Look around: Project management surrounds you, from the streets underneath you to the buildings and bridges hovering over your head.
In fact, the use of basic project management principles is evident in almost every civilization, as far back as the pyramids of Egypt or the Great Wall of China, up to recent accomplishments, like the journey into space. The basics of project management are universal — making sure a project is done correctly, on time and within budget — ensuring every element of any undertaking is accomplished in step with the rest.
Without project management and, just as important, the project manager to oversee each step, projects as small as a house or as large as a major highway would collapse.
The role of the project manager is to plan every step of the way to make sure all the pieces come together, from materials and planning to coordination of all the people involved.
And coordination between all parties, from local departments to workers on a site, is just as important as coordination between stages of the actual project. Without it, chaos ensues.
One well-known example is Boston’s Big Dig, a megaproject designed to reroute traffic via a 3.5-mile tunnel under the city. Poor project management in the form of time overruns, cost overruns and poor planning made it the most expensive highway project in the U.S. The original cost estimate for the project was $2.6 billion. To date, the project has cost $14.79 billion and taken nearly two decades…
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