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Project Management: A Managerial Approach, 8th Edition by Samuel J. Mantel Jr., Jack R. Meredith

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CHAPTER 2

Strategic Management and Project Selection

More and more, the accomplishment of important tasks and goals in organizations today is being achieved through the use of projects. The phrases we hear and read about daily at our work and in conversations with our colleagues, such as “management by projects” and “project management maturity,” reflect this increasing trend in our society. The explosively rapid adoption of such a powerful tool as project management to help organizations achieve their goals and objectives is certainly awesome. In addition to project management's great utility when correctly used, however, its utility has also led to many misapplications. As noted by one set of scholars (Cleland et al., 1983, p. 155), the rapid adoption of project management means:

  • there are many projects that fall outside the organization's stated mission;
  • there are many projects being conducted that are completely unrelated to the strategy and goals of the organization; and
  • there are many projects with funding levels that are excessive relative to their expected benefits.

What was true 30 years ago, is still true today.

In addition to the growth in the number of organizations adopting project management, there is also accelerating growth in the number of multiple, simultaneous, and often interrelated projects in organizations. Thus, the issue naturally arises as to how one manages all these projects. Are they all really projects? (It has been suggested that perhaps up to ...

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