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Making It Happen: A Non-Technical Guide to Project Management

Book Description

Making It Happen: A Non-Technical Guide to Project Management provides a fresh and clear approach to project management. Written in the form of a novel, it covers the basics of project management in a friendly, interesting, and memorable way.

Will Campbell, a reasonably competent middle manager, is suddenly thrust into managing a high-profile project that could make or break his career. With no project management experience, and armed only with the guidance of his eccentric menror, Martha, Will learns the hard way. As Will navigates the rough seas of company politics, treacherous competition, and a project swirling out of control, he narrowly evades many pitfalls, and masters some indispensable project management tools along the way.

Against the backdrop of this personal drama, a simple, rational approach to project management unfolds. Will's ability to grasp these principles is the key to his survival, and could be the key to yours. Making It Happen enables the reader to transform risky, real-life situations into success.

  • Provides a simple, non-technical approach, useful to any business person involved in teams or managing projects

  • Offers practical tools and principles that will make any project a success: from office moves to product roll-outs, systems implementations to training program delivery, and everything in between

  • Boxes, definitions, and charts highlight key points and practical project management tips.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. Preface
  3. Genesis
    1. Sink or Swim
      1. The Company
      2. The New Product
      3. The Project Manager
    2. Grasping the Scope
      1. The First Cost Estimate
      2. Gathering Courage
      3. What is the Problem?
    3. What is a Project?
      1. Discovering Perspective
    4. The Team Meets
      1. Trying To Set Goals
      2. A Variety of Answers
    5. Sifting Through the Mess
    6. Asking the Right Questions
    7. Writing the Objective Statement
    8. The Project Manager Faces the Board
      1. The Board Has Questions
      2. The Project Has a Sponsor
      3. Setting the Schedule
  4. The Project Team
    1. The Team's Roles
      1. The Sponsor
      2. The Feasibility Analyst
      3. The Project Manager
      4. The Designer, Implementer, User's Representative, and Project Administrator
      5. A Contest of Convictions
      6. Assigning the Roles
    2. Company Politics
      1. Keeping the Sponsor Happy
  5. The Design Phase
    1. What is Design, and How Long Does it Take?
    2. Organizing the Design Process
      1. Design Steps and the Schedule
      2. When is the Design Complete?
      3. Keeping the Sponsor Informed
    3. The User's Needs
      1. The Revised Objective Statement
    4. Charts, Costs, and Other Puzzles
      1. Coping with Delays
      2. Making Adjustments
    5. More Problems with Schedules
      1. Completing the Design
  6. Execution Planning
    1. Tasks
      1. A Simple Set of Tasks
      2. Grasping the Logic
    2. A Dependency Chart
      1. Changing prospective
      2. A Float
      3. The Critical Path
      4. When is a Task a Task?
      5. As Complicated as it Needs to Be
    3. Finding and Fixing Mistakes
      1. Delivering What's Wanted
      2. Rearranging the Information
      3. Signing Off the Execution Plan
  7. Execution
    1. Altering Plans
      1. Scope, Schedule, Cost, and Quality
      2. Crashing
    2. On a Crash Course
      1. The New Schedule, the New Budget
      2. A Contractor with An Opinion
      3. Who Gets Rewarded?
    3. A New Assignment
      1. Doing this One Right
      2. The Launch
  8. The Review Process
    1. Assessing Assignments
      1. Another Assignment?
      2. The Team Wraps Up
  9. The Project Manager's Survival Manual
    1. Recording the Fundamentals
      1. This is a Manual?
      2. The Survival Manual for Project Managers
  10. New Frameworks
    1. Checking Assumptions
      1. Defining Quality
      2. Other Techniques
  11. Epilogue