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The ComSoc Guide to Managing Telecommunications Projects

ISBN: 978-0-470-28475-9
190 pages
September 2010, Wiley-IEEE Press
The ComSoc Guide to Managing Telecommunications Projects (0470284757) cover image


A concise, authoritative guide to twenty-first-century telecom project management

As the telecommunications industry experiences ongoing rapid change, projects remain the driver of the industry's evolution. Projects continue to be crucial to the success of the companies offering products and services in this area. Written by a prominent leader in the field, this pocket guide provides an overview of the telecommunications environment as it has evolved over the past few years, illustrating the need for project management and providing a basic understanding of project management concepts. Going beyond standard processes and techniques to address the special—and changing—needs of the telecom industry, the book then demonstrates the application of project management best practices in the field.

Beginning with a clear definition of a project and an outline of the players involved, the guide then helps you set your project and business objectives (and explains why they are not always the same). It explains how to analyze your project's scope and manage procurement. Next, various aspects of project risks are reviewed, along with communications requirements. From here, you'll delve into some of the core concepts of project management—building and maintaining a schedule, managing the costs, and keeping on top of developments. Then the task of managing people is explored, addressing management styles, team building, leadership, workloads, and rewards.

The guide illustrates, via sample projects, the application of project management—as advocated by the Project Management Institute—to the special needs of the telecom industry. The chapters work through three telecom projects from different corporate perspectives: the first involves the introduction of a new wireless technology, which will allow telecom services to remote cities using fourth-generation cellular technology; the second evolves an existing landline network from circuit switched to IP-based, delivering Internet services; and the third designs and installs a corporate customer network showcasing services offered by the industry.

People in both line and staff functions at telecommunications companies who manage either large or small projects will find the featured project management techniques and their real-world applications invaluable. In addition, telecom companies, manufacturers and suppliers who serve the telecom industry, Internet providers, and companies that make products for the datacom industry will also benefit from this brief, accessible guide.

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Table of Contents



CHAPTER 1 Evolution of The Telecommunications Industry.

Monopoly Status.

Competition for Long Distance Services.

Competition for Local Services.

Competition Starts to Spread.

Internet and Multimedia Disrupt the Basic Networks.

A New Telecom Environment.

What About the Future?

CHAPTER 2 Why is PM Important, Especially in Telecommunications?

Team Diversity.

Resource Limitations.

Time Constraints and Limitations.

Risk Management.

Ensuring Quality.

Scope Definition.

Project Objectives.

What About Telecom Projects?



Companies in the Business.

Regulatory Environment.

Successful Business Model.

Internal Corporate Structures.


The Best Way to Market.

Service Models.

Network Architecture.


CHAPTER 3 Project Management Basics.


Project Scope Management.

Time Management.

Cost Management.

Procurement Management.

Risk Management.

Communications Management.

Human Resources Management.

Quality Management.

CHAPTER 4 Getting Started on Your Project.

Why Do Projects?

The Requirements.

What Happens Before the Team Arrives?

Setting Project Objectives.

General Description, Skills Analysis, and Stakeholders, and Risk Analysis.

CHAPTER 5 Who Is Involved?

Project Sponsor.



Functional Managers.

The Type of Company Hosting the Project.

CHAPTER 6 Setting Business and Project Objectives.

SMART Objectives.






CHAPTER 7 What Is to be Included?

Building the Charter.

Scope Description.

Scope Management Plan.

Where Will the Resources Come From?

The Work Breakdown Structure.

CHAPTER 8 Going Outside the Company for Products and Services.

Definition of Requirements.





Vendor Selection.

Contract Management.

CHAPTER 9 Managing Risk in Telecom Projects.

Risk Management.

Contingency is Expected to be Spent.

CHAPTER 10 Who Tells What to Whom?

Communications Management.

General Communications.

CHAPTER 11 Creating the Timelines.

Task Duration.


Finish–Start Dependency.

Start–Start Dependency.

Finish–Finish Dependency.

Start–Finish Dependency.

Mandatory and Discretionary Dependencies.

Lags and Leads.

Project Logic Diagram.

Critical Path.

Forward Pass.

Backward Pass.


Showing the Schedule.

Including Contingency.

Collapsing the Schedule.

Effort-Driven and Duration-Driven Tasks.

And then . . . .

CHAPTER 12 Managing the Costs.

Types of Costs.

Profitability Measures.

Estimating the Costs.

Project Budgets and Planning the Project Cost.

Managing the Costs.

Project Communications Planning and the Communications Matrix.

Status Reporting.


Preparing the Agenda.

Inviting the Right People.

Informing the People of Their Roles at the Meeting.

Using the Meeting Time Effectively.

Motivating People to Communicate Properly.

Electronic Tools for Communications.

Monitor and Control.

Some Suggestions.

CHAPTER 13 Managing the Developments.

CHAPTER 14 Managing the People.

Organization Structures for Projects.

Management Styles.






Team Building.



Learning Organization.

Managing the Workloads of the Team Members.

Some Suggestions for Good Participation and Good Management.

CHAPTER 15 What Is the Gain?

Good People.

Understanding the Value of the Product.

Clear Project Objectives.

Clearly Defined Scope.

Good Planning.

Strong Change Control.

Well-Connected Team.

Effective Communication.



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Author Information

Celia Desmond is President of World Class Telecommunications, which provides training in management skills in business and telecommunications engineering environments. She is the project manager for the IEEE Communications Society Certification in Wireless Communications Engineering Technologies. Desmond has taught project management at four universities. A past president of IEEE Communications Society and past vice president of IEEE Engineering Management Society, Desmond has lectured internationally on programs for success. She is a Senior Member of IEEE.
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 "This book is for those involved in line and staff functions at telecommunications companies who manage projects of any size. It will also be of interest to manufacturers and suppliers who serve the telecommunications industry, Internet providers, and companies that make products for the datacom industry. The book begins with an overview of the role of project management in the telecommunications industry, then gives advice on how to define the project scope. It outlines the procurement cycle, reviews issues of project risk, and addresses core aspects of project management such as building a schedule and budgeting." (Reference and Research Book News, February 2011)

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