- This book is a good reference guide to Planning, Scheduling, Monitoring and Control, with most of the topics covered at introductory to intermediate level in relatively informal jargon-free language with plenty of helpful diagrams.
- The guide is aimed at students and practitioners, so I’m a bit puzzled why it begins with a chunky explanation of how projects are defined and the documents used. At 20 pages this section is too hefty for the completely uninitiated, but has nowhere near enough detail to be useful an already-practicing project manager (who would be better off referring to one of the BoKs or methodologies). I guess however that novice Project Planners may find it useful for context and orientation, and it signposts topics for further reading.
Continue reading “Scheduling, Monitoring & Control (Book Review)”
This book recommends that project practitioners should consciously view projects through multiple “lenses” or “filters” to gain different perspectives. This approach directs attention to project aspects that might not otherwise be considered, which will affect the action taken, and hence the results obtained.
Considerable repetition of the principles and case study content (mainly to make it easier to use for reference), and overlap between the images caused me to have several déjà vu moments in reading it straight through, but the approach should be useful to PMs (on projects and programmes) and PMOs (to challenge PMs on their view of projects, and to think about portfolios) at all career stages. Continue reading “Images of Projects (Book Review)”
by Melanie Franklin, IT Governance Publishing, Ely, 152 pages, £24.95 RRP (review copy provided free of charge by the author)
Pragmatic PMO Rating: ****
This book is intended as a practical guide to understanding and managing change that will benefit your business. It covers the differences between change management and project management, and how to integrate the two.
Continue reading “Managing Business Transformation – a Practical Guide (Book Review)”
The stated aim of this book is to show the reader how to create and maintain a business-driven PMO, because PMOs that are driven by the needs of the business succeed, whereas PMOs that are driven by other motivations fail.
Continue reading “Business-driven PMO setup – Practical insights, techniques and case examples for ensuring success (Book Review)”
by Dux Raymond Sy, O’Reilly Media Inc, 232 pages, £25 RRP
Pragmatic PMO Rating: ****
This book is intended as a “how to” guide for setting up a Project Management Information System, aimed at the practising Project Manager (PM) or Project Management Office (PMO) Manager. In this it is completely successful. The book (safely in my view) assumes a reasonable level of familiarity with both standard office use of computers, and a reasonable level of familiarity with PM principles and techniques, taking this to build a PMIS, so often referred to in PM textbooks as an essential resource but rarely explained or explored in any depth.
Continue reading “SharePoint for Project Management – How to Create a Project Management Information System (PMIS) with SharePoint (Book Review)”
This book addresses a gap in the Project Management literature – how people and their behaviours contribute to project failure, and shows the reader how psychology can improve the chances of project success. Continue reading “Project Psychology (Book Review)”
Let me start by saying that this is BIG book. As it would take me a very long time to read the whole thing (and I doubt that the book is meant to be used that way) I will base my review on a selection of chapters that appeal to me rather than the whole thing.
Continue reading “Gower Handbook of People in Project Management (Book Review)”
by Michael Nir
Self-published by the Author as a Kindle eBook on Amazon.com, 46 pages (estimated, 10,400 words), £2.65 RRP (review copy supplied free of charge)
PragmaticPMO Rating: ****
This book leads with a single central principle – that a PMO’s sole reason for existence is the creation of value for the organisation, and that the single most effective way it can do that is by managing the allocation of resources to projects. Of course, tools, methodology and processes are all good things to have, but identifying how to deploy resources for the best return on that investment is where a PMO really comes into its own. Continue reading “The Agile PMO – Leading the Effective, Value Driven, Project Management Office (Book Review)”
This book aims to improve Project Managers’ understanding of their projects’ stakeholders, and in doing so to improve the quality of engagement and hence project outcomes.
It starts by stating the obvious (but easily forgotten) truth that project stakeholders are all human beings (hmmm, not sure if I can say that applies to all the stakeholders I’ve dealt with…) with all the emotions, personal agendas, hopes and fears that entails. It crucially points out that they may not care about or really support the project (even if they say they do), and that behind the scenes they may even be working really hard to ensure it fails.
Continue reading “Dealing with Difficult Stakeholders – A Practical Guide (Book Review)”
At a recent PMO FlashMob event, I got chatting with a few FlashMobbers about what can be done with the Lessons identified in project closure reports. There were split opinions in the group:
- Some thought that Lessons are usually specific to the Project concerned, and are only useful in later stages of the same project, or in running future projects that are very similar to the one from which the Lessons were learned;
- Others (including me) thought that it is possible to extract more generic learning from at least some Lessons that can be implemented across many projects (even those that are different from the project that identified the Lesson), perhaps by adding or making a small change to a checklist, template, approach, BAU process or corporate PM methodology, or by including the Lesson in PM training or coaching.
I have written before about Lessons Learned and my ideas on how to use them, but I thought it might be fun to try an experiment, with which I would be grateful for your help. Continue reading “Lessons Learned: Specific or Universal?”