Growing up, I didn’t want to be a project manager. Unlike the more popular options of fireman and ballerina (and later doctor and chef), it wasn’t as easy to visualize what being a project manager was all about. Since my love was for technology, I studied Computer Science and worked on everything from software engineering through to web development. It was only in the corporate world that I realized why people wanted to be project managers.
Project management is about making things happen.
Good project management is what makes the real work a success. Bad or missing project management can taint and nullify the efforts of even the most talented people. It doesn’t matter how brilliant your work is if the project as a whole is twice as ex-pensive as intended, or a year late. This is not to say that the real work isn’t import-ant—it is still the core of any project. No project manager can make mediocre work into an awesome end result. But fantastic work can be overlooked if the project management required to deliver the whole isn’t there.
Like me, you’ve probably already realized this. You’ve worked on a project or two where things went wrong at the project management level. You’ve figured you could do a better job of it yourself—which is exactly why you bought this book! The good news is that you were right. You can do a good job of the project management. And this book will teach you how.
Who Should Read This Book?
This book is for anyone who wants to learn enough project management to ensure their projects succeed. You won’t become a world authority on the project manage-ment discipline, but you will become an effective and efficient project manager. Although some of the examples in this book focus on projects that address techno-logical or systems-related issues—a growing industry in need of skilled project managers!—the book is intended for anyone who needs to manage projects of any sort.
That said, this book won’t teach you to manage the construction of the next space shuttle. For very large and very complex projects, you will probably need a few extra and more rigorous tools. You’ll find some pointers to such tools in the appen-dices.