Synopses & Reviews
Why human skills and expertise, not technical tools, are what make projects succeed.
The project is the basic unit of work in many industries. Software applications, antiviral vaccines, launch-ready spacecraft: all were produced by a team and managed as a project. Project management emphasizes control, processes, and tools--but, according to The Smart Mission, that is not the right way to run a project. Human skills and expertise, not technical tools, are what make projects successful. Projects run on knowledge. This paradigm-shifting book--by three project management experts, all of whom have decades of experience at NASA and elsewhere--challenges the conventional wisdom on project management, focusing on the human dimension: learning, collaboration, teaming, communication, and culture.
The authors emphasize three themes: projects are fundamentally about how teams work and learn together to get things done; the local level--not an organization's upper levels--is where the action happens; and projects don't operate in a vacuum but exist within organizations that are responsible to stakeholders. Drawing on examples and case studies from NASA and other organizations, the authors identify three project models--micro, macro, and global--and their different knowledge needs. Successful organizations have a knowledge-based culture. Successful project management guides the interplay of knowledge, projects, and people.