1.1 What are some of the principal reasons why project management has become such a popular business tool in recent years?
1.2 What do you see as the primary challenges to introducing a project management philosophy in most organizations? That is, why is it difficult to shift to a project-based approach in many companies?
1.3 What are the advantages and disadvantages of using project management?
1.4 What key characteristics do all projects possess?
1.5 Describe the basic elements of a project life cycle. Why is an understanding of the life cycle relevant to our understanding of projects?
1.6 Think of both a successful project and an unsuccessful project with which you are familiar. What distinguishes the two, both in terms of the process used to develop them and their outcomes?
1.7 Consider the Expedition Everest case at the end of the chapter: what elements in Disney’s approach to developing its theme rides do you find particularly impressive? How can a firm like Disney balance the need for efficiency and smooth development of projects with the desire to be innovative and creative? Based on this case, what principles appear to guide its development process?
1.8 Consider the six criteria for successful IT projects. Why is IT project success often so difficult to assess? Make a case for some factors being more important than others.
1.9 As organizations seek to become better at managing projects, they often engage in benchmarking with other companies in similar industries. Discuss the concept of benchmarking. What are its goals? How does benchmarking work?
1.10 Explain the concept of a project management maturity model. What purpose does it serve?
1.11 Compare and contrast the four project management maturity models shown in Table 1.3. What strengths and weaknesses do you perceive in each of the models?
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