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Hollywood Secrets of Project Management Success by James Persse

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Chapter 5. Time Box the Projects

The kinds of stories we usually hear when people want to beat up on project management are the really big catastrophes: huge failures in large organizations that cost the stockholders (or taxpayers) billions of dollars. Actual statistics that tout outrageous overruns—schedule overages at 222 percent, say, or budget overruns at 330 percent—usually can be traced back to projects that had two traits in common: (1) big vision and (2) very little detail.

The irony is that this lethal combination is most often not the fault of project management, at least not at the line level. The culprit in such cases is higher-level management in allowing the intake of open-ended projects, projects that come in unbounded or unformed. ...

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