Project management by Dennis Lock

By Dennis Lock

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They occasionally result in dramatically profitable discoveries. On the other hand, they can consume vast amounts of money over many years, yet yield no practical or economic result. Research projects carry the highest risk because they attempt to extend the boundaries of current human knowledge. The project objectives are usually difficult or impossible to define and there may be no awareness of the possible outcome. Therefore, pure research projects are not usually amenable to the project management methods that can be applied to industrial, manufacturing or management projects.

The investor must know how the money will be spent and what benefits can be expected in return. The contracting organization needs to know for what it is bidding and what its commitments would be in the event of signing the contract. The manager of an internal IT or management change project cannot be expected to carry it out successfully if the requirements are not adequately defined in a project charter or specification. PROJECTS WHICH ARE DIFFICULT OR IMPOSSIBLE TO DEFINE This book generally takes a deterministic approach, which begins with the assumption that project objectives can be agreed early in the life history, well before the project enters its execution stages.

This procedure, where continued project funding is dependent upon the outcome of regular reviews, is known as stage-gate control. Although the research activities might themselves lie outside the scope of familiar project management methods, the provision of accommodation, communications, equipment and research materials might well constitute Type 1, 2 or 3 capital investment projects to which proper project management can and must be applied. PROJECT LIFE CYCLES AND LIFE HISTORIES Some projects come into being gradually, and others fade out slowly, so that their precise beginning and end dates can be difficult to recognize.

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