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Executive's Guide to Project Management: Organizational Processes and Practices for Supporting Complex Projects by Robert K. Wysocki

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Traditional Project Management

Testimonial data that I have gathered from over 10,000 project managers worldwide suggests that not more than 20% of all projects require some form of traditional project management (TPM) approach. TPM is the first and oldest of all the approaches. Modern TPM dates from the mid-1950s. The engineering and construction industries use TPM approaches almost exclusively. The waterfall systems development model and some of its variations are also based on TPM. The Project Management Institute (PMI) Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) is also based on those traditional models. The two models discussed in the following sections are special cases of the TPM approach.

Linear PMLC Models

Every PMLC Model discussed in this book comprises five processes:

  • Scope
  • Plan
  • Launch
  • Monitor and control
  • Close

Let's start with the simplest TPM approach—the Linear PMLC Model. Figure 2.2 illustrates the linear approach to project management.

Figure 2.2 Linear PMLC Model

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Note that in the Linear PMLC Model the five processes are each executed once in the order shown in the figure. There is no looping back to repeat a process based on learning from a later process. This is a major weakness of all Linear PMLC Models in that knowledge gained from one process, such as Launch, cannot be used to revise and improve the deliverables from a previously completed process, such ...

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