David J. Kearney

June 21, 2011

Project Management: A Story of Education, General Practice, and the Future

Filed under: e-Discovery,Litigation Support,Uncategorized — davidjkearney @ 6:02 pm

Even if you are not focused on becoming a project manager, a Certified Associate in Project Management, a Project Management Professional in your industry, or obtain a degree in project management, I have found that reading project management books, such as A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge; PMP Exam Prep, Sixth Edition: Rita’s Course in a Book for Passing the PMP Exam; and CAPM In Depth: Certified Associate in Project Management Study Guide for the CAPM Exam: Project Management Professional Study Guide for the CAPM Exam to be extremely valuable, if for nothing else, for the overall knowledge of project management.  Project Management is a very well organized process of both science and art that helps guide an individual through project management best practices.  I had an initial intention of just reading the PMBOK (A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge) for just the general overall knowledge, but once I began reading it I became more impressed and excited about the implications of using proper project management techniques.  At risk of sounding evangelical, I am kind of puzzled that more organizations do not see the value of following generally accepted project management practices.   I always thought I “managed projects” on the initiatives that I worked on, but the practices I followed were surely not to the caliber of the generally accepted project management principles found in the PMBOK.  Although the books that I have read are focused exclusively on the PMBOK and the Project Management Institute’s standards and processes, I find the discipline to be very insightful.

It did take me a couple of passes through the PMBOK to grasp all of the concepts, but I found once I understood the general concepts I conducted my own lessons learned and realized what I could have done if I knew then what I know now.  Project management not only focuses on Gantt charts and schedule & resource management, but in-depth planning, procurement, risk management, cost management, human resource management, research, communication, contract management, negotiating, and the use of tools and formulas to monitor and help guide a project.  Putting these concepts into practice can only enhance the management of a project, regardless of a planned “successful” outcome.  Putting these concepts into practice doesn’t necessarily guarantee a successful project, but may rather indicate if a project is worth continuing or is in need of a reinitialization/re-design.

Perhaps I am late-to-the-party or never fully appreciated project management in my past studies and roles, but the principles outlined in the PMBOK  are applicable to any industry or market.  Having read through multiple resources I am now preparing for the “entry-level” project management certification, the CAPM.  I have also joined the Project Management Institute organization (www.pmi.org) to gain even further insight into project management.  I am planning at this point to continue in the pursuit of the PMP certification.  Regardless of where my career takes me, the info I have gained will be extremely valuable.

Pick up a project management book today and help enhance your initiatives in the future.

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