Public-Sector Project Management: Meeting the Challenges and Achieving Results
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More About This Title Public-Sector Project Management: Meeting the Challenges and Achieving Results



There may be no simple formula for success in public-sector projects, but Public-Sector Project Management delivers the next best thing: a complete set of skill-building strategies that puts success well within your reach.

Building on industry standards and best practices as well as almost thirty years of public-sector experience, this definitive sourcebook clearly explains how to manage projects in the public sector and navigate their many challenges. Here is where you'll find all the tools to accomplish your goals for any public-sector project, whether you are overseeing military and security operations, the construction of public infrastructure, improving agency processes, deploying new systems or public programs, or any other public initiative.

The book describes both the obstacles and basic processes of public-sector project management and examines the differences between public-sector and private-sector projects, including the management of the wide array of public-sector stakeholders. Public-Sector Project Management is your comprehensive professional template for making a positive contribution to your agency or organization. Inside, you'll find:

  • Expert guidance consistent with project management best practices
  • In-depth coverage of public-sector constraints, including purchasing systems, legal mandates, political and media oversight, and complex rules and processes
  • Specific strategies to enhance the management capability of public-sector managers and private-sector project managers working under government contracts
  • Emphasis on the role of planning in managing customer, manager, and project team expectations, and coping with the overlapping systems of constraints that impede public-sector projects
  • Techniques for managing contractors and vendors
  • Tools for managing the complexity inherent in most public-sector projects
  • Insightful case studies of notable and historic public-sector projects; chapter-ending discussion questions and exercises; numerous tables and figures; and key terms in the glossary


DAVID W. WIRICK, PMP, CMA, is a Visiting Scholar, John Glenn School of Public Affairs, Ohio State University, and is Principal at Kreider-Wirick, LLC.


Preface xi

Objectives xii

Outline of the Book xiv

The Great Pyramid of Giza xvii

1 The Challenges of Public-Sector Project Management and the Coming Storm 1

The Distinguishing Characteristics of the Public Sector 1

The Challenges of Public-Sector Project Management 8

The Coming Storm 9

New Tools for Public-Sector Managers in the New Economy 12

Discussion Questions 13

Exercise 14

Project Apollo 14

2 The Foundations of Public-Sector Project Management 17

The Problem with Projects 17

Why Do Public-Sector Projects Fail? 18

The Good News about Projects and Project Management Standards 19

The Value of Project Management to a Public-Sector Organization 21

The Downside of Project Management 23

The Critical Success Factors for Public-Sector Projects 24

Project Management Maturity Models in the Public Sector 25

Scaling Project Management Methods 26

The Use of Software for Project Management 28

Discussion Questions 29

Exercises 29

The Creation of The Peace Corps 29

3 The Framework for Managing Public-Sector Projects 31

The Project Management Framework for Public Projects 31

Grouping Projects for Better Management 32

Breaking Projects into Components 33

Project Process Groups 36

Project Management Knowledge Areas 42

The Triple-Constraint Model 42

Project Processes 43

Applying Project Functions and Processes for Public-Sector Projects 47

The Necessary Skills for Public-Sector Project Managers 52

Discussion Questions 53

Exercises 53

The Marshall Plan 54

4 Project Integration 57

Public-Sector Project Integration: Wrestling with the Octopus 57

Overview of the Necessary Functions for Public-Sector Project Integration 59

Best Practices for Public-Sector Project Integration 70

Discussion Questions 70

Exercises 71

Electing a Candidate 71

5 Managing Project Scope 73

Project Scope Management 73

The Challenges of Scope Management for Public-Sector Projects 74

The Two Roles of Project Scope 77

The Required Functions for Public-Sector Project Scope Management 78

Best Practices for Managing Public-Sector Project Scope 85

Discussion Questions 86

Exercises 86

Projects for Improving Public-Sector Processes 87

6 Managing Project Time 89

The Challenges of Project Time Management in the Public Sector 89

The Required Functions for Public-Sector Project Time Management 90

Best Practices in Public-Sector Project Time Management 103

Discussion Questions 104

Exercises 104

The FBI’s VCF Project 105

7 Managing Project Cost 107

The Challenges of Public-Sector Cost Management 107

Project Selection and Prioritization 109

Required Functions for Managing Public-Sector Project Costs 111

Earned-Value Management of Public-Sector Projects 121

Best Practices in Public-Sector Project Cost Management 123

Discussion Questions 123

Exercises 124

Turning on the Lights in the Country 125

8 Managing Project Quality 127

The Basics of Project Quality Management 127

The Challenges of Public-Sector Project Quality Management 128

The Functions Required for Public-Sector Project Quality Management 129

Lean Government as a Tool for Quality Improvement 132

Managing Project Requirements 134

Best Practices in the Management of Quality in Public-Sector Projects 139

Discussion Questions 139

Exercises 140

The Allied D-Day Invasion of June 1944 140

9 Managing Project Human Resources 143

The Challenges of Human Resource Management in Public-Sector Projects 143

The Required Functions for Public-Sector Human Resource Project Management 144

Strategies for Managing Human Resources in Public-Sector Projects 152

Public-Sector Leadership 153

Best Practices for Human Resource Management in Public-Sector Projects 154

Discussion Questions 155

Exercises 156

Rebuilding Greensburg ‘‘Green’’ 157

10 Managing Project Communications 159

The Challenges of Project Communications in Public-Sector Projects 160

The Functions Required for Public-Sector Project Communications Management 162

Best Practices in Public-Sector Project Communications Management 172

Discussion Questions 172

Exercises 173

The Manhattan Project 173

11 Managing Project Risk 175

The Challenges of Managing Risks in Public-Sector Projects 175

The Required Functions for Public-Sector Project Risk Management 178

Best Practices for Public-Sector Project Risk Management 193

Discussion Questions 194

Exercises 195

Closing Willowbrook 195

12 Managing Project Procurement and Vendors 197

The Necessary Functions of Public-Sector Project Procurement Management 198

The New Demands on Managers and New Tools for Managers 211

The Differences Among Activities, Outputs, and Outcomes 212

The Challenges of Outcome Management for Contractors and Vendors 215

Performance Management 216

Managing the Cultural Changes Necessary for Successfully Managing Vendors 217

The Legal Framework for Outsourcing Project Products and Services to Vendors 218

Managing Changes and Expectations in the Vendor Relationship 224

Best Practices for Public-Sector Project Procurement Management 225

Discussion Questions 226

Exercises 227

The Construction and Reconstruction of the Panama Canal 228

13 Managing Complexity and Chaos in Public-Sector Projects 231

The Role of Complexity and Chaos in Public-Sector Projects 231

Modern Insights into Chaos, Complexity, and Turbulence 232

The Challenges of Chaos and Complexity for Projects and the Recognition of the Limits of Certainty 234

Factors Creating Complexity in the Project Environment 239

Three Supplementary Methods for Managing Chaos and Complexity in Projects 240

Concluding Comments on Chaos and Complexity in Projects 248

Discussion Questions 249

Exercises 250

Glossary 251

Index 267