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Managing Technology-Based Projects: Tools, Techniques, People and Business Processes

ISBN: 978-0-470-40254-2
528 pages
March 2014
Managing Technology-Based Projects: Tools, Techniques, People and Business Processes (0470402547) cover image

A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE PROJECT MANAGEMENT IN TECHNOLOGY-BASED FIRMS

Used effectively, project management can increase a firm’s market share, product quality, and customer satisfaction. Though technology-based companies place themselves at a competitive disadvantage if they neglect this strategic tool, many overlook project management’s benefits because they see themselves as continuously adapting organizations. In reality, this role makes project management even more vital.

Managing Technology-Based Projects imparts the latest approaches and tools essential to lead a successful technology-based project. It outlines the practical integration of project management with four key areas: strategic alignment of projects within the enterprise, the project management process and its organizational support system, invaluable tools and techniques, and the individual and group leadership within a project’s organization. Complete with examples of industrial applications, the book includes:

  • Methods for defining key performance indicators and assessing project management process effectiveness
  • Suggestions for fine-tuning and continuous improvement
  • Practical case scenarios, discussion topics, end-of-chapter reviews, and exercises
  • Attention to project management as it applies to a globalized business

No one in a managerial role should be without Thamhain’s expert advice. This guidebook is your road map to successfully incorporating enterprise project management into technology-based work.

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Preface xiii

1 Challenges of Managing Projects in a Technology World 1

Apple iPhone 5 1

1.1 Project Management in a Changing World: Challenges and Opportunities 2

1.2 Global Dimensions 2

1.3 Project Deserve Special Attention within the Enterprise 3

1.4 The Unique Nature of Technology Projects 4

1.5 Evolution and Growth of Project Management and Technology 11

1.6 Where Are We Heading? 15

1.7 Key Points, Lessons, and Conclusions 16

1.8 Questions for Discussion and Exercises 17

1.9 PMBOK References and Connections 17

Internet Links and Resources 18

References and Additional Readings 18

2 Contemporary Project Management: Concepts and Principles 19

Amazon 19

2.1 The Big Picture: The Art of Managing Projects 20

2.2 Project Management Defined 21

2.3 The Project Life Cycle (PLC) 22

2.4 Programs, Projects, Tasks, and Committees 24

2.5 The Role of the Project Manager 27

2.6 Classification of Projects 28

2.7 Project Management Standards and Guidelines 30

2.8 Key Points, Lessons, and Conclusions 36

2.9 Questions for Discussion and Exercises 36

2.10 PMBOK References and Connections 37

Internet Links and Resources 37

References and Additional Readings 37

3 The Effective Project Manager: Skills, Values and Agility 39

Project Management Skills Emphasized in PMI’s Annual Report 39

3.1 Project-based Organizational Cultures and Values 39

3.2 Measuring Managerial Performance 40

3.3 Skill Requirements for Managing Technology Projects 43

3.4 How Learnable Are These Skills? 48

3.5 Transitioning from Individual Contributor to Project Management 48

3.6 Implications for Senior Management 50

3.7 Summary of Key Points and Conclusions 54

3.8 Questions for Discussion 55

3.9 PMBOK References and Connections 56

Internet Links and Resources 56

References and Additional Readings 56

4 Aligning Projects with the Enterprise 59

Summer Olympics, 2016 in Rio. 59

4.1 Making the Case for Enterprise Project Management 60

4.2 Connecting with the Existing Strategy Framework 62

4.3 Project Portfolio Management (PPM) 64

4.4 Strategic Project Leadership 65

4.5 Where Are We Heading? 67

4.6 Summary of Key Points and Conclusions 70

4.7 Questions for Discussion 70

4.8 PMBOK References and Connections 71

Internet Links and Resources 71

References and Additional Readings 71

5 Understanding Project Organizations 73

General Motors, Shanghai 73

5.1 Today’s Business Processes Require Flexibility, Speed, and Efficiency 74

5.2 Why Do We Need to Organize Differently to Manage Projects? 75

5.3 Organizational Layers and Subsystems 76

5.4 Organizational Designs for Project Management 78

5.5 Managerial Perspective 89

5.6 Building the Project Organization 91

5.7 Working Effectively in Resource-Shared Environments 97

5.8 Summary of Key Points and Conclusions 97

5.9 Questions for Discussions and Exercises 98

5.10 PMBOK References and Connections 99

Internet Links and Resources 99

References and Additional Readings 99

6 The Project Management Office 102

IBM Wins PMO of the Year Award 102

6.1 Management Perspective 103

6.2 PMO Concept and Functionality 104

6.3 Reason for Establishing a Project Management Office (PMO) 110

6.4 Establishing a Project Management Office 116

6.5 A Final Note 122

6.6 Summary of Key Points and Conclusions 122

6.7 Questions for Discussion 123

6.8 PMBOK References and Connections 124

Internet Links and Resources 124

References and Additional Readings 125

7 Project Evaluation and Selection 127

Multiple Project Selection at DIRECTV 127

7.1 Management Perspective 128

7.2 Quantitative Approaches to Project Evaluation and Selection 131

7.3 Qualitative Approaches to Project Evaluation and Selection 138

7.4 Recommendations for Effective Project Evaluation and Selection 139

7.5 Concluding Remarks 142

7.6 Summary of Key Points and Conclusions 143

7.7 Questions for Discussion and Exercises 144

7.8 PMBOK References and Connections 144

Internet Links and Resources 145

References 145

7.9 Appendix: Summary Description of Terms, Variables, and Abbreviations used in This Chapter 147

8 Setting Up an Effective Planning and Control Cycle 148

Project Management for NASA 148

8.1 Planning the Cornerstone to Effective Project Management 150

8.2 An Integrated Approach to Project Planning 156

8.3 Managing the Planning Process 162

8.4 Summary of Key Points and Conclusions 162

8.5 Questions for Discussion and Exercises 164

8.6 PMBOK References and Connections 164

Internet Links and Resources 165

References and Additional Readings 165

9 The Tools for Integrated Project Planning and Control 167

2012 London Summer Olympics 167

9.1 Management Perspective 168

9.2 The Basic Tools and Techniques for Project Management 176

9.3 Using Project Management Tools Property 206

9.4 A Model for Project Performance 207

9.5 Summary of Key Points and Conclusions 209

9.6 Questions for Discussion 210

9.7 PMBOK References and Connections 210

Internet Links and Resources 211

References and Additional Readings 211

10 Defining the Project 213

Chevrolet Volt Electric Cars Development 213

10.1 The Need for a Clear Plan 214

10.2 Building the Project Plan 215

10.3 A Life Cycle Approach to Project Planning 228

10.4 Summary of Key Points and Conclusions 228

10.5 Questions for Discussion and Exercises 229

10.6 PMBOK Guide References and Connections 230

Internet Links and Resources 230

References and Additional Readings 230

11 Resource Estimating and Budgeting 232

At Google, Technology Projects Are Done on a Rapid Schedule. 232

11.1 Why We Need Budgets 233

11.2 Cost Estimating Methods 234

11.3 Where to Begin? 238

11.4 Cost Estimating and Budgeting Philosophy 240

11.5 Summary of Key Points and Conclusions 243

11.6 Questions for Discussion and Exercises 244

11.7 PMBOK Guide References and Connections 245

Internet Links and Resources 245

References and Additional Readings 246

12 Monitoring and Controlling Technology-Intensive Projects 248

Prairie Waters Project Wins PMI’s Project of the Year Award 248

12.1 The Challenges of Managerial Control 249

12.2 What We Know About Managerial Control of Complex Projects 251

12.3 What Do We Want to Control? 252

12.4 Available Tools and Techniques 254

12.5 Recommendations for Using Project Controls Effectively 261

12.6 Conclusion 264

12.7 Summary of Key Points and Conclusions 265

12.8 Questions for Discussion 266

12.9 PMBOK References and Connections 267

Internet Links and Resources 268

References and Additional Readings 268

12.10 Appendix: Management Techniques for Project Control 270

13 Concurrent Engineering and Other Project Management Systems 278

The Pentagon Reconstruction Project 278

13.1 The Need for Effective Project Management Processes 279

13.2 A Spectrum of Contemporary Management Systems 281

13.3 Criteria for Success 284

13.4 Defining the Management Process—A Team-Based Effort 286

13.5 Understanding the Challenges 288

13.6 Understanding Organizational Linkages and Benefits 289

13.7 Recommendations for Setting Up and Managing Contemporary Systems 291

13.8 Conclusion 298

13.9 Summary of Key Points and Conclusions 300

13.10 Questions for Discussion 301

13.11 PMBOK References and Connections 302

Internet Links and Resources 302

References and Additional Readings 302

14 Managing Risk and Uncertainty 307

Risk-Taking in New Product Developments is Part of Staying Competitive at Intel 307

14.1 The Role of Uncertainty in Managing Projects 308

14.2 What We Know about Risk Management 311

14.3 Key Variables Affecting Risk Management 313

14.4 A Simple Risk-Impact Model 317

14.5 How Do Risks Affect Project Performance? 321

14.6 Managing Risks in Projects: Lessons from the Field 323

14.7 Criteria for Effective Risk Management 326

14.8 A Final Note 331

14.9 Summary of Key Points and Conclusions 331

14.10 Questions for Discussion 333

14.11 PMBOK References and Connections 334

Internet Links and Resources 334

References and Additional Readings 334

15 Managing by Commitment and Collaboration 338

Wind Energy Research 338

15.1 The Critical Role of Commitment and Collaboration 339

15.2 What Do We Know about Collaboration and Commitment? 342

15.3 Drivers and Barriers to Collaboration and Commitment 343

15.4 Managing by Commitment 346

15.5 Conclusion 349

15.6 Summary of Key Points and Conclusions 349

15.7 Questions for Discussion 350

15.8 PMBOK References and Connections 350

Internet Links and Resources 351

References and Additional Readings 351

15.9 Appendix: Field Research Summary on Commitment 353

16 Managing People and Interfaces 362

At GE, Management Philosophy Focuses on People 362

16.1 Changing Roles and Challenges of Managerial Leadership 362

16.2 What Drives Performance in Technology-Based Teams 366

16.3 How To Motivate and Inspire 370

16.4 The Power Profile of Project Managers 378

16.5 Criteria and Recommendations for Working Effectively with People on Projects 381

16.6 Concluding Remark 383

16.7 Summary of Key Points and Conclusions 384

16.8 Questions for Discussion 386

16.9 PMBOK References and Connections 386

Internet Links and Resources 387

References and Additional Readings 387

17 Managing Conflict in Project Organizations 391

Sun Tzu—The Ancient Art of Leadership: Making Conflict Unnecessary 391

17.1 Conflict—Good, Bad, and Inevitable 392

17.2 Categorizing Conflict in Organizations 393

17.3 How to Anticipate Issues 395

17.4 Conflict in the Project Life Cycle 398

17.5 How to Deal with Conflict 403

17.6 Criteria for Managing Conflict in Projects Effectively 410

17.7 Summary of Key Points and Conclusions 414

17.8 Questions for Discussion and Exercises 416

17.9 PMBOK References and Connections 416

Internet Links and Resources 417

References and Additional Readings 417

18 Leading Technology Teams 421

Boeing 787 Dreamliner 421

18.1 Team Leadership—Critical to Project Success 422

18.2 Measuring Team Performance 426

18.3 Fostering Conditions for Collaboration, Commitment, and Self-Control 428

18.4 Building High-Performance Teams 430

18.5 Team Leadership Lessons 433

18.6 Guidelines for Effective Team Management 434

18.7 How to Make It Work 439

18.8 Summary of Key Points and Conclusions 441

18.9 Questions for Discussion and Exercises 441

18.10 PMBOK References and Connections 442

Internet Links and Resources 443

References and Additional Readings 443

19 Professional Development: Training and Education 446

Developing Management Talent at GE 446

19.1 Project Managers Have Special Needs for Professional Development 447

19.2 Linking Knowledge, Skills, and Competency 448

19.3 Building Knowledge, Skills, and Competency 449

19.4 Developing Project Managers 453

19.5 Professional Education 454

19.6 Professional Certification and Accreditation 456

19.7 Career Opportunities in Project Management 459

19.8 Summary of Key Points and Conclusions 460

19.9 Questions for Discussion and Exercises 461

19.10 PMBOK References and Connections 462

Internet Links and Resources 462

References and Additional Readings 463

20 The Future of Project Management 465

20.1 Is the Future Predictable? 465

20.2 Changes and Trends in the Project Environment 465

20.3 What Does It Mean for the Future of Project Management? 468

20.4 Summary of Key Points and Conclusions 470

20.5 Questions for Discussion and Exercises 471

Internet Links and Resources 471

References and Additional Readings 472

Appendix 1: Policy and Procedure Examples 473

Appendix 2: Professional Societies, Journals, and Conferences in Project Engineering, and Technology Management 481

Glossary 491

Index 499

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HANS J. THAMHAIN is Professor of Management and Director of the Technology and Project Management Programs at Bentley College. With experience in high-technology management positions at GTE/Verizon, General Electric, Westinghouse, and ITT, he has authored more than seventy research papers and seven professional reference books on project and technology management.

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