A guide to the best practices for managing large IT projects. Starts with basic principles and develops guidelines for dealing with the increasing complexity of hardware and software. Includes coverage of why projects go wrong and the critical people and process issues that must be addressed by IT managers. Other topics covered include crises management, rapid application development, quality management, risk management, and the emerging role of the Internet.
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Project management leadership has become a highly sought-after skill. An increasingly competitive global marketplace demands that businesses get new products, services, and business development completed quickly, on time, and within budget.
From small companies to web-based businesses to giant global financial institutions, project managers are fueling much of the successful development of exciting new business enterprises. They do this by delivering projects that have consistent value and help increase profits.
Talented and knowledgeable project managers will command the best assignments, salaries, other compensation and bonuses. They are the future business leaders, entrepreneurs, and global citizens, proving their value to any organization competing in today's fast-paced marketplace.
Regardless of how much in demand they are, good project managers are not born, but rather created through a combination of experience, time, talent, and training. Although excellent organizational skills are a prerequisite for the project manager, other key attributes may not be naturally occurring and need to be developed. Unfortunately, most of this development time occurs on the job, so few individuals who are promoted to the role of project manager ever feel fully ready to take on the challenge offered to them.
When faced with a first project, many project managers are worried that they don't yet know what they should know. Historically, project management, particularly in the Information Technology (IT) arena, has had a reputation for always being late and over budget. Even under the best of circumstances, project management is not easy; the project manager is continually faced with changing conditions, technology, resources, requirements, and schedules. Technology only serves to complicate matters further because today's computing environments tend to become obsolete with ever-increasing speed. Thus, a good project manager must not only be proficient at managing, but he or she must retain that proficiency as the technology changes. This light-speed adaptability is not an option, but rather an absolute requirement of the job. Clearly, the job of project manager is not for the faint-of-heart. Good preparation and knowledge about what the job entails is hugely valuable and key to surviving a first project.
The purpose of this book is to provide the new project manager with an accessible resource that presents the key topics and subject areas that he or she is likely to encounter. The book's broad coverage should be especially useful to a busy project manager who will not have time initially to research all of these topics in-depth but requires an immediate working knowledge of the overall functions and behaviors of an IT project. As the project manager becomes more comfortable with the basics, the book continues to be a valuable tool because it includes a wealth of additional resources such as books, papers, and web sites for additional learning as needed.
The hardest part of any project is knowing where to begin. It is hoped that this book will be a great jumping-off point to a successful career of well-managed endeavors for many a project manager.Who Should Read this Book
This book is intended for the novice project manager responsible for IT projects, regardless of size or complexity. Because of the broad nature of its coverage, it can be used as an introduction to key topics on the entire project lifecycle for someone previously unfamiliar with the nature of IT projects. For moderately experienced individuals, it can become a convenient reference manual to help reinforce the basic understanding of IT project management. Additionally, the sections on specialized topics will be useful to project managers seeking to increase their learning and to grow their experience base into niche areas such as Knowledge Management or Risk and Crisis Management.Organization of this Book
This book is organized into five parts that broadly categorize the information contained in it. These parts and their subjects are:
Part One: Introduction to Project Management provides a brief overview of this book and some historical background on Project Management and its overall evolution.
Part Two: Principles of Project Management covers ground-floor information such as basic skills, elements of project planning and reporting, and the makeup and issues surrounding good project teams.
Part Three: The Project Management Lifecycle categorizes the project by phase, explains each phase's purpose and describes in finer detail the activities, deliverables, and resources for and intentions of each phase.
Part Four: Project Management Techniques provides information on a number of techniques and topics facing Project Managers today, such as the types and use of methodologies, managing risks and problems, and specializations such as Software Quality Assurance, Configuration Management, and Crisis Management.
Part Five: Special Topics in Project Management concludes the main portion of this book with some discussion of hot topics such as Knowledge Management and the impact of the Internet on Project Management.
Finally, there are numerous additional sources of information available to the Project Manager included in several Appendices.From the Back Cover:
Master project management, today's most critical business skill!
Project management leadership is today's #1 business skill. Talented, knowledgeable project managers command the best assignments and compensation: they are the future leaders of business. But expert project managers aren't born that way: they've learned specific, proven techniques and strategies for achieving outstanding results. In Project Management, Richard Murch shares those techniques and strategies. Whether you're managing your first project, or you're an experienced project manager facing tough, new challenges, Project Management offers expert solutions. You'll find coverage of all this, and more:
At last, there's a single source for all the expertise project managers need to be successful! Next time you're called upon to do the impossible—and do it yesterday—reach for the one book that can help you make it happen: Project Management by Richard Murch.
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