Book Title: Improving your Project Management Skills, 2nd Edition
Author: Larry Richman, PMP
List Price: US$29.50
Format: soft cover; 156 pages
Publication Date: 2012
Reviewer: Mark Davis, CISM. PMP
Review Date: November 2012
Introduction to the Book
The premise of this book is that people are the greatest cause of project challenges – and for this reason, project managers must develop and demonstrate leadership skills beyond technical competency and project management methods.
A successful project manager is required to use his soft skills to a greater extent than his hard (technical) skills. Therefore, the secret of project leadership is learning how to grow and leverage these soft skills – interpersonal relationships in particular.
Overview of Book’s Structure
The author presents three detailed projects, each in the form of a “Project Play”. These plays provide examples of a failed project, a project with a reasonably fair result, and a project with a very good outcome. Each project involves a fairly complex ERP software implementation, with large and diverse project teams that include “Type-A” personalities in decision-making roles.
Each scenario illustrates that 80% of project issues are due to people. And successful completion of the described project required a flexible project manager with strong interpersonal skills.
Highlights: What’s New in this Book
The author emphasized the importance of the project manager building a cohesive team by facilitating team-building events. Many project leaders make three incorrect assumptions: 1) adults in the workplace naturally know how to work together, 2) we expect everyone to behave in the same manner, and 3) we can resolve differences by simply discussing them with each other in a logical manner. Consideration should be given to team building prior to and throughout the entire project.
About the Reviewer
Mark Davis is an Information Technology Director at Miraca Life Sciences in Irving, Texas, USA. His current role includes leadership of a Project Management Office, IT Risk and Compliance, and Software Quality Assurance. He has an MBA from the University of North Texas and certifications in Project Management and Information Security Management. Mark can be contacted at email@example.com.
Editor’s note: This book review was the result of cooperation between the publisher, PM World Inc and the Dallas Chapter of the Project Management Institute (www.pmidallas.org). Publishers provide books to PM World, books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter where they are given to chapter members who commit to providing a book review in a standard format; the reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library. Since PMI Dallas Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, they represent the intended audience for most PM books. If you are an author or publisher of a book related to program or project management, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.