Book Title: Situational Project Management: The Dynamics of success and failure.
Author: Oliver F. Lehmann
Publisher: CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group.
List Price: $79.95 USA
Format: Hard Cover, 274 pages
Publication Date: July 2016
Reviewer: Jorge Galvan, PMP
Review Date: January 2017
Situational Project Management (SitPM) is a concept that I have barely heard of or thought about during my project management training and in subsequent PMI certification; the PMBOK 5th Edition doesn’t mention it much.
The book uses the approach of seeing projects with its traditional adjectives such as being unique, temporary, undertaken to deliver a product, service or result, but with the peculiarity of being situational. Said that, it emphasizes very well throughout the book that the concept of “one size fits all” might not be real and even less practical when one is about to embark into the uncertainties of a project, and that so called best practices are dependent upon the situation.
It carries us through a series of known project management concepts and traditional practices towards the core of where situational approaches must be applied. It contains, explains and exemplifies interesting theoretical models that can be applied for some specific project management situations to keep a project under control.
Next the author takes us to his situational project management by first structuring a topology of projects that will be used to define the type of project we are about to undertake and thus the methodology that fits best for a successful outcome.
The introductory questions at the beginning of each chapter takes the opposite approach than some PM books with questions at the end, to my perspective it has pros and cons but personally prefer the question at the end.
Overview of Book’s Structure
The structure of the book looks fine and takes the reader to gradual but sometimes not that clear path to the place the author intends to.
After a little too long introductory chapter and then going deeper in chapter two, it starts the interesting part of the book, what one expects from it. Chapter three to me is the most interesting section, would be better if more diverse examples were shown and in major quantity.
The chapter about practices for SitPM would benefit if it gets extended; from my perspective I expected it to go deeper on some of the methodologies and examples but unfortunately is the shortest chapter.
The last two chapters of the book are also very well thought out and structured, talks about basic tools for SitPM and leadership and the Dynamics of Success and Failure (this one that I personally liked very much and again would have loved to get it extended), and it seems to be a good end for the main topic of the book that is Situational Project Management.
The real examples that the author makes reference to are a clear and nice way to show the reader what is being exposed. As a reader I love to assimilate and understand my lecture when I can relate it to real life examples.
The topology the author makes of projects seems very practical and useful for the critical part of deciding how to manage and conduct a project to a successful ending.
The small talk of waterfall and agile methodologies are very welcome, just needed to be extended a little longer to my perspective.
About the Reviewer
Jorge Galvan has extensive experience in the telecom industry working as a software, hardware and infrastructure Engineer for both Core and Radio systems. He has a bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering with a minor in Control. He has over 10 years of experience working with projects in different parts of the world and performing different roles such as project team member or technical engineer, as well as project coordinator and SME.
Extensive experience includes different phases of software development projects from feasibility to testing and deployment. Jorge is a member of the Project Management Institute, Dallas Chapter and obtained his PMP certification from PMI in July 2016. He can be contacted at IamJorgeGalvan@gmail.com.
Editor’s note: This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the PMI Dallas Chapter. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library. PMI Dallas Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published. Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books.
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