The Field of Project Management

The Field of Project Management

Matthew Guah (Erasmus School of Economics, The Netherlands)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-546-7.ch002
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Abstract

By examining the history of what was earlier considered project management, this chapter not only points out lessons from past practices but also justifies the selected definition of VLITP. It also explains the role of project management in a fast business environment. The author has demonstrated such importance by representing VLITP in the form of a major initiative that contains a series of relevant processes in the host organization.
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Introduction

This chapter looks at the general definition of project management and what is required to manage VLITPs. It begins by explaining the role of project management before leading to specific details relating to VLITPs. Relating project management to our everyday lives the book gives some example of how experiences of none IT activities can contribute to the effective management of VLITP. It also shows how business environment demonstrates a particular view of an organization—primary objective is making profit—but relates this to other consideration that often seem very much subservient to this. Before concluding with a futuristic look at project management, the book provides an in-depth understanding of project, program and portfolio management and describes how this had been designed to satisfy the needs from the top executive to the junior practitioner of the business within which a VLITP is being implemented.

Having completed a success VLITP is not proportional to being a successful project manager. Reiss (2007) list several projects that terribly managed by either completing years late or costing twice as much as the worst estimate, and yet the project manager managed to get promoted out of sight. On the other hand certain projects see devoted and capable people fight against enormous odds but yet achieve completely the wrong objectives. This goes to emphasise that there are twin objectives in project management—completing the project successfully and you (the project manager) have a future, a career and hopefully an enormous salary. To achieve these goals every manager of a VLITP must learn to avoid problems. Managing VLITP is therefore about tackling new grounds, taking a group of people and trying to achieve some not so clear objectives as quick as possible and as efficient as you can.

Many VLITPs fail due to their complexity, size and duration. They introduce new challenges in the filed of project management, resulting to new problems. Due to the nature of this beast (see Figure 1) managing VLITP tend to be unpractised and unrehearsed. The process of managing a VLITP involves time and money—which often grow and grow, becoming more and more threatening, often becoming impossible to handle (see Figure 1). For this very reason, this book suggests that a methodological approach to VLITP could reduce the current very high rate of failures. VLITP today means different things to different people at different levels in the organization hierarchy. But for most, a VLITP has a large and direct impact on the following:

Figure 1.

Dealing with the Beast of VLITP

  • Processes within a business—often these are primary and secondary processes which also includes people management

  • The systems that run and support business processes

  • Products and output that the system is delivering (core or resultant).

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What Is Project Management?

This section clarifies the purpose of project management by first looking at the origin of project management. It then looks at the formulation of the objectives and policies of a business and the pursuit of all the necessary activities that help in to achieve such objectives and policies.

The earliest forms of what is considered as project management today can be found during the industrial revolution (Kaushik and Cooper, 2000). The roots of the industrial revolution began in the United Kingdom in the late eighteen-century, then the most powerful nation on earth—ruling empires and holding the political strength with all of the components necessary to sustain a revolution of such magnitude that it would change the face of the planet for all time. The UK had wealth, entrepreneurs, and financial markets to promote new automation, factories, and manufacturing and management techniques. After managing industrial projects started in the United Kingdom, the revolution quickly spread, first to France and Germany, then eventually to the United States of America.

This was a period of great innovation that lasted for a period of about 150 years. Few of the many advances in technology, which managed to survive the changes that have occurred around the globe since that period, are listed below:

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Table of Contents
Foreword
Leslie Willcocks
Acknowledgment
Chapter 1
Matthew Guah
This chapter classifies the purpose of project management in IT projects as a means of introducing the topics covered in the book and demonstrates... Sample PDF
Introduction to Very Large IT Projects
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Chapter 2
Matthew Guah
By examining the history of what was earlier considered project management, this chapter not only points out lessons from past practices but also... Sample PDF
The Field of Project Management
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Chapter 3
Matthew Guah
The basis upon which the objectives and policies for managing a VLITP are formulated is the need to achieve the project objectives on time and under... Sample PDF
Why Implement Very Large IT Projects
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Chapter 4
Matthew Guah
Different VLITP methodologies are capable of solving various types of problems during a project life cycle. This chapter shows that effect of VLITP... Sample PDF
Methodologies for Implementing VLITPs
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Chapter 5
IT Governance  (pages 69-83)
Matthew Guah
VLITP managers face unprecedented expectations for their governance. These expectations are driven by mandates and other demands from host... Sample PDF
IT Governance
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Chapter 6
IT Security  (pages 84-95)
Matthew Guah
One area that has scarcely received attention in the IT security literature, is the role that individual compliance plays in preventing... Sample PDF
IT Security
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Chapter 7
Matthew Guah
The study of diffusion, adoption, and IT project implementation in popular literature relies on theories which do not address the question of why... Sample PDF
Human Resource Issues in VLITP
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Chapter 8
Matthew Guah
Medical accidents, such as those that occur as a consequence of errors in medical systems, rarely happen because of a single failure. They are... Sample PDF
Ergonomics of Very Large IT Projects
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Chapter 9
Matthew Guah
For centuries, organizations have been trying to exchange information between their applications by linking them together. However, such application... Sample PDF
Service-Oriented Architecture: A New Platform for Very Large IT Projects
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Chapter 10
Matthew Guah
The chapter seeks to advance the practice perspective of VLITP by drawing attention to individual, collective sub-teams and host organizational... Sample PDF
Business Process Management
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Chapter 11
Matthew Guah
VLITP escalation has been documented to be a widespread phenomenon in the 21st century. Nearly every research in this area has portrayed escalation... Sample PDF
Outsourcing and Escalation Issues in VLITPs
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Chapter 12
Matthew Guah
The traditional way to achieve the automatic execution of project management processes is to develop or purchase an application that executes the... Sample PDF
VLITP Management Framework
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Chapter 13
Matthew Guah
The National Programme for Information Technology is the largest civil IT program worldwide at an estimated cost of £6.2 bn, US$ 10 billion, over a... Sample PDF
Case Study I: National Program for IT
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Chapter 14
Matthew Guah
VLITP can shift the direction of organizations by introducing new systems and emerging technologies that can serve as a trigger for change to the... Sample PDF
Case Study II: RFID—A Technology for Enterprise Systems in the Airlines Industry
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Chapter 15
Matthew Guah
Prediction markets have proven high forecasting performance in many areas such as politics, sports, and business-related fields, compared to... Sample PDF
Case Study III: VLITP in Public Transport— Implementing OV-Chipcard in The Netherlands
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About the Author