Chapter 1. So . . . Where Are We with Project Management and What's with All These Tools Anyway?

"There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened."

Douglas Adams

So much has been written about project management (PM) in the last 15 to 20 years that it's difficult to find the few books that actually contain the information you need to be effective in project management. A lot of strange things have also been written about project management and project managers (PMs)—some of them insightful, some of them outright loony, and some completely inaccurate. However, all of these sources generally say that effective project management is a necessary thing to do if you want your projects to succeed.

So the first thing we will do is dispel some myths and inaccuracies about project management:

Myth #1:

Project management fundamentally deals with soft skills.

This leaves the reader with the impression that mastering project management simply means quoting pop-psychology gurus and sitting around a campfire eating granola. "I'm okay—you're okay"—group hug everyone!

Nope. Sorry folks, that's not it. Even the so-called soft skills of negotiation and team building require study, understanding, and practice.

Myth # 2:

Project managers spend most of their time in bean-counting microdetails ...

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