Conception of Project Management Is Book Report

Excerpt from Book Report :

1)" Yuen 10. However, in order to consistently be successful in this profession and in the completion of projects, there is a significant more amount of consideration and work to be done within this field. These additional considerations form an indelible component of the present research, which has stratified these concerns in ways that are germane to the proper implementation of project management, and which should not merely focus on the abilities of an individual (such as a project manager), but include a gestalt of "knowledge and skills from the areas of expertise of "project environments," "general management skills," and "Knowledge of the application area" (Yuen 386), that are "a deliberate orchestration of all these areas of expertise to complete a project."

By analyzing what these different environment areas were in previous centuries for the completion of successful projects in Europe and the Near East, the research contained within this paper delineates specific components that are influential in the conducting of contemporary project management. Subsequently, what is traditionally viewed as the application of the particular skills at the disposal of an individual and whatever particular organization he is involved with, is instead codified into a much greater spectrum that encompasses disparate aspects of one's cultural environment, scientific environment and economic environment, which are determined and used in conjunction with skills and concepts of general management as well as those germane to application areas -- which in this research consists of architectural principles, construction technology, and the master builder tradition. Quite naturally application areas will vary for specific project managers and their particular projects, but simply by understanding the way the research in this study is presented, other project management professionals will be able to find a correlation between the application areas in this research and those that relate to their own projects.

The importance of the disparate project environments -- "namely the cultural, social, political, economic and scientific environments" (Yuen 386) -- to the effectiveness and the successful completion of such projects is repeatedly demonstrated within this research paper with the erection of monuments, some of which are still existent today. However, there are fundamental academic principles of project management, as they are taught and implemented within contemporary society, that are also elucidated within this study and that are of immense interest to professionals within this line of work. In many ways, one may consider the cultural and social environments of a project as vital to its accomplishment, since, "Project activities are undertaken within various economic, demographic, educational, ethical, ethnic, and religious contexts, all of which need to be appreciated by the project team" (Yuen 25).

The relevance of the cultural and social environments to a particular project is demonstrated in its completion. For example, it would be impossible to distinguish the social and cultural environment that spawned the Hagia Sophia, which was originally created in the sixth century a.D. And is still existent today, from the zeitgeist that spawned its creation. The stability of the Byzantine society that would be reflected within this enduring testament to the efficacy of project management was financed by a stable principle of economics that relied upon trade, since the empire was located within a nexus of important civilizations during this time period. As a direct result of this degree of affluence, Byzantium was highly accomplished in areas of science and other cultural aesthetics -- including law and classical music -- all of which were responsible for the culture that defined this epoch and played an intrinsic part in the relatively swift management of the completion of the Hagia Sophia, which the following quotation denotes. "Byzantine scientists actively put mathematics into practice, continuing the efforts of the ancient Greeks. In the field of architecture, early Byzantium watched Anthemius of Tralles and Isidore of Miletus construct the Hagia Sophia church using mathematical formulae" (Yuen 43).

The cultural and social environment that engendered this enduring monument (that is today used as a museum) was integral to the effectiveness of the management of this particular project. What were fairly essential to the management of the application area of this project was the numerous innovations in construction technology and techniques that were able to fuel the rapid erection of the Hagia Sophia. The cultural environment of relative affluence and developments in aesthetics were manifested in the Hagia Sophia's circular dome, the usage of which was largely pioneered during the Byzantine time period from, as well as its "innovative use of penditives, which are curved triangles supported by half-dome masonry" (Yuen 60). These innovations in the application areas of the Hagia Sophia as a project were the direct result of the surrounding culture that fostered innovations in a number of other areas and was fuelled by solid economic support. Therefore, the relevance of this example to the field of project management is evident: contemporary organizations should strive to create or participate in an expansive culture that is progressive and conducive to many of the formal principles of the contemporary science of project management -- such as "the five project management process groups" of "initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, and controlling and closing (ch 3)" (Yuen 21).

Another aspect of this study that is immensely relevant to the field of project management as it is widely regarded today is its examination of the various conceptions and techniques associated with general management in a historical context spanning a period of over 1,000 years. The value of this aspect of the research of this study to project management should not be underestimated, primarily because "General management is an area of expertise of project management; it represents the organisational and interpersonal skills to get projects done. It is the skill that determines how resources are allocated and optimised. It is the foundation of project management skills" (Yuen 255). Subsequently, general management was one of the key areas of research for this particular study. One of the key findings of this study that should definitely be incorporated into contemporary project management methods is the fact that "the understanding of managerial techniques varies from culture to culture" (Yuen 256).

Given the emphasis on culture that both historical and contemporary organizations placed on culture, the fact that managerial techniques differ between cultures, and may actually reflect those cultures, is a fairly important component of project management. To that end, this study demonstrates that a static conception and implementation of project management would never be effective when used within different time periods and cultures, as a brief examination of some of the findings produced by the different epoch considered in this study prove. The management techniques responsible for the building of much of the Crusade architecture, which was centred around defence and a culture in which armed conflict was a reality, would more than likely not have produced the vast, aesthetically and culturally pleasing mosques that were endemic of the Islamic Golden Age time period.

In fact, it is interesting to note how many of the historical practices of management that were used during the Muslim epoch analysed within this study, which took place from the eight to the 13th centuries, are a direct result of, and are enmeshed with, many of the cultural values that were existent at the time. In a society that was certainly religious, the principle form of management was filtered from Allah to relationships between the government and citizens, supervisor and employees, that was best illustrated by Al-Ghazali's Nasihat, which contended that "good leadership was a sacred duty and pleased God if executed correctly. In order to provide effective leadership, the leader must establish a model of right or moral conduct and be kept informed regarding any information that might affect his management of the empire. This reinforced the connection between moral conduct and effective management" (Yuen 259). These standards, of course, were also applied to the management of the creation of such noteworthy construction projects as the Great Mosque of Kairouan.

Furthermore, it is interesting to note how similar the tenets of management that were used during the Muslim time period studied in this research are to the interpersonal skills that are essential to aspects of project management as it is viewed today. There is a definite moral component to the leadership and motivation consideration of these skills, the latter of which is principally employed for "empowering people to perform to the best of their ability and to overcome obstacles as they arise" (Yuen 25). The exhibition of solid ethics and moral behaviour serves to create effective leadership as well as motivate individuals to perform their tasks, which is central to the concepts of both project management and management in general. The research performed within this paper traces the genealogy of such ideas of general management, which are vital to project management as a whole. Therefore,…

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