As you have probably noticed, most of the examples in this book come from project-based companies. Project-based companies build houses, dig ditches, create software, mount publicity campaigns, design machines, perform financial audits, manage conferences and other events, and perform countless other tasks. But they all have one thing in common. Each project has an outside customer who agrees to pay a certain amount for the work involved. The team’s job is to deliver the project on time and on budget, and thus earn a profit for the company.

Plenty of projects, however, take place inside operating companies—companies whose business involves regular, repeated tasks rather than individual projects. ...

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