What is a Project?
Many people do not understand the basic characteristics of projects. You should focus on the definition of a project as a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. Provide examples of projects to which your students can relate. The attributes of a project should be noted as well. A project:
• Has a unique purpose.
• Is temporary. Project
• Is developed using progressive elaboration.
• Requires resources (often from various areas).
• Should have a primary sponsor or customer.
• Involves uncertainty.
Describe several projects with which you are familiar. Students like to hear about their instructor's experiences and share their ...view middle of the document...
Show the class examples of a WBS, Gantt chart, network diagram, and earned value chart, which are a few of the tools that are unique to project management.
The Role of the Project Manager
Discuss what project managers do. Review the job descriptions in the text. An interesting activity is to use an online job search tool, such as www.monster.com, to search for project manager job openings in your area. See how many jobs are found and then review some of the job titles, companies, and job descriptions that are provided.
History of Project Management
Briefly summarize the history of project management and emphasize that many organizations and industries are still struggling to understand and apply good project management to their unique situations.
The Project Management Profession
Students are usually very interested in learning more about career options. Many may not have considered being project managers or their roles as project team members. Highlight the CIO.com survey results in Table 1-4 listing the importance of project management skills. Invite a guest speaker to come in and discuss what it is like to be a project manager. Many local chapters of PMI are available and members are glad to speak to students about the project management profession. The PMP certification and code of ethics are also important parts of the profession that should be discussed. Students should also be aware of the growth in project management software products in the past few years. Let them know that they can download a trial version of Project 2007 from www.microsoft.com and learn to use the software with the detailed instructions in Appendix A. They can also join PMI at reduced rates and view free online versions of some of their publications.
Copyright - Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition
A Systems View of Project Management
Most students in information technology fields have heard of a systems approach. However, you should still explain what it means to look at projects in the context of a larger system. Figure 2-1 provides an example of applying the three-sphere model of systems management to the opening case. Review the opening case and this figure with the class.
Many books and courses provide information on organizational behavior. The four frames of organizations presented here provide a good reference for helping students think about various aspects of organizations. Most people focus too much on the structural frame, but it is also important to address the human resources, political, and symbolic frames of organizations.