Book Title: Thinking On Purpose for Project Managers: Outsmarting Evolution, Second Edition
Author: Bill Richardson
Publisher: Multi-Media Publications Inc.
List Price: US$39.95
Format: Soft Cover; 340 pages
Publication Date: 2009
Reviewer: Kasandra Bell, PMP, ITIL
Review Date: November 2012
Introduction to the Book
The premise of this book is that evolution gave humans powerful but automatic thinking processes that are not appropriate for most current living environments. Bill Richardson teaches his understanding of why humans think the way they do and then how to overcome this thinking to be more effective.
I believe all humans evolve; starting as babies, learning and growing throughout life. Not everyone believes that human ancestors were apes and fish; readers who believe in Intelligent Design may have trouble forcing themselves to read past the first chapters.
Mr. Richardson does go on to provide insight into why humans think on autopilot and how to change those thought processes. 40 tools and techniques for changing thought processes and managing projects effectively are included in the book.
Overview of Book’s Structure
The book’s structure is well thought out and easy to navigate. The first section explains why humans are where they are in the evolutionary cycle and why this is a problem. Mr. Richardson also introduces three case studies used in the second section to illustrate how using his techniques resolved each of the issues in the case studies.
The second section is the explanation of Mr. Richardson’s Thinking On Purpose techniques, the case study solutions, and the Thinking On Purpose Toolkit. There are a Table of Contents and Index to assist with locating the section or tool that the reader may want to use.
There are over 300 pages in this book; however, there are only about 125 pages of text covering the subject. The rest of the book is the case studies with charts and diagrams, the Toolkit, Appendices, and the Index, so it is a fairly easy read.
Highlights: What’s New in this Book
This book has a compilation of charts and tools from many sources (all with appropriate credit), emotional intelligence topics, biases that may affect project managers, and a fairly easy to understand explanation of how the human brain works.
About the Reviewer
Kasandra Bell, PMP, ITIL
Kasandra Bell currently provides senior project management leadership to IT Shared Services projects at a major university in the North Texas area with multiple campuses in different cities. She ran her own consulting company prior to that providing program management consulting and project management expertise and training to small and medium businesses, with international clients, in a variety of industries. Kasandra earned her PMP in 2005 and is an active member of the PMI Dallas chapter, including managing their Professional Development Day project.
Kasandra mentors junior project managers and teaches project management basics to college students. She is an award winning newsletter editor receiving recognition from Toastmasters and the Texas Association for Gifted and Talented. Kasandra can be reached at Bellamous.Group@yahoo.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.