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Checkered Flag Projects: Ten Rules for Creating and Managing Projects that Win!, 2nd Edition

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Checkered Flag Projects: Ten Rules for Creating and Managing Projects that Win!, 2nd Edition


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  • Copyright 2002
  • Edition: 2nd
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-009399-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-009399-8

Checkered Flag Projects teaches you outstanding project management skills-fast! Short, to the point, and full of great ideas, it identifies 10 key rules that dramatically increase the likelihood of project success and shows exactly how to use those rules to win in any assignment. It delivers realistic solutions for every project, no matter how complex - from handling conflict to making the most of advanced project management technologies.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Rule One of Project Management: Clarify the Project Goal

Table of Contents

About the Authors.



Managing Projects: Challenge and Opportunity.

Becoming an Effective Project Leader. Learning the 10 Rules for Creating and Managing. Checkered Flag Projects.

Rule One: Clarify the Project Goal.

Setting Project Goals That Are Clear and Compelling. The Criteria to Use-“Power Goals”. Pinpointed. Owned. Well Defined. Energizing. Resource Framed. An Example of a Really Important Goal. Summary: Rule One.

Rule Two: Use Objectives to Define Responsibilities.

Problems in Setting Objectives. Focusing Too Narrowly. Using Reward Systems That Inhibit Teamwork. Responsibility but Not Enough Authority. Summary: Rule Two.

Rule Three: Establish Checkpoints, Activities, Relationships, and Time Estimates.

Examining the Noah's Ark Project. Monitoring as Motivation. Determining Relationships Among the Activities. Estimating Time, Cost, and Other Resources. Final Thoughts on Building a CART. Summary: Rule Three.

Rule Four: Supercharge the Plan with a Picture.

Understanding Gantt Charts. Understanding PERT Charts. Working with Gantt and PERT Charts. Getting Projects Back on Track. A Note on Computer Software. Summary: Rule Four.

Rule Five: Develop an Empowered Project Team.

Know Yourself. Know Others: All Behavior Makes Sense. Know Others: All People Are Motivated. Know Others: People Are Unique. Know How to Create an Empowered Project Team.

Stage One: Orientation. Stage Two: Dissatisfaction. Stage Three: Resolution. Stage Four: Productivity. Stage Five: Termination. Stage Postview. Summary: Rule Five.

Rule Six: Reinforce People's Motivation and Energy.

Drawing upon Internal Motivation. Building and Maintaining Energy. Tapping People's Motivation and Energy. Summary: Rule Six.

Rule Seven: Inform Everyone Regularly.

Barriers to Effective Information Flow. Getting Your Message Across Effectively. Listening for Impact. Summary: Rule Seven.

Rule Eight: Vitalize People with Energy from Conflicts.

Types of Conflict in Projects. Encountering Conflicts over the Life of a Projects. Causes of Conflict in Projects. Building Agreements that Vitalize. Successful Negotiators of Conflict. Summary: Rule Eight.

Rule Nine: Empower Yourself and Others.

Six Sources of Power. Position Sources of Power. Personal Sources of Power. Power and Performance. Using Power to Get the Results You Want. Building and Using Referent Power. Building and Using Relationship Power. Building and Using Expert Power. Using Legitimate Power. Using Reward Power. Using Coercive Power. Giving People What They Want (Need) from Their Leaders. Summary: Rule Nine.

Rule Ten: Risk Being Creative.

Blocks to Creativity. Facilitating Creativity and Innovation. Developing Better Ideas for Your Projects. Summary: Rule Ten.

Driving to the Checkered Flag.





Effective management of projects has become an essential part of the game in business today. Project work affects and engages almost everyone who works. As a consequence, speed, quality, and cost have taken on combined and interactive significance in the worlds of both business and government. In this environment, both challenge and opportunity await project leaders. Each project is like a race to be won or lost. We like to relate this to driving in a car race, where the symbol of winning is the checkered flag. Thus, "checkered flag projects" is the metaphor we will use for projects that win—that is, ones that are completed on time, within budget, and with high quality.

The questions for each project leader are "Am I prepared for this role?" and "What can I do to be more successful with projects?" In short, "How can I be the leader of checkered flag projects?" As you consider these general questions, we invite you to also ponder the more specific questions below:

  1. Do you always know what the end result of your project work will look like?
  2. Do the end users of your project ever change their minds about what they want? And if so, can you deal with these changes effectively?
  3. Do your projects require you to finish assignments by a specified, and short, deadline?
  4. Do you always seem to have multitask work that involves multiple people?
  5. Do your projects have to be completed with a limited set of resources?
  6. Do you have to work with people in other business units and even other companies to get work done?
  7. Do you regularly deal with conflicts about project work?
  8. Do you have to somehow get people on a team to be creative and motivated?

If you answered yes to even a few of these questions, you are squarely in the challenging world of projects. Nowadays, regardless of job title, almost every manager has responsibilities for project work, at least some of the time. It is clearly time to learn how to plan and manage projects for more success and better results with greater ease. Are you ready to become a leader of checkered flag projects? A leader of projects that win?

If you answered yes to these questions, this book is written for you. For the last 20 years, we have been providing seminars and consulting services on Project Planning and Management throughout the world. We have learned a great deal from studying hundreds of projects in a variety of organizational settings. We have also learned from the actual experiences of thousands of people who manage and work on all kinds of projects. Through our discussions with managers and our studies of projects and the teams that do the work, we have distilled ten key rules for project success—what we like to refer to as rules for creating and managing "checkered flag projects."

By reading this book, you will pick up proven ideas that will save you time, aggravation, and money. You will learn how to build a GOCART plan for your race and how to Supercharge that plan. You will also learn about the skills a DRIVER needs to get the coveted checkered flag!

Checkered Flag Projects can help you create and manage winning projects. It can make you a more successful project leader. We wish you well in learning to deal effectively with both the challenge and the opportunity that projects afford. Are you ready to become a consistent leader of "checkered flag projects"? If so, then let the race begin!


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