Understand why project management is becoming such a powerful and popular practice in business.Recognize the basic properties of projects, including their definition.Understand why effective project management is such a challenge.Understand and explain the project life cycle, its stages, and the activities that typically occur at each stage in the project.Understand the concept of project “success,” including various definitions of success, as well as the alternative models of success.Understand the purpose of project management maturity models and the process of benchmarking in organizations.Recognize how mastery of the discipline of project management enhances critical employability skills for university graduates.200 words
Think of a successful project and an unsuccessful project with which you are familiar. What distinguishes the two, both in terms of the process used to develop them and their outcomes?Consider the Expedition Everest case at the end of the chapter: what elements in Disney’s approach to developing its theme rides do you find particularly impressive? How can a firm like Disney balance the need for efficiency and smooth development of projects with the desire to be innovative and creative? Based on this case, what principles appear to guide its development process?Compare and contrast the organizational cultures at Amazon and Google. Imagine if you were in charge of a project team at both companies. How might your approach to managing a project, developing your team, and coordinating with different functional departments differ at the two firms?
Case Study 1.1 MegaTech, Inc.
MegaTech, Inc. is designed to highlight some of the reasons why an organization that had operated in a relatively stable and predictable environment would seek to move to an emphasis on project-based work. The trigger event, in this case is the advent of the NAFTA treaty, which opened up competition on a more price-competitive basis.
What is it about project management that offers MegaTech a competitive advantage in its industry?What elements of the marketplace in which MegaTech operates led the firm to believe that project management would improve its operations?Activity I: You are a member of the senior management staff at XYZ Corporation. You have historically been using a functional structure set up with five departments: finance, human resources, marketing, production, and engineering.
Create a drawing of your simplified functional structure, identifying the five departments.Assume you have decided to move to a project structure. What might be some of the environmental pressures that would contribute to your belief that it is necessary to alter the structure?With the project structure, you have four projects currently ongoing: stereo equipment, instrumentation and testing equipment, optical scanners, and defense communications.Draw the new structure that creates these four projects as part of the organizational chart.
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