This is another excerpt form PM Network. The article entitled "Project Management: How Much is Enough?" was authored by John Byrne and appeared in the February 1999 issue. Mr. Byrne's background is in construction projects, but his observations are applicable in Information Systems as well. Here are some highlights.

The author suggests that typical project management costs will be 9 to 15 percent of the total project cost. He then shares the following perspectives.

"The level of project management on small projects needs to be kept to a minimum -utilize a concise scope of work, a milestone schedule, and a limited number of accounts for budgeting and tracking purposes. It is unlikely that a small project can justify support from the project controls group (i.e. project office).

"On medium-sized projects a higher degree of project management can be justified. After all, the company is funding a project that will require a larger monetary outlay with increased risks. The project manager may only have limited, if any, responsibilities outside his or her normal roles and responsibilities. A limited amount of support form the project controls staff may also be effective for medium-sized projects.

"On large projects the project manager may have a dedicated staff to support the project, including one or more people from project controls, possibly a project coordinator, and administrative or clerical support. The stakes continue to rise as the size of the project increases in cost and complexity. Scopes, schedules, and budgets will likely increase in complexity as the dollars increase; however, they do not necessarily have to increase proportionally. They can be efficient and effective at the same time.

"These guidelines are by no means absolute, but can provide a project manager with some targets to keep project management costs reasonable. Nevertheless, projects may have specific challenges that can skew the norm.

"The BOTTOM LINE is that project management and its associated costs should add value to the project. Too much and you're making the project more complicated than it needs to be; too little and you may end up wasting dollars due to a lack of proper planning. As Albert Einstein once wrote, 'Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler.' As project managers, it is our responsibility to find the right level of project management -- a level that adds value in our minds and the minds of our customers."

(Byrne, John "Project Management: How Much is Enough?", PM Network, February 1999, pp. 49-52.)