Book: Project Management Demystified
When my old grandfather came back from a long night watching over
the local sardine factory he would often say ‘You can never do well as
a nightwatchman, my boy’. It took many years of hearing this seven
times a week before I realized what he meant. If he did his nightwatchman
job perfectly by staying awake all night, if no one broke in
and there were no fires the result was that no one took any notice of
him at all. One little problem, a minor break in, and he was to blame.
He could easily do badly, he could never do well. He only got noticed
if something went wrong.
Project management is a lot like that. The perfect project manager
uses all the right techniques and tools to avoid problems so that nothing
surprising happens and the project comes out well. No one, of
course, takes any notice of the manager who achieved all that. Every
problem, every delay, every overspend and everyone points the fickle
finger of blame at the project manager.
For this reason Project Management Demystified aims to achieve two
things. Firstly, you will get a peek into the project management toolbox
– you will learn about critical path analysis, work breakdown
structures, team building, cost control and a whole host of other simple,
common sense techniques that help people bring projects in on
time and to budget.
Successful projects do not always mean successful project managers,
so the second aim of this book is to make you aware of
opportunities to blow your own trumpet. It tells you how to make sure
people recognize what a great project management person you really
You might be a manager, an engineer, a scientist or a student who
thinks that project management has something to offer. You might
have just been promoted to project manager when your boss dropped
a project management software package in your lap. If you are in any
of these categories read on, run good projects and have a successful
By the way, my grandfather was a tailor.