Project Management Theories and Knowledge

by dj on March 28, 2005

Dad picked up my membership dues in the Project Management Institute (thanks Pop!) and paid for a couple of books to read. One of them is the eight edition of "Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling" by Harold Kerzner, Ph.D.

This book is one of the mandatory texts to read in order to get your PMI certification. As textbooks go, it's not bad. I mean, I can read it without falling asleep. On the other hand, I chewed my way through roughly 2000 pages of text on the Windows OS back in the late nineties when I was punching my MSCE ticket, so maybe I have a high threshold for this sort of thing.

The first few chapters deal with organizational behavior vis-a-vis the project managment position. This is appropriate, as any PM with more than 2 weeks experience quickly realizes that a lot of his/her success depends on whether the org accepts the need for project management or rejects the whole concept.

I like the diagrams that show the horizontal lines of the PM's (informal) authority as compared to the line manager's vertical line of (formal) authority. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I also picked up a great buzz phrase: Organizational islands. This refers to departments or groups that are isolated vertically by function and horizontally by levels of status and authority.

Gee, you don't think that software development groups ever run into this problem?

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