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Apollo 13 - Essay Example

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Summary
There are many different forms of organizational theories and concepts which can be observed in film. There are specific motivational and managerial theories which can be applied here as well. The 'systems approach' to the management of projects was one that hailed directly from the application of scientific methods to management.
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Apollo 13
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Download file to see previous pages It is the highest level of managerial activity and is usually directed by the company's Chief Executive Officer and executive team, and provides overall direction to the whole enterprise.
Project management is the actual discipline of defining and achieving targets "while optimizing the use of resources (time, money, people, materials, energy, space, etc) over the course of a project (a set of activities of finite duration)". (Wikipedia, 2006). Project management is often times the province and responsibility of an individual person titled the project manager, and this individual seldom actually participates in the actions that produce the end result, but instead maintains the progress and productive mutual interaction and intervention of various parties in that the overall risk of failure is reduced.
Apollo 13 is a movie which is highly influential in regards to promoting modern project and program management practices. This film is commonly used as an example for these theories and those of the like. This is primarily due to the fact that the objectives were made clear: classic project ones: in the words of President Kennedy: "to achieve the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth." (Morris, 1997).
A strategy involving the matter of actually getting the moon and back had to be developed, which itself entirely revolved around motivational and management theories. Tasks had to be completed, such as: the engineering of the rockets, landing modules and support infrastructure had to be developed, and astronaut biobehavior in space understood and designed to; and all within highly determined schedule and cost restraints. (Morris, 1997). "The resulting project management approach was hailed at the new management paradigm: the answer to how to tackle many of mankind's problems. (Morris, 1997).
Apollo 13 is a prime example of project management; it was not a project in itself, but it is the act of going from concept to definition, development, build, and hand-over. Management is an activity. It is the activity of planning, organizing, directing and controlling (Fayol et al, 1949). Most definitions of project management would agree that, at a minimum, there is (a) integration of the work of others needed to ensure project success - the "single point of integrative responsibility" (Archibald, 1997) - (b) the application of certain project management practices. It is the extent of application of these practices, and the hitherto ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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