Managing Projects: The Science and the Art
It's a generally agreed-upon statistic that about 25 percent of technology projects are deemed successful. If the engineering field had the same number of project failures, no one would ever ride in an elevator or fly in an airplane! Whether you concur with this abysmal statistic or not, I think we can all agree that it's time we boost our project success rate.
The fact is, IT project management is a relatively young discipline, especially when compared with other industries. In construction, engineering, and defense contracting, project management is significantly better understood, supported, and practiced, and project managers and their clients in these fields generally benefit from a higher level of professional maturity. They can rely on documented historical records of prior project undertakings, more formal authority granted to the project manager, enhanced regulatory and QA oversight, greater emphasis on formal educational qualifications, mandatory licensing and certification requirements, genuine legal liability for malfeasance or poor quality, and a more responsible understanding of the role of project sponsor. Does any of this sound even vaguely familiar within the world of IT?
In 1981, the Project Management Institute (PMI) set out a goal to establish project management as a unique discipline and an independent profession. It has been incredibly successful in meeting that goal. Project management is the predominant ...