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Introduction to Project Management Fast Track Management Guide: Š MBA 2007

Mark Butcher

An MBA Fast Track Management Guide


Introduction to Project Management Fast Track Management Guide: © MBA 2007

Contents Introduction


What is ‘Project Management’?


What do we mean by ‘Project’?


Part 1. Designing the project


Establishing purpose


Establishing risk


Clarify outcomes


Getting the job done – who must do what


Getting the job done – skills, talents and people






Timetabling, scheduling and sequencing


Part 2. Delivering the project


Managing quality


Monitoring progress


Managing the team


Part 3. Developing your project


Learn from your experience and write it up


Manage change


Refine your process


Project management reading list


About the author



Introduction to Project Management Fast Track Management Guide: © MBA 2007

Introduction About MBA

MBA, based in Newcastle upon Tyne, is one of the U.K.'s leading providers of training, consultancy and information to voluntary, community and statutory sector organisations. In the past 14 years we have worked with hundreds of organisations across Europe, Africa and the U.S.A. including the National Trust in London, the European Cultural Foundation in Amsterdam and the Carmichael Centre in Dublin. Our mission is to enable not-for-profit organisations and the individuals within them to exceed expectations and operate at a higher level.

About MBA Fast Track Management Guides Each Fast Track Guide is designed to give you a quick overview of a specific management issue, covering all of the points and issues.

Other titles in the series include: 

21 Ways to Manage Your Time

The 10 Golden Rules of Not-for-Profit Marketing

Peak Performance

The Magic Circle – Strategic Planning for Nonprofits

Influencing and Negotiating Skills

High Impact Presentation Skills

Leading Your Team

Improve Your Fundraising

Did you know? By joining MBA’s Online Membership Programme, you would gain access to four of our Fast Track Management Guides, hundreds of other management resources (the Knowledge Bank) and our monthly fundraising bulletin. Visit our web-site for more information (


Introduction to Project Management Fast Track Management Guide: Š MBA 2007

About this Management Guide There are two ways to benefit from this publication. You can read it from cover to cover (we have kept it nice and short to help you). This will give you access to all of the key ideas, themes and issues related to the subject.

If you have more time though, you can work through the exercises, apply the learning to your own organisation and share your thinking with colleagues. Although this will demand more time, we strongly believe it will give you better results and real solutions to your specific challenges.

Taking your learning further You can find full details of the publications, training, consultancy services and information resources available from MBA Consulting at .

ŠMBA 2007. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without permission. The contents must not be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated in any form, by way of trade or otherwise. Please feel free however to print hard copies for internal use within your organisation or team. Tel: 0191 226 7304/6


Introduction to Project Management Fast Track Management Guide: © MBA 2007

What is ‘project management’?

Project management has been around for centuries. From the pyramids to the ‘D’ Day landings, from the construction of St Paul’s

development and co-ordination of a major relief

Cathedral to the building of the Panama Canal,

operation in response to a natural disaster) many of

history is filled with massive projects which could

us will face daunting challenges which the formal

not have been accomplished without a clear plan

discipline of project management can help to

and controlled management. Project management

simplify and bring to a successful conclusion. The

is today widely used in the private, statutory and

NSPCC’s Full Stop Campaign, The Wishing Well

voluntary sectors and is recognised as a complex

Appeal, and Sense’s campaign to have

technical discipline using a variety of formal

deafblindness officially recognised as a disability by

planning, management, control and monitoring

the European Parliament – all would have been

tools. Many of these tools came about as a result of

likely to fail if it were not for some significant degree

the programme to develop the Polaris Missile

of project management input. In fact every

System in the 50s and 60s. This massive effort to

fundraising event, campaign or open-day that gets

coordinate an incredibly complex project involving

organised each year by thousands of village hall

many separate technical specialisms was the

committees, community centre trustees and

moment when Project Management became

charitable managers draws on some of the tools we

recognisable as the formal discipline it is today.

will discuss in this Fast Track Guide.

A sceptic may argue that setting up a visiting service for older people or launching a telephone helpline for families in distress are hardly projects of the same order of complexity as a major feat of engineering prowess or military planning such as those mentioned above. So do we really need formal project management tools? The answer is yes! Although few of us will be involved in a truly labyrinthine effort in our careers (such as the


Introduction to Project Management Fast Track Management Guide: Š MBA 2007

What do we mean by ‘Project’?

Have you ever moved house? Organised a

There are clearly delineated (and usually limited)

wedding? Or invited 6 friends for dinner? If so you

resources, in the form of people, money,

are a project manager! All of these examples have

information or materials, involved in the delivery of

a number of things in common:

the work.

they have a definite start and finish.

they entail thinking about a number of

It is timelimited, with a defined start and end.

activities at the same time and juggling priorities. 

there are desirable and measurable outcomes attached.

What can go wrong?

there is a clearly defined sequence of tasks and some are dependent on the completion

There are many things that can go wrong with

of others before they can be attempted.

projects. We think that some of the more common

there are usually budget constraints.

problems are caused by:

they are stressful.

they are likely to be a disaster if no

planning takes place!

Projects being dumped on top of an existing workload, without appropriate consultation.

Broadly it is fair to say that a piece of work can be

New relationships not being managed well.

viewed as a project as opposed to the ongoing

No clear lines of authority.

activity of your organisation if:

Not everyone in the organisation seeing the project as important.

A clearly defined product or result will be brought

Vague objectives.

into being as a result of the work.

Vague roles and responsibilities.

Unrealistic schedules.

Unforeseen activities/workload.

Weak leadership.

A focus on activity, rather than results.


Introduction to Project Management Fast Track Management Guide  

This Fast Track Management E-book is designed to give you the tools and approaches you need to get your project right, avoid problems on rou...

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