Taming the Long List of Industry Sectors
Work and workers
As noted earlier, there have been numerous attempts to segregate industry sectors
into some meaningful groupings, often for a variety of different purposes. In
our case, we are interested in the style of management most suited to different
types of project. Here, for this Glossary exercise, we may turn to the conclusions
reached in the paper: Toward a Fundamental Differentiation between Project
Types. The basic premise of this
paper is simple:
For a project to be successful, different types of project work, associated with different types of product, need to be managed differently.
For example, it is perceived wisdom that trying to manage a software development project like you would manage the design and construction of a high-rise building would not produce the best outcome nor would it be vice versa. Yet both types of project have clear starts and ends, both require architectural design effort, both can usefully use network planning, both must meet quality standards and so on. So what makes the difference?
We may put the premise of the Shenhar-Wideman paper, as quoted above, another way. By and large:
Different types of work require different types of workers who respond better to different types of management.
Note, however, that closer examination reveals that it is not really the project management that needs to change, but the management of the development of the product!
Types of work
To this end, authors Shenhar and Wideman identified two fundamentally different types of work, at least to the extent of the work involved in the major elements required to complete a particular project. Here's what they wrote:
"A. Craft Work
Craftwork is work that has been done before, essentially requiring repetitive effort. It is an activity that fundamentally repeats a previous activity, can be improved through repetition, and conforms to the learning curve phenomena.
Such work is the result of manual dexterity. Examples might be concrete forming, assembling a chair, repairing a car and so on.
B. Intellect Work
Intellect work is work that requires substantial creative effort. It has not been done before, it is exploratory in nature, and will likely require iteration. It requires new ideas and imagination.
Such work is the result of applying brainpower. Examples include developing a new theory, new process, new invention and so on."
As one wag put it, it is the difference between "Brain and Brawn".
Dr. A., and R. Max Wideman, Toward a Fundamental Differentiation between Project
6. Ibid, maxwideman.com/papers/differentiation/work.htm