THE aviation and aerospace industry has always been characterised by highly complex, even high risk undertakings. The outcome of these undertakings, or projects, is dependent on the availability of money, manpower, materials and time. Predicting the way in which these various factors interact requires powerful management tools and, for many years, the aircraft engineering and aerospace industry has used computerised planning and control systems. The most profusely used software tool is Artemis which accounts for 40% of the project management software systems in use throughout the world. Artemis was developed and marketed by Metier Management Systems, a former Lockheed company. The company is now a division of Lucas Industries plc and trades as Lucas Management Systems. Lucas is the first to point out, however, that effective project management does not end with acquisition of an appropriate software tool. Equally important is creating the right organisational structure in which project managers and all those participating in a project can perform most effectively. This is why Lucas has employed Dennis Archibald, not to sell project management systems but to educate all management levels in the discipline and methods of project management. In this article Dennis Archibald, who first encountered project management techniques as an RAF officer in the early 1970's, explains the importance of understanding project management methodologies, irrespective of the software tools which may be either in use or under consideration.
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