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Project Management in Practice, Fourth Edition by Margaret M. Sutton, Scott M. Shafer, Jack R. Meredith, Samuel J. Mantel, Jr.

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Chapter 2. The Manager, the Organization, and the Team

Once a project has been selected, the next step is for senior management to choose a project manager (PM). It is the PM's job to make sure that the project is properly planned, implemented, and completed—and these activities will be the subjects of the chapters that follow this one.

While PMs are sometimes chosen prior to a project's selection, the more typical case is that the selection is announced following a meeting between senior management and the prospective PM. This appointment sometimes comes as a complete surprise to the candidate whose only obvious qualification for the job is not being otherwise fully occupied on a task more important than the project (Patterson, 1991). At this meeting, the senior manager describes the project and emphasizes its importance to the parent organization, and also to the future career of the prospective PM. (In the language of the Mafia, "It's an offer you can't refuse.") Occasionally, the senior manager will add further information about the project including a fixed budget, due date, and scope. This is an offer you must refuse, as politely as possible, because, as we noted in Chapter 1, some flexibility is required and there is little chance that you can be successful in meeting all the overdetermined targets.

After a brief consideration of the project, the PM comes to a tentative decision about what talents and knowledge are apt to be required. The PM and/or a senior manager then calls ...

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