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Project Manager : Project Manager Feb Mar 2013
40 Project Manager KRC CORNER The big picture Studying Bredillet's nine approaches to project management forces us to broaden our horizons, looking beyond 'on time and within budget' as the sole measures of success. MICHAEL YOUNG AIPM KNOWLEDGE RESEARCH COUNCIL CHAIR WHILE TECHNOLOGY HAS THE POTENTIAL to signi cantly improve how we learn project management, we must occasionally go back to rst principles and consider what we are actually teaching. In other words, we must take the time to consider what project management actually is. In a series of editorial articles in the Project Management Journal in 2006 and 2007, Christophe Bredillet explored the landscape and proposed nine schools of project management thought. e premise behind this series of articles is that of contingency theory, which has shown us that there is no 'one best way' to manage or think about projects. By de nition, every project is unique. If we consider the di erences between a constr uction project as compared to an information systems project or an organisational change project, we would all be quick to acknowledge that the tools, techniques and methods we use in each of these project types may be as di erent as the projects themselves. Projects also come in various shapes and sizes. erefore it is important that we examine the project management landscape from a number of di erent but complementary perspectives. 1The optimisation school e optimisation school is rst of the nine schools of project management thought proposed by Bredillet. is is the 'classic' project management perspective, which is founded upon the eld of operations research and early work that developed the critical path method and PERT (program evaluation and review technique), and was then enhanced through the more recent development of EVM (earned value management) techniques. e core premise of this school is the decomposition of work and detailed whole- of-lifecycle planning with a focus on control. Bredillet suggests that a key priority under this school is delivering the agreed scope on schedule within budget, and to the speci ed level of quality. is is by far the most dominant view of project management and is almost certainly the view taught by most education and training providers. 2The modelling school e second perspective focuses on the modelling of project management systems and the interactions among its components, using both hard and soft systems approaches. A key aspect of this school is recognising the high levels of uncertainty or complexity in projects. Project simulations t within this view. 3The governance school is school pursues what Bredillet indicates as three concurrent positions: the project as the interface between two legal entities, transaction costs associated with projects and the mechanism of governance in projects. Originating from a contractual perspective draw n from the construction and civil engineering industries, the governance school has more recently expanded to examine PMOs, regulatory compliance and project selection. 4The behaviour school This school considers the project as a social system in which various stakeholders operate. The focus is organisational behaviour, team building and leadership,
Project Manager Dec Jan 2013
Project Manager Apr May 2013