Preface to Mastering Project Management Integration and Scope: The Organization and Content of This Book
This book is organized into four sections.
Section I, “The Initiating of Projects,” sets the stage. Chapter 1, “Fundamentals,” introduces the holistic viewpoint of integration and scope management, the related PMBOK® Knowledge Areas and Process Groups, the IPO concept, and some fundamental terms and concepts, including the Pyramid of Business Maxims. Chapter 2, “The Project Charter,” defines and describes the single point of reference (SPOR) Project Charter, the document that formally authorizes a project.
Section II, “The Planning, Defining, Scoping, and Structuring of Projects,” focuses on the core elements of a project. Chapter 3, “Project Management Plans and Documents,” defines and describes the project management plan, subsidiary plans, and other project documents. Chapter 4, “Project Requirements,” focuses on the project requirements, how they are solicited, formalized, documented with the stakeholders, and accepted by the stakeholders. Chapter 5, “The Scoping of Projects,” focuses on detailing scope elements within the bounds defined in the SPOR Project Charter. Chapter 6, “The Project Work Breakdown Structure (WBS),” focuses on the work breakdown structure, the unambiguous documentation of what is within the defined and accepted project scope—that is, what must be delivered by the successful project.
Section III, “The Managing and Leading of the Execution of Projects,” focuses on directing, managing, monitoring, and controlling the actual project work, the inevitable changes, and controlling and validating the project scope. Chapter 7, “The Directing and Managing of the Work Performed in Projects,” is dedicated to the directing and managing of the work performed in projects, while Chapter 8, “The Monitoring and Controlling of the Work Performed in Projects,” concentrates on the monitoring and controlling of the work performed in projects. Chapter 9, “The Integrating and Controlling of the Changes Occurring in Projects,” addresses the integrating and controlling of changes occurring in projects, and Chapter 10, “The Controlling and Validating of the Scope of Projects,” focuses on the controlling and validating of the project scope.
Section IV, “The Closing of Projects,” addresses two highly important, but often neglected elements in the life of a project, the project closure acceptance documentation (PCAD) and on lessons learned. These elements are covered in Chapter 11, “The Closing of a Project or a Phase.”
Key Themes That Characterize This Book
Over time, a plethora of books on project management became available. Some books emphasize particular techniques or software tools, often, without deliberate intention, creating the hope in the reader to find the silver bullet. Other books elaborate on the history of project management, or the latest trend in academic project management research.
One book that stands out and has become a de facto standard in project management is the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). At first contact with the PMBOK® Guide, the perceived dichotomy of Knowledge Areas and Process Groups has created some degree of misunderstanding and confusion among practitioners and particularly students. Without additional help, the exceptional usefulness of the PMBOK® Guide becomes evident only after extensive, and sometimes testing, experience with the PMBOK® Guide in managing projects.
Mastering Project Management Integration and Scope aims to provide such help. It introduces the holistic viewpoint of project management, which to a large extent parallels the PMBOK® Guide, but differs in that it avoids the interface issue of the Integration Knowledge Area with the Scope Knowledge Area by providing a new definition of the project scope management activity.
What This Book Is Not
Mastering Project Management Integration and Scope is not a book on the history and growth of project management methodologies or techniques. It is also not a book that elaborates on the importance of project management in general or for an organization, nor is it a book that teaches in detail various techniques useful for the management of projects.
The book emphasizes a critical-thinking approach to integration and scope management to develop a conceptual understanding of the principles of project management with the intent of widening the domain of people who truly understand what constitutes project management.
The readers are assumed to have a fundamental understanding of the different forms of organizational structure that can exist in commercial companies and in government agencies. The detailed knowledge conveyed in courses or textbooks on Organizational Behavior and Managerial Accounting is not required to get the maximum benefit out of Mastering Project Management Integration and Scope, but some familiarity with the topics from these courses or books will be helpful. Within the life span of a project, a project manager will be confronted with issues of cost, risk, human behavior, planning, change in midstream, and similar aspects of business life. The aim of this book is to prepare the project manager to successfully handle such challenges—not by being exposed to numerical examples, but by becoming aware of the underlying principles and factors of influence.
This Book’s Audience
This book has been written for an audience that encompasses the entire spectrum of people exposed to and working with project management: the people who teach project management, the people who want to learn about project management, and the people who practice project management.
The topic-oriented organization of the book enables instructors to use this book as the sole textbook or in conjunction with the PMBOK® Guide or even another textbook.
Students will benefit from the topic-oriented organization of the book as this classification makes it easier to grasp the meaning, purpose, and influence of each topic on the management of projects—just like the object-oriented paradigm greatly improved the development, quality, and maintainability of software programs.
For practitioners, the topic-oriented organization of the book makes it a practical and easy-to-use reference book in their daily work whenever they want to be reminded of the fundamental principles.
Whatever the audience, I hope that the book will provide sound insight into the subject of integration and scope management and that the book succeeds in illuminating the PMBOK® Guide’s comprehensive coverage of project management knowledge areas and the processes involved in managing projects.
Finally, I hope that the book will inspire the readers to join me in stating “everything in life is a project and I love making projects successful.”
This Book’s Two Distinctive Features
(1) The chapters are consistently organized into three pedagogical blocks: the alpha -block, which takes the reader from his or her current point of understanding to the second block, the main topic of the chapter, and the omega -block, which relates the main topic to actual project reality and allows the readers to confirm and reinforce the knowledge and understanding gained from the chapter. Thus, each chapter presents a closed learning block, from beginning to end, of one main topic.
(2) The use of the seven magnificent relative pronouns, referred to as the 7-Ws ever since Joachim Georg Daries’s (1714—1791) Latin terms had been translated into German. (In English, there are six corresponding Ws and one H).
A subsequent feature of the book that provides for ease of reading for the student and the practitioner and helps the instructor in delivering a comprehensible course is the consistency in structure throughout all chapters. The repetitive nature of the structure helps to reinforce concepts, deepen understanding, and strengthen retention.
Chapter 1 contains a glossary of new terms at the beginning of the chapter. In addition to being listed in the glossary of new terms at the beginning of Chapter 1, key terms are highlighted in bold at first occurrence in the text of Chapter 1. Where considered helpful and practical, a “case in point” is provided at the end of some chapters.
As is customary, the Bibliography gives credit to the sources of original thought, description, or illustration and might serve as suggestions for further reading.
Notwithstanding individual differences in human nature, the keys to successful learning are concentration, persistence, and stamina. Multitasking doesn’t work at a quality level in the human brain and, as we are sometimes painfully reminded, not even well in computers.
One successful approach to studying is to first reflect on what the chapter (section) is about; then, after each paragraph, stop and explain to yourself what the paragraph “told” you. Some people use index cards to write down that message; others, like myself, use mind mapping to extract key ideas, important terms, and the like. The key question to ask yourself is always the “What” question. What was the main concept, statement, or logic of this paragraph or this chapter? Finally, explain or teach to a (virtual) listener or to yourself the essence of the chapter.