Home
About Us
Site Map
Products
Services
PMP® Certification
PM Tips & Tricks
PM Tools & Techniques
Links
Contact Us
BLOG

 

 

Remarkable Project Managers

Throughout the ages there have been project managers who, through their flare for organizing work, drive, and leadership, have led some of the world’s most remarkable achievements. What do the achievements of these outstanding individuals have to do with Project Management Tips? Most of the techniques and tricks these famous people used can be scaled down and adapted to almost any project, in any industry. The single most outstanding feature these people share is their leadership abilities. That ability is what facilitated their accomplishments and despite the variety of disciplines these people found themselves in, their leadership attributes brought them to the fore of their profession. In this series of articles, I attempt to describe their accomplishments and the methods they used to achieve them, in project management terms. I then analyze these methods and relate them to the best practices defined by the PMBOK ®

General Leslie Groves:
The first Project Manager we will study is General Leslie Groves. General Groves was the project manager for the Manhattan project and although his rank in the army was General, he was put in charge of the project because of his proven project management abilities. People most often think of the brilliant scientists, such as Robert Oppenheimer, whose scientific contributions made the atomic bomb possible, when they think of the Manhattan project but without the leadership of Groves the project would have failed. This article describes his accomplishments, his methods, and how we can adapt them to our projects.

The Roeblings:
One of the most recognizable sites in New York city is the Brooklyn Bridge. It is featured in folklore (being sold the Brooklyn Bridge is probably the benchmark for gullibility), and legend (Steve Brodie jumps off the bridge into the East River to win a $200 bet) but perhaps it should be best known for the effect it had on the borough of Manhattan. Up to that point, commuters were dependent on ferries to travel from the suburbs of New York to the business district of Manhattan. The Brooklyn Bridge paved the way for Manhattan's growth. Without it Manhattan wouldn't be the financial center of America. A father and son team of engineers and builders, the Roeblings, were project managers for the bridge. This article describes their engineering and managerial feats and suggests ways we can adapt their methods to our projects.

Frank Crowe:
The Hoover Dam, or Boulder Dam, is another famous American landmark. It is an awe inspiring site because of its size and symmetry and changed the face of California and Nevada. Without the hydro electricity the dam provides, the cities of Los Angeles and Las Vegas wouldn't be possible. The project not only overcame the physical challenges that the terrain, heat, and Colorado River presented, it pioneered construction methods that would benefit future projects. Frank Crowe was the forceful personality who bullied and forced the project to a successful conclusion. Read about this remarkable project manager and his motto "Never belly to desk" in this article. The article describes how the methods that Frank Crowe used to complete his project under budget and ahead of schedule can be used to benefit our projects.

General George S. Patton:
This article is a bit of a departure from the pattern in that no-one that I'm aware of has ever called the General a project manager before and perhaps treating him as one, as I do in this article, is a bit of a stretch. I've written about his most famous campaign, the Battle of the Bulge, and treat the campaign as a project. The campaign meets the criteria for a project: it had a start date and end date, it delivered a unique product or service, and it was performed by a project team with a leader. Most of the methods that General Patton used to win this battle fall into the leadership category, but Patton displayed them in spades. The article describes the battle, General Patton's strategies and relates his methods to the project management profession.

Gustave Eiffel:
Gustave Eiffel is another project manager from the building/construction industry. Gustave Eiffel may not be a household name but his crowning achievement, the Eiffel Tower, certainly is. Gustave is another in a series of project managers who overcame long odds and doubts about the feasibility (and desirability) of his project. In proving his doubters wrong, Eiffel not only set a very aggressive schedule for his project, 2 years to build the tower, but succeeded in beating it. The project's deliverable was a tower which has come to personify the beauty and charm of the city of Paris. This article describes Eiffel's accomplishments, his methods, and relates those methods to the project management profession.

The tips and tricks described in these articles implement some of the best practices promoted by the PMI (Project Management Institute). These are taught in most PMP® courses and other PMP® exam preparation training products. If you haven't been certified as a PMP® (Project Management Professional) by the PMI and would like to learn more about certification, visit our PMP® certification web pages. three O Project Solutions also offers a downloadable software based training tool that has prepared project managers around the world to pass their certification exams. For more information about this product, AceIt, visit our AceIt web pages.