Skip to main content


Managing Projects in Telecommunication Services

Mostafa Hashem Sherif

ISBN: 978-0-471-71343-2 October 2006 Wiley-IEEE Press 272 Pages


Effective project management tailored to the needs of the telecommunications industry

"In our rapidly changing world, the information and communication technologies and services have an immense impact on virtually all aspects of our lives. . . . With his deep understanding of the telecommunication services, and his rich experiences in both standardization activities and teaching practice, [Dr. Sherif's] book provides a very clear analysis of development projects in telecommunication services. I believe the readers will find this book very useful and interesting."
Houlin Zhao, Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau,International Telecommunication Union

"Dr. Sherif's book is an important contribution to the project management literature. With the domination of the service economy in recent years, the book addresses the unique features of telecommunication services, a critical pillar of the service sector. Development projects in telecommunications require combining good knowledge of the fundamentals of project management with clear understanding of the complexities arising from fast-changing technology, deregulations, standards, accountability, and supply chain management difficulties. This book addresses the much-needed integrative approach very well."
Tarek Khalil, President, International Association for Management of Technology (IAMOT)

While there has been much written about project management, the vast majority of the literature focuses on industrial design and production. In Managing Projects in Telecommunication Services, Mostafa Hashem Sherif effectively demonstrates the unique requirements of projects in telecommunication services and, consequently, the benefits of an integrated approach to project management that is specifically tailored to the telecommunications industry.

Managing Projects in Telecommunication Services draws from a wide range of disciplines, including organizational management, motivation, quality control, and software engineering. All the theory and practical guidance that an effective telecommunications project manager needs is provided.

The text is divided into three main parts:

  • Chapters 1 through 3 set forth the special characteristics of telecommunications projects, including technology life cycle, type of innovation, and project organization
  • Chapters 4 through 10 cover the areas that the Project Management Institute has standardized in its publication A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), focusing on the issues specific to telecommunications. Chapters address scope, schedule and cost, information and communication, human resources, quality, vendor management, and risk
  • Chapters 11 and 12 integrate and summarize all of the concepts for the planning and delivery of a project

Chapters are loaded with examples and case studies, many from the author's personal experience, that demonstrate the benefits of good project management and the consequences of poor project management. Each chapter includes a summary of key points. References are also provided to facilitate further research and study.

For project managers as well as students in telecommunications, this text is unsurpassed. It not only covers the theory and practice of effective project management, it also tailors its discussion specifically to the unique needs of the telecommunications industry.

(PMBOK is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.)

Buy Both and Save 25%!

This item: Managing Projects in Telecommunication Services

Ad Hoc Wireless Networks: A Communication-Theoretic Perspective (Hardcover $150.00)

Cannot be combined with any other offers.

Original Price:$284.00

Purchased together:$213.00

save $71.00

Buy Both and Save 25%!

This item: Managing Projects in Telecommunication Services

The Best of the Best: Fifty Years of Communications and Networking Research (Hardcover $149.00)

Cannot be combined with any other offers.

Original Price:$283.00

Purchased together:$212.25

save $70.75

Buy Both and Save 25%!

This item: Managing Projects in Telecommunication Services

Mobile, Wireless, and Sensor Networks: Technology, Applications, and Future Directions (Hardcover $149.00)

Cannot be combined with any other offers.

Original Price:$283.00

Purchased together:$212.25

save $70.75



1 Projects in Telecommunication Services.


Project Management Versus Product Management.

Virtual Network Operators.

Contribution of Project Management.

The Two Facets of Telecommunication Services.

Categories of Projects in Telecommunication Services.

Upgrades of Public Networks.

Establishment of Specialized Business Networks.

Temporary Networks.

Characteristics of Telecommunication Service Projects.

Complex Interfaces.

External Interfaces.

Internal Interfaces.

International Orientation.


No Mass Production.

Diverse Users.

A Relatively Long Planning Stage.

Summary of Distinctions Between the Development of Telecommunication Services and Equipment.


2 Standards and Innovation in Telecommunication Services.

The Two Dimensions of Telecommunication Projects.

The Technological Dimension.

The Marketing and Social Dimension.

Classification of Innovations.

Innovations and the Technology Life Cycle.

Innovation in Telecommunication Services.

Incremental Innovation.

Architectural Innovation.

Platform Innovation.

Radical Innovation.

Interaction of Innovations in Equipment and Services.

Phasic Relation Between Equipment and Services.

Standardization for Telecommunication Services.

Timing of Standards.

Marketing Perspective.

Technological View of Standards.

Anticipatory Standards.

Enabling (Participatory) Standards.

Responsive Standards.

Lack of Standards.

Standards Policy and Knowledge Management.


3 The Project Management Context.

Organization of the Project Team.

Functional Organization.




Matrix Organization.




Projectized Organization.




Comparison of Project Organizations.

Project Organization and Innovation Type.

Incremental Innovation.

Architectural Innovation.

Platform Innovation.

Radical Innovation.

The Role of the Project Sponsor.

Phase Management and Portfolio Management.

The Rolling Wave Method for Service Development.

Phase 1: Concept Definition.

Phase 2: Initiation and Preliminary Planning Phase.

Phase 3: Implementation.

Phase 4: Controlled Introduction.

Phase 5: General Availability and Close-Out.

Canceling Projects.

Relation to the Build–Operate–Transfer Model.


4 Scope Management.

Scope Initiation.

Scope Planning.

Market Service Description (MSD).

Scope Definition.

Work Breakdown Structure.

Technical Plan.

The Need for Scope Management.

Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

E-Zpass Toll Collection System.


Gaps in the Definition ITS Scope.

Scope Creep in New Jersey.

Sources of Scope Change.

Customer Profile.

Vendor’s Effect.

Basic Principles of Scope Management.

Change Control Policy.

Strictness of the Change Control Policy.

Change Control Board.

Scope Verification.

Tracking and Issue Management.

Project Termination.

Case Studies.

Telecommunications Alliances/Joint Ventures.

Net 1000.


Timeline and Organization Evolution.

Postmortem Analysis.

Lessons Learned.

Lessons Not Learned.


5 Time and Cost Management.


Delays in Telecommunication Projects.

Compressing the Schedule.

Cost Management.

Project Tracking with Earned Value Analysis.

Metrics for the Earned Value.

Discrete Effort Method.

Apportioned Effort Method.

Level of Effort Method.

Budget Types.

Monitoring Project Progress.

Measures of Efficiency.

Prerequisites for Earned Value Analysis.

Earned Value Analysis in Telecommunication Projects.


6 Information and Communication Management.

The Role of Communication Management.

Dissemination of Information.

Team Cohesion.

Historical Database.

Communication and Outsourcing.

The Communication Plan.



Nature of Information.

Content of the Plan.

Communication Channels.

One-on-One Communication.


Telephony and Teleconferences.


Intranets and Project Portals.

Evaluation of the Communication Processes.

Measure of Communication Effectiveness.

Signs of Communication Problems.

Barriers to Successful Communications.


7 Resources Management.

Formation of the Project Team.

Team Building.

Team Building and the Hierarchy of Human Needs.

Signs of a Jelled Team.

Enablers of Team Cohesiveness.

Impediments to Team Consolidation.

No Self-Actualization.

No Self-Esteem.

No Belongingness.

No Security.

Team Breakup (Adjourning).

Project Leadership.

Transactional Versus Transformational Leadership.

Project Manager’s Authority.

Manipulative Behavior.

MBTI Classification of Leadership Styles.

Time-Dependent Leadership.

Matching Leadership Style with the Project Phase.

Matching Leadership Style with Innovation Type.

Matching Leadership with Technology Maturity.

Conflict Resolution.

Conflicts Due to Contractual Structures.

Conflicts Due to Connectual Structures.

Types of Diversity.

Examples of Social Diversity.

Examples of Informational Diversity.

Examples of Value Diversity.

Conflicts and Diversity.

Effects of Conflict on Project Performance.

Dealing with Conflicts.

Problem Solving.




Withdrawal or Avoidance.


8 Quality Management.


Quality and Innovation.

Service Release Management.

Quality Plan.

Categorization of the Defects: Urgency and Criticality.


Schedule Compression.

Evaluation of Testing Progress.

When to Stop Testing?

Vendor Management During the Testing Program.



Poisson Model.

The Basic Model.

The Jelinski–Moranda Model.


Learning Effect with the Yamada Model.

9 Vendor Management.

The Importance of Vendor Management.

Vendor Management Versus Procurement Management.

Acquisition Process.

Evaluation of the Formal Solicitation Process.

Vendor Selection.

Contract Type.

Vendor Types in Telecommunications Services.

Vendor Evaluation.

Additional Criteria for Equipment Vendors.

Additional Criteria for Connectivity Vendors.

Communications with Technology Vendors.

Statement of Work.

Vendor Tracking.

Partnerships and Virtual Organizations.

Metrics for Vendor Tracking During Acceptance Testing.

Vendor’s Handoff.

Metrics for Vendor Tracking for Problems in the Field.

Risks in the Management of Technology Vendors.

The Technology Life Cycle.

Vendor Type.

Risk of Supply Disruption.

Congruence of the Plans for the Vendor and the Service Provider.

Lack of Standards.

Intellectual Property and Knowledge Management.

Inadequate Field Support.

Risk Mitigation in the Management of Technology Vendor.

Connectivity Vendors.

Types of Agreements Among Network Operators.

Risks Management for Interconnectivity Vendors.


10 Risk Management.

Risk Identification.

Risk Evaluation.

Risk Mitigation.

Risk Avoidance.

Risk Reduction.

Combined Risk Avoidance and Reduction.

Risk Deflection.

Risk Financing.

Risks Identification Telecommunications Services.

Project Characteristics.





Internal Organization.




Risk Mitigation in Telecommunications Services.

Risks Due to Project Characteristics.

Technological Risks.

Supplier’s Risks.

Customer’s Risks.

Standardization and Risk.

Innovation and Risk.

Incremental Innovation.

Architectural Innovation.

Platform Innovation.

Radical Innovation.

Risk Mitigation and Organizational Culture.

Risk Mitigation and the Project Manager’s Tolerance for Risk.


11 Service Development.

Opportunity Analysis and Concept Definition.

Product Definition and Project Setup.

Design and Procurement.

Architecture Design.

Supplier Management.

Technical Definition of the Service.

Site Selection.

Service Operations Technical Plan (SOTP).

Support Processes.

Operations, Administration and Maintenance (OA&M).

Disaster Recovery.

Customer Network Management.


Equipment Handoff.

System and Integration Testing.

Network Operations Center (NOC).

Human Resources.

Return Maintenance Authorization (RMA).

Customer Care.

Service Turn-Up.

Installing the Equipment.

In-Field Tests.

Pilot Trials.

Controlled Introduction.

Management of the Controlled Introduction.

Marketing and Sales Plans for General Availability.

Commissioning and Life-Cycle Management.

Lessons Learned and Closeout.

Quality-of-Service Metrics.

Customer Care Performance.

Network Performance.

OA&M Quality.

Business and Network Evolution.



12 Some Final Thoughts.

Continuity and Change.

Project Success or Service Success?

Competition and Government Policies.