By R. Max Wideman A E W Services, Vancouver, B.C., Canada This paper was printed as Chapter 5 in the GPM state-of-the-art book Dimensions of Project Management edited by H. Reschke & H. Schelle and published by Springer-Verlag in 1990. The book involved 29 authors from 16 countries and was assembled in honor of Roland W. Gutsch's 65th birthday. Roland, a personalfriend, was founder and long-time leader of the International Project Management Association in Europe. Abstract Today's technological disciplines responsible for new facility and infrastructural projects are now becoming seriously attuned to the idea of concern for the physical environment. Certainly, the project managers of such projects need to be similarly aware of these concerns and managetheir projects accordingly. This applies to both the project's long term impacts arising out of the project's conceptual formulation, as well as its shorter term construction impacts arising during execution. However, today's project manager also needs to be attuned to the cultural, organizational and social environments surrounding the project. Understanding this environment includes identifyingthe project stakeholders and their ability to affect its successful outcome. This leads to the possibility of influencing this environment in a positive way, for the better reception of the change which the project is designed to introduce. Thus, the influencable risks involved may be significantly reduced, and failure to take such an approach will inevitably lead to a less than satisfactoryoutcome. This chapter discusses various aspects of the project environment, and suggests ways in which it may be influenced in order to increase the probability of a successful outcome. Introduction Why worry about the project environment, when the objective of project management is to get the project completed within scope, cost and schedule? The truth is that if the real objective is to end up with asuccessful project, then important though these criteria are, they are not the ultimate determinants of success. Heresy? Perhaps. But success, a very elusive notion at best, is dependent upon satisfying the customers. In the last analysis, the test of effective project management is the degree to which the project objectives have been accomplished on time and within budget to the satisfaction ofthe customers. The Project Management Institute, a non-profit organization based in North America, has broadened this concept by defining project management as: "The art of directing and coordinating human and material resources throughout the life of a project by using modern management techniques to achieve predetermined objectives of scope, quality, time, cost
AEW Services, Vancouver, BC ©1990, 2001 Email: email@example.com
Managing the Project Environment
Page 2 of 16
and participant [stakeholder] satisfaction." Note the reference to "participant satisfaction". Thus, the degree of success of a project may be said to reflect the combined degree of satisfaction of all the participants, customers or stakeholders. Where construction projects are concerned, the stakeholders areusually many and various, frequently with opposing interests. Indeed, the cynic might say that the most successful project is one in which all the stakeholders are about equally dissatisfied! These stakeholders may participate in the project directly or indirectly, closely or remotely, and collectively their attitudes, understandings, or particular vested interests, all contribute to theenvironment in which a project is created. This environment can and needs to be managed just as surely as every other aspect of the project can be managed towards success. What is the project environment? Today, there is a growing awareness and concern for the impact of infrastructure and facility construction on the physical environment. Fortunately, today's technological disciplines responsible for...