Harold Kerzner

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Harold Kerzner (born ca 1940) is an American engineer, management consultant, and Emeritus Professor of Systems Management, known for his work in the field of project management, strategic planning and total quality management.



Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling (1979)

Harold Kerzner (1979). Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling New York : Van Nostrand Reinhold. (2e ed, 1984,... 11e ed. 2013)
  • There are always “class or prestige” gaps between various levels of management. There are also functional gaps between working units of the organization. If we superimpose the management gaps on top of the functional gaps, we find that companies are made up of small operational islands that refuse to communicate with one another for fear that giving up information may strengthen their opponents. The {[w|project manager}}’s responsibility is to get these islands to communicate cross-functionally toward common goals and objectives.
    • p. 4 (2e ed. 1984)
  • The project manager’s job is not an easy one. Project managers may have increasing responsibility, but very little authority. This lack of authority can force them to “negotiate” with upper-level management as well as functional management for control of company resources. They may often be treated as outsiders by the formal organization.
    • p. 10 (2e ed. 1984) partly cited in: Frederick Betz (2011) Managing Technological Innovation. p. 172
  • There is no such thing as a good or bad organizational structure; there are only appropriate or inappropriate ones.
    • p. 93 (2e ed. 1984) cited in: Susan Freese (1989) Child sexual abuse: impact and aftershocks. p. 130 - Pagina 190
  • If these responsibilities were applied to the total organization, they might reflect the job description of the general manager. This analogy between project and general managers is one of the reasons why future general managers are asked to perform functions that are implied, rather than spelled out, in the job description.
    • p. 95-96 (1e ed. 1979) cited in: Howard G. Birnberg (1992) New directions in architectural and engineering practice. p. 192

Project management for executives (1982)

Harold Kerzner (1982) Project management for executives.
  • The acceptance of project management has not been easy, however. Many executives are not willing to accept change and are inflexible when it comes to adapting to a different environment.
    • p. 2
  • Project management has long been discussed by corporate executives and academics as one of several workable possibilities for organizational forms of the future that could integrate complex efforts and reduce bureaucracy.... This approach does not really destroy the vertical, bureaucratic flow of work but simply requires that line organizations talk to the other horizontally so work will be accomplished more smoothly throughout the organization
    • p. 2
  • Today, the concept behind project management is being applied in such diverse industries and organizations as defense, construction, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, banking, hospitals, accounting, advertising, law, state and local governments, and the United Nations.
    • p. 2
  • Project management is the planning, organizing, directing, and controlling of company resources for a relatively short-term objective that has been established to complete specific goals and objectives. Furthermore, project management utilises the systems approach to management by having functional personnel (the vertical hierarchy) assigned to a specific project (the horizontal hierarchy).
    • p. 3

In search of excellence in project management (1998)

Harold Kerzner (1998) In search of excellence in project management: successful practices in high performance organizations. Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1 feb. 1998
  • As contractors began to understand project management better and stronger cost control became a requirement, the definition of success changed. Success came to be defined as accomplishing the effort on time, within budget, and at an acceptable level of quality.
    • p. 24
  • Today, excellent companies realize that project failures have more to do with behavioral shortcomings — poor employee morale, negative human relations, low productivity, and lack of commitment.
    • p. 209

Quotes about Harold Kerzner

  • With over 35 years experience, Dr. Harold Kerzner is widely regarded as "the master of project management." He has published a number of best-selling books, including Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling, and has taught and consulted extensively.
    • American Production and Inventory Control Society (2001) APICS, the performance advantage. Vol. 11. p. 128
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