Over the last few decades project management has moved from its roots in industries such as construction and defense into the mainstream of American business. Many different industries, in particular the service sector, rely heavily on Project Management as an integral part of a successful strategy. In support of the widening importance of project management, a number of important professional organizations, such as the Project Management Institute, have been created and are thriving in the twenty-first century.
As project management has been recognized as a valid career path that many have chosen to pursue, many training programs have been developed, and it is now possible to pursue both undergraduate and graduate degrees in project management. Project managers who practice the profession today come from a myriad of backgrounds, most often having started as specialists in an area of expertise and gradually moving into project management. And there lies the rub!
In our previous book, The Essentials of Strategic Project Management, we established the primary link between a company's mission, objectives, and operations. Senior project managers who wish to remain at the top of their profession need to understand not only the methodology, tools, and techniques of the profession in order to be successful, but they must also understand the business context within which they work. Many, if not most, project managers come from areas of expertise outside of business, and most do ...