidelines outlined in “16 Points to Project Management Maturity.” These guidelines provide a very precise approach to project management, allocating resources, identifying expected returns, and interaction with line managers, executives, and organizations at large.

Effective Project Management

Companies must establish a stage-gate approach towards project management comprising of a maximum of six gates, providing sufficient detail, using templates, flexible across projects, integrated into company culture and reflective of a systems approach. Mature processes are those that show repetitive effectiveness.

Efficient Project Management

To achieve successful project management, organizations need to establish a philosophy that drives them towards project management maturity. This involves planning, organizing, and controlling company resources for a short-term goal of achieving specific objectives. To activate this philosophy, organizations can establish a project office that comprises a project manager, assistant project manager, and a project team. The staff must possess the required technical skills, conflict resolution, planning, and team-building abilities. Conflict is inevitable in projects, and hence project managers should evaluate the conflict environment to analyze the reasons behind issues arising. Lastly, organizations should select team members who are supportive and avoid personality types that undermine implementation.

Mastering Project Management

Project management requires good planning and execution. To achieve enterprise objectives, you need to establish policies, procedures, and programs. This includes a concise statement of work (SOW) and project specifications with milestones and a final report. Critical Chain Project Management pays attention to task and resource-related constraints when scheduling.

You must also identify project dependencies to create a work breakdown structure. The traditional vertical business organizational form won’t work for project management, which requires a different approach. Finally, assess your project’s risk by researching similar projects and creating probability distributions for potential risk items. With strong executive support and a dedicated team, project management can work for your organization.

Effective Project Scope Management

The success of a project relies on completing it within the scope, time and budget. The project scope is the range of tasks necessary to achieve the goals. Project managers must prevent mission creep by setting a detailed scope statement that outlines objectives, benefits, and deliverables. Experienced managers recognize the importance of temporary management structures that are highly organic and can respond quickly to new situations. Consider the “cost of quality” when setting project objectives. It’s more expensive to fix substandard quality than to build deliverables correctly on the first try. Follow the scope statement and review any proposed changes carefully.

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