Managing Projects


** In preparation for the writing of this text, a review of the project management literature (Winch 2000a) identified five generic project management processes:

*Defining the project mission
*Mobilizing the resource base
*Riding the project life-cycle
*Leading the project coalition
*Maintaining the resource base

Chapter 1 – The Management of Construction Projects

1.1 Introduction

One of the principal ways in which modern societies generate new value is through projects which create physical assets that can then be exploited to achieve social and economic ends-factories for manufacturing goods, offices and shops for delivering services, hospitals for health care, and tunnels for transport.   ‘HBG’s core competence is the generation and management of information.’ 1

1.2   Projects as the creation of new value

All modern societies and economics are dynamic-the only certainty is change.   The fundamental inputs to the process are capital and human resources – capital resources to cover the costs of investment; human resources to transform ideas into reality.   The return on capital from the process is the profits taken out of the process by the participating firms.   The return on human resources is the learning that takes place, as problems are solved through the project life cycle.  

1.3   The project as an information processing system

All organizations are, in essence, information processing systems.   In order to function they must monitor their environment, take decisions, communicate their intentions, and ensure that what they intended to happen does happen.
The analogy of a river is useful here.   What is of interest in a river is the flow of water, which irrigates crops, provides a transport route, enables the generation of hydroelectric power and is a source of leisure and repose.   Yet it is through altering the banks that we shape the flow-dams and weirs create lakes and power; dykes and canals...