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Breakthrough Project Portfolio Management 3

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:  Breakthrough Project Portfolio Management:  Achieving the Next Level of Capability and Optimization
Author:  Murali Kulathumani, MBA, CSM
Publisher:  J. Ross Publishing
List Price:  $59.95 MSRP
Format:  Hardcover,
Publication Date:   2018    
ISBN: 978-1-60427-149-2
Reviewer: Justin Tuley
Review Date: October 2018

 



Introduction

The book titled Breakthrough Project Portfolio Management: Achieving the Next Level of Capability and Optimization is focused on providing a roadmap for new and current project portfolio managers who are looking for more objective ways to measure project statuses as well as an opportunity to streamline planning and governance processes.  The book details this goal through practical examples, best practices, and a focus on continual improvement throughout each step in the portfolio management process.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is broken down into 4 parts.

Part I: Key Components of a Portfolio Process (Ch. 1 – Ch. 7)

Chapter 1 focuses on what a highly effective and mature portfolio of projects looks like.

Chapter 2 goes over setting up a process on how to vet and queue projects to be added to the portfolio

Chapter 3 takes the previous chapter and shows what best practices create an effective annual portfolio planning cycle.

Chapter 4 dives into how the portfolio should be funded within the annual cycle.

Chapter 5 goes over the drawbacks of current methods of project performance monitoring.  Focus is on the Red / Yellow / Green status and its limitations and briefly talks about modified Earned Value Management (mEVM)

Chapter 6 The author makes the case for portfolio managers to review their portfolios the same way you would with a financial portfolio. The author lists pitfalls on why managers don’t rebalance their project portfolios like they should.

Chapter 7 focuses on portfolio benefit realization.  This goes into detail regarding the hard and soft benefits associated with a well-run portfolio.

Part 2: mEVM

Chapter 8 is a brief introduction to mEVM and some of the history of how the method came to be.  Picks up where chapter 5 left off and anchors it for the rest of Part 2.

Chapter 9 goes over what the artifacts associated with mEVM should be.  Lots of examples using Excel.  Technical chapter.

Chapter 10 is a deep dive into aggregating mEVM data and includes lots of examples of Excel templates and layouts. Technical chapter.

Chapter 11 is about matching mEVM to strategic goals and ensuring that projects are aligned to those business strategies.

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About the Reviewer


Justin Tuley

North Texas, USA

 

 

 

Justin Tuley has experience in program and project management.  Justin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies and a MBA with a focus on project management.  His career includes 2 years in the IT industry and 5 years in the non-profit education sector with IDEA Public Schools.  Justin is a member of the Project Management Institute, Dallas Chapter and obtained his CAPM certification in 2017. Email address: [email protected]

 

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.  If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].

 

 

A Holistic Approach to Lessons Learned 3

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title: A Holistic Approach to Lessons Learned: How Organizations Can Benefit from Their Own Knowledge      
Author:  Moria Levy
Publisher:  CRC Press – Taylor & Francis Group – Auerbach
List Price: $59.95
Format:  Hardcover, 145 pages
Publication Date: January 2018
ISBN: 978-1-138-56476-3
Reviewer: Manjeeta Sitaula, PMP
Review Date: October 2018

 



Introduction

This book provides invaluable information on incorporating & implementing lessons learned which is often overlooked in many organizations due to various reasons. The author, Moria Levy emphasizes that, for our lessons to yield better operations and improved performance, the knowledge must be transformed into action. Lessons learned must be accessible and embedded in the organization so that it is hard to repeat mistakes.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The content of the book is divided into five parts with various chapters within each part and subheadings within the chapters. The five parts flow seamlessly into the other.

  • Part I starts with the ‘need, importance and types of knowledge/information that can be used as lessons’;
  • Part II discusses the ‘what, who and how to debrief and the debriefing techniques’;
  • Part III elaborates on ‘how to manage the knowledge that has been created’;
  • Part IV focuses on requesting prior knowledge before implementing any new actions;
  • Part V discusses implementation of the life-cycle model of lessons and summarizes debriefing techniques.

Highlights

The first half of the book discusses sources of new knowledge namely debriefing, quality-based processes and experience. Debriefing is described as a natural process, however, in organizations there can be resistance to implement it due to fear of exposing failures/mistakes and possible blame game. The author reviews debriefing techniques such as Action After Review (AAR) and Multi Case Learning (MCL) and also notes that the organization can develop their own processes that yield constructive results by focusing on the future and lessons that can be learned. Quality based processes such as Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA), Gemba walks and quality audits help to develop the sources of knowledge and provide recommendations for improvements. Experience is another source of new knowledge which is gained through work or everyday life actions.

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About the Reviewer


Manjeeta Sitaula

Texas, USA

 

 

Manjeeta Sitaula is a Civil Engineer by profession and has been certified as a PMP since 2013.

 

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.  If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].

 

 

 

PMI-PBA Exam Study Guide

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title: PMI-PBA Exam Practice Test and Study Guide
Author: Brian Williamson
Publisher: CRC Press
List Price: $69.95
Format: 402 pages, hardcover
Publication Date: 2018
ISBN: 978-1-138-05447-9
Reviewer: Lawrence Reid, PMP, CSM 
Review Date: Oct 2018

 



Introduction

PMI-PBA Exam Practice Test and Study Guide by Brian Williamson is a book to prepare a candidate to successfully pass the PMI-PBA exam the first time. It cannot be used alone. This guide is aligned with other PMI publications including: Business Analysis for Practitioners: A Practice Guide, Requirements Management: A Practice Guide, and the PMI-PBA Examination Outline. This guide also references the Project Management Book of Knowledge.

Who Might Benefit from the Book?

PMI-PBA Exam Practice Test and Study Guide will benefit anyone preparing for the PMI-PBA exam.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The chapters of PMI-PBA Exam Practice Test and Study Guide are organized to walk the reader through the process of a 65-Day Study Plan.

  • Chapter 1 Introduction
  • Chapter 2 Needs Assessment
  • Chapter 3 Planning
  • Chapter 4 Analysis
  • Chapter 5 Traceability and Monitoring
  • Chapter 6 Evaluation
  • Chapter 7 About PMI and the PMI-PBA Credential
  • Chapter 8 Preparing for the Exam
  • Chapter 9 Ready, Set… Exam Success
  • 200-Question Practice Exam

Highlights

Chapters 2 through 6 start with study hints for that topic, chapter exercises, and conclude with 20 topic specific practice questions. An informative answer key details why each potential answer is correct or not. Chapters 2 through 4 also include memory games to help with retention.

Recommended Steps to Follow

I would start with chapter 7, About PMI and the PMI-PBA Credential. It explains the “Why” of the exam and the eligibility requirements. The preface also recommends reviewing the technique for predicting your overall exam score in Section 8.2.9.1 on page 190 before attempting your first domain quiz.

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About the Reviewer


Lawrence Reid, PMP, CSM

Bedford, Texas

 

 

 Mr. Reid is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) specialist with extensive experience in business analysis, project management, implementation, customization, and integration for companies in the aerospace, financial services, manufacturing, and medical industries. Lawrence has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and has obtained the Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) certifications. He is a member of the Dallas and the Fort Worth chapters of the Project Management Institute (PMI).

 

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.  If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].

 

 

Bridging the PM Competency Gap 3

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:    Bridging the PM Competency Gap: A Dynamic Approach to Improving Capability and Project Success
Author:  Loredana Abramo, PMP & Rich Maltzman, PMP
Publisher:  J. Ross Publishing
List Price:  $37.95
Format:  294 pages, hardcover
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN-13: 978-1604271409
Reviewer: Abdullah Abuzaid, PMP
Review Date: October 2018

 



Introduction

Bridging the PM competency GAP by Abramo & Maltzman is a book to help personnel involved in project management activity to build their competency and fill gaps in project management.  It will help effectively manage projects, communicate with stakeholders and build personal/soft skill; it is a book that complies with the Project Management Book of Knowledge. In addition it presents and elaborates more about approaches to establish a continuous learning environment for advancing PM competency

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book’s structure draws a logical sequence analogy for any new engagement into an activity or project, with below contents:

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Problem Statement: In Other Words, The Gap
  • Chapter 2: Wanted: Bespoke Strategic Approach
  • Chapter 3: Know Thy Audience
  • Chapter 4: Options
  • Chapter 5: Planning Your Bridges
  • Chapter 6: Time to Deliver!
  • Chapter 7: Indicators of Success – How Do You Know if Your Bridge Is Built and Working?
  • Chapter 8: The Feedback Loop and Improving the Bridge
  • Chapter 9: Leveraging Expert Judgment Chapter 9 Ready, Set… Exam Success
  • Appendix 1: Select References and Useful Links
  • Appendix 2: A Competency Survey of 250 Project Managers
  • Appendix 3: Details of the 4-D Approach Applied to PM Competency
  • Appendix 4: Case Study: Philips Excellence Project Management

Highlights

The book highlights an important concept in project management – personal success factor (continues learning). As mentioned earlier the book describes a good sequence to overcome a challenge or solve a problem.

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About the Reviewer


Abdullah Abuzaid, PMP

Dallas, Texas

 

 

 

Abdullah Abuzaid, PMP is a Business Development Manager with vast experience in project management, business analyses & business development in telecom world. Abdullah has a Bachelor’s degree in electronics & communication engineering, he has Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, and he is a member of the Dallas and the Fort Worth chapters of the Project Management Institute (PMI).  He can be contacted at [email protected]

 

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.  If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].

 

 

The Audio PMP Exam Prep

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:  The Audio PMP Exam Prep: Conversations on Passing the PMP Exam
Author:  Carl Pritchard and Bruce Falk
Publisher:  CRC Press / Taylor & Francis Group
List Price:   $69.95
Format:  Audio Book
Publication Date:  2017
ISBN: ISBN 9781138196087
Reviewer:  Swati Shah
Review Date: September 2018

 



Introduction

The Audio PMP Exam Prep: Conversations on Passing the PMP Exam is an on-the-go audio tool to help candidates prepare for one of the most challenging certification exams pertaining to the Project Management profession. If you are interested in learning about the PMP exam in a fun, engaging, and entertaining way, look no further!

In this audiobook, Project Management Professionals (PMPs) Carl Pritchard and Bruce Falk have used real-life examples, provided entertaining mnemonics and shared numerous resources to help listeners understand and remember key concepts of Project Management.

Overview of Book’s Structure

While preparing for the PMP exam, tasks like reading, understanding, and memorizing the concepts in the PMBOK Guide can be very daunting. This audiobook makes these tasks not only manageable but also enjoyable.

As the name implies, the audio set covers conversation between two skilled professionals on topics covered in PMBOK Guide 6th edition. In the set, there are over two dozen mp3 audio files, approximately 20 minutes each. These include two segments on every knowledge area and cover information about the exam application process as well as tips-and-tricks for completing the 200 questions in the allotted time. Also included are discussions on key success factors such as avoiding overthinking and tips to narrow down available options to quickly find the correct answers.

The audio chapters are very well aligned with the PMBOK guide. The conversations are natural and logical, and they capture all the main concepts in the book.

Highlights

The PMBOK 6th edition has a few material changes relative to the previous editions. In my opinion, Carl and Bruce do a good job of highlighting the new concepts and elaborating the discussion on these topics.

One of the best parts of the audio set is the PMP Part II where they explain the processes using an example of “painting a room”.  This illustrative audio technique makes it very easy to understand the core concepts of Project Management and clarifies the role of Project Managers.

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About the Reviewer


Swati Shah

Texas, USA

 

 

 

Swati Shah currently works as a Project Coordinator at a manufacturing company based in Irving, TX. She was previously an elementary school teacher. Swati secured her CAPM certificate and has applied her teaching skills and experience to successfully transition to a career in Project Management. She aspires to secure her PMP certification soon.

 

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.  If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].

 

 

Agilizing the Enterprise

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:    Agilizing the Enterprise: Collaborative Leadership, Dynamic Strategy and Organizational Flexibility
Author:  Joseph Raynus
Publisher:  CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group
List Price:   $79.95
Format:  Hardcover, 240 pages
Publication Date:   June 2018
ISBN: 13:978-1-138-19797-8
Reviewer: Arthur L Jones
Review Date:   Sep 2018

 



Introduction

As an executive, imagine losing your rising leaders and innovators, they walk out.   In story, Joe describes agility and dynamic strategy as a competitive edge required in today’s business environment to a former student, a rising star about to walk away from a business that does not engage him.  This book encourages executives to utilize their organizations in dialog and recognize people as sources of knowledge and analytical skills.  Without saying it, the book infers good people will checkout or leave if they are not engaged.

Written for the entrepreneur, executive, Author, Joseph Raynus, uses a story to present these concepts through a disenchanted rising start with his business’ annual strategy and planning retreats that ignore his insight and experience.  He arrives to engage then reduced to audience receiving decisions.

Overview of Book’s Structure

Narrative and story present agile and dynamic strategy.   In story form, a professor meets Bill by chance in an airport, as Bill returns home from another annual strategy meeting. Dissatisfied with his company’s perfunctory annual ceremony that fails to improve the business, the professor begins a mentor relationship. As a rising talent, the professor describes what an aware company can do to engage Bill while addressing business challenges directly and effectively.

In early chapters, concise well paced narratives inform the reader of dynamic strategy and agile flexibility in a VUCA environment (VUCA, (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous).  The narration illustrates through historic events, some concepts, and recent corporate successes and failures.

The author offer a personal transition story, with some emotion, in a series of conversations as professor Joe mentors a former student 10 years after graduation through a decision to leave his present company and find a more vibrant organization.  Joe describes what an effective agile company does to thrive in this time of change.

Highlights

Jose Raynus aptly points out our current markets and economics with VUCA and how staff recognizes some salient problems may go neglected, ignored, undetected by some leadership.   This drives Bill’s and his professor’s conversation from airport to coffee to dinner to Antwerp.

The conversations’ journey through historical examples, today’s chaotic times, change management, strategic leadership, holacratic systems, innovation hubs, and breaking rules.  The book’s two characters celebrate the conclusion in Antwerp, with Professeor Joe drawing the book’s only drawing on a napkin in the final chapter.

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About the Reviewer


Art Jones

San Antonio, Texas, USA

 

 

Art Jones delivers results through others. He establishes approaches and strategy, leads efforts through completion, and realigns derailed projects.  Agile describes a lifelong practice and mindset in his work delivering applications, infrastructure, and process change.  Proven, with deliveries in retail, technology, financial, utility, and academic business environments.   With a BS in Computer Science from North Carolina State University, Art developed project management and strategic planning during recession times in fast-passed entrepreneurial and corporate assignments.  His most valued learning came through relationships, people, and community.

Art sees possibilities for new business and town partnerships to develop profit with talent.  Excitement intrigues him and his colleagues with today’s change and uncertainty in business from the store front to the supporting manufacturer, farmer, and service provider.   How will business balance interdependence?  This question has Art’s attention.   Art’s a member of PMI, practicing success in San Antonio, Texas.

Art can be contacted at [email protected]

 

Editor’s note:  Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the Alamo PMI Chapter in San Antonio, Texas. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Alamo 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 Alamo Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published.   If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].

 

A Holistic Approach to Lessons Learned

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title: A Holistic Approach to Lessons Learned: How Organizations Can Benefit from Their Own Knowledge   
Author: Moria Levy
Publisher: CRC Press
List Price:   $59.95
Format: Hardback, 145 pages
Publication Date:   Jan 2018
ISBN: 978-1-138-56476-3
Reviewer: Barbara L LaDue
Review Date: August 2018

 



Introduction

I chose this book because Lessons Learned is a subject vital to every company and yet frequently is treated as an after-thought.  As individuals, we know that we should learn from particularly difficult situations or extremely positive events.  However, we frequently pass up the opportunity to improve or capitalize on our current situation until we are forced by circumstances to resolve an issue.

Overview of Book’s Structure

Ms. Levy approached the subject of Lessons Learned in a broad encompassing manner.  She started by defining the need and challenge of incorporating Lessons Learned.

Ms. Levy proceeded with outlining the creation, development, and management of lessons learned.  She followed then by moving into the implementation and good practices of management for these lessons learned.

Highlights

As Ms. Levy explained various points, she had examples that clearly connected.  For example, things that apply to individuals in their personal lives can help demonstrate how we need to approach applying these lessons to other areas of business, dealing with others in volunteer work, and to other areas of personal life.

There are lessons, in life and in business, that apply across all manner of personnel.  No one individual or group has a corner on the market for the need to learn to do the job better and each of us can learn from others.  What one person learns can directly impact someone’s ability to learn or function in another area.  For example, a salesman anticipates meeting customer needs and a software developer desires to meet customer needs.  The salesman and developer will both approach their tasks differently but they share the experiences of dealing with the customer.  Ms. Levy explains not only the challenges but also how to approach developing a knowledgebase that can facilitate exactly that.

Ms. Levy included a section on approaching cultural change to implement Lessons Learned.  She shared how many times implementation to change is a hurdle since people are resistant to change.  Her book lays out steps to initiate the change, guide personnel through the changes, and turn the process into a positive situation.  Ms. Levy then moved into the various stakeholders needed and described what their tasks would be in order to help generate a successful implementation.

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About the Reviewer


Barbara LaDue, PMP

Texas, USA

 

 

 

Barbara LaDue, PMP is currently employed as a Systems Analyst with Inserso, Corp., working to support the U.S. Air Force Civil Engineering Center (AFCEC) in San Antonio, Texas.  Before starting with Inserso, Ms. LaDue had been a Director with an educational non-profit 501(c)3 in San Antonio, Texas for several years. During this time, she saw the need to become a certified PMP. Ms. LaDue is an active member of the Alamo Chapter of PMI.

 

Editor’s note:  Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the Alamo PMI Chapter in San Antonio, Texas. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Alamo 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 Alamo Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published.   If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].

 

Investment-Centric Project Management

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:    Investment-Centric Project Management: Advanced Strategies for Developing and Executing Successful Capital Projects
Author: Steven James Keays, MSc, P.Eng
Publisher: J. Ross Publishing.
List Price: $69.95
Format: Hardcover, 439 pages
Publication Date: Aug 2017
ISBN: 978-1-60427-142-3
Reviewer: Mark J. Loiselle
Review Date: Sept 2018

 



Introduction

After 30 years in project management covering aerospace, defense, industrial, manufacturing, and oil and gas sectors, the author began to notice a difference in the anticipated results promised by formal Project Management principles, and the actual repeated occurrences of budget and schedule failures. In fact, the author states, 65% of $500M+ projects fail, despite following the best guidance of Project Management techniques and methods. There is more to project management than plans, processes and procedures, and the author sets out to shift the definition of project management from “a temporary endeavor to create a unique process, product or service” into a more tangible definition where “the true purpose of a project is to realize an asset that maximizes returns to its shareholders over its economic life”. This new definition is at the core of this book and is called investment-centric project management.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is presented in 6 parts; Why, Where, How, Who, When & What, followed by an extensive appendix.

The author explains in this fundamental format how he envisions successful project management, and some of the shortcomings of the long established TPM (Traditional Project Management) approach, and his idea on a new methodology, this one focusing on the end product, with the outcome being the PPA (Profitably Performing Asset). The formal project is not completed after the product is put into service or when the last signoff is obtained or the last ‘lessons learned’ meeting is held; instead the project continues until the product actually starts to deliver a sustainable return on investment to shareholders.

In Part 1 (Why) he addresses the reasons for redefining the practice of project management, with its limited successes and many failures. Using TPM as a baseline, he outlines his fundamental principles of project management as a corporate endeavor that is executed using 3 axis: organization, business and relationship. He introduces the concept of valunomy as the metric from which economic decisions are made. Valunomy is defined as achieving the highest sustained profitability over an assets economic life.Theoretical foundations of project management are explored along with the corresponding actualization of project budgets and schedules, which often are not in alignment.

Part 2 (Where) concentrates on project management practices that still matter to the outcome of a project. The author introduces the notion of the Project Ecosystem (PECO) PECO comprises 7 layers that must be traversed from the outside in, including all sources of risk external to the project. The project framework is introduced as the overseer of project managerment and the PECO.

Part 3 (How) explores sequencing of the project, its strategies and oversight, focused on management planning, orchestration and execution. All aspects of the project are considered, particularly the area of risk management. The author stresses the importance of the project framework, and how the various parts, pieces and personalities must work together toward a common goal.

Part 4 (Who) talks of team formation, personnel, recruitment strategies, and the demands on labor the project will entail. Getting teams to work toward the same goal is not always an easy task; personalities collide, egos get bruised. The team must work together despite their differences to achieve the desired outcomes.

Part 5 (When) discusses various elements of routine project execution integrating all tracking information and exploring communication strategies. Also discussed is what happens to these same concepts when your project goes completely off the rails, how to recognize risk and avoid it; or adapt when you can’t avoid it.

Part 6 (What) highlights project management practices from the trenches of day to day project execution. The author’s description of Mechanics and Mechanisms compares the tools and techniques available on the market to the tools and techniques available to each member of the team from their minds and their experiences.

Highlights

The author provides explanation and evidence of why the traditional project management approach has not been as effective as advertised, particularly on larger projects ($100M+). Even though you adhere diligently to the rigid plans, strategies and procedures of TPM, most projects fail to come in on budget and on schedule. Many would say this is because of a failure to implement the accepted principles of project management, but that is too easy an answer. The author provides 4 steps the reader must take to move from the TPM methodology. Acknowledge that TPM processes and procedures are valid, solid and understood broadly, admit to the imperfections of TPM, challenge the status quo, and accept a new two-part management paradigm. The first 3 steps are pretty basic. The 4th challenges us to think in a new direction, with a new end focus.

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About the Reviewer


Mark J. Loiselle

Texas, USA

 

 

Mark Loiselle has over twenty years of construction experience and is a certified Project Management Professional.  Prior to joining the City of San Antonio as a Capital Projects Officer in 2011, he had worked as Project Manager for several companies including LGI Homes, Lord and Taylor Department Stores, and Barry Better Menswear. Since joining the San Antonio Public Library system, he has been assisting in capital projects and facilities management, including the opening of 3 Branch Libraries and numerous renovation projects at our 30 locations. Mr. Loiselle earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Lawrence Tech University and his Master’s Degree, with honors, in Management from Walsh College.

Mark can be contacted at [email protected]

 

Editor’s note:  Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the Alamo PMI Chapter in San Antonio, Texas. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Alamo 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 Alamo Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published.   If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].

 

Creating a Greater Whole

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:   Creating a Greater Whole: A Project Manager’s Guide to Becoming a Leader
Author:   Susan G. Schwartz, PMP
Publisher:   CRC Press (An Auerbach Book)
List Price:  $53.80
Format:  Hardcover, 199 pages
Publication Date:   2018
ISBN: 978-1-138-06405-8
Reviewer: John Poulos, PMP
Review Date: September 2018

 



Introduction

The author – Susan G. Schwartz, a consultant, trainer and practitioner in project management, leadership and organizational change – presents a comprehensive guide to help project managers on their leadership development journey. The book summarizes a broad and diverse collection of tools – strategies, frameworks, models and guidelines – assembled through extensive research by the author, to help project managers navigate this journey.

A foundational theme of this book is that a leader’s strength and effectiveness rest on his/her ability to motivate and integrate the efforts of collaborative teams to achieve a shared vision and objectives. An allied core theme is the need for continuous learning – experienced project managers don’t always have the answers, but they learn from their mistakes and always seek to learn and improve their skills and capabilities.

Overview of Book’s Structure

Chapter 1 (What is Leadership?) focuses on the main attributes of leadership – humility, integrity, confidence, empathy and, at its core, trust – organized as the Diamond Leadership Model.

Chapters 2-8 explore a range of topics central to leadership development, along with supporting frameworks and models that managers can apply to address frequently encountered situations and challenges.

Chapter 9 (Leaders are Human Too) concludes with a discussion of the human aspects of leadership, including a closing statement on the importance of seeking life balance as a key ingredient to strong and effective leadership.

While following a general thread, the chapters are largely self-contained and the reader can explore sections in any order.

Highlights

A valuable contribution to interested readers is the remarkably diverse and comprehensive collection of frameworks and models outlined throughout the book. The author provides succinct summaries of these tools and frameworks, and effectively links them to the concepts presented in each section, leaving the reader to select those of greatest interest and relevance, relying on the Bibliography to explore them in greater depth.

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About the Reviewer


John Poulos, PMP

Chile & USA

 

 

John Poulos has over thirty-five years of experience providing guidance on the effective use of information technology while delivering business-driven, technology-based solutions to a wide range of private and public sector organizations. As Senior Director of Infrastructure, Cloud and Security at NTT DATA Services, he managed strategic projects for NTT DATA/ICS leadership. In addition, he delivered infrastructure and IT strategy consulting services to corporate and government clients.

In his last assignment, John led a global project to migrate 30,000 employees of a company recently acquired by NTT DATA from their original end-user computing environment to the standard NTT DATA PC image and SW configuration. In prior positions, John provided IT consulting services across various industries and geographical regions. He managed complex projects for clients in private enterprise, higher education and government. John holds E.E. and Engineering Management degrees from Southern Methodist University, MIT, and The George Washington University.

Email address: [email protected]

 

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.  If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].

 

 

Time Matters

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title: Time Matters: Time management techniques for avoiding or recovering from delay on projects and programmes        
Author:  Tom Taylor
Publisher:  dashdot Enterprises (UK)
List Price:   $7.97
Format: Soft Cover, 56 pages
Publication Date:  2018
ISBN: 095748343-0
Reviewer: Edward Raibick, PMP
Review Date: October 2017

 



Introduction

The book titled Time Matters introduces the reader to a series of time management strategies for avoiding and recovering from delays on projects and programs. Real life cases are presented along with the “thinking-out-of-the-box” solutions used to recover from the delay. This book provides examples of some unique solutions and will excite the imagination of any project manager in coming up with creative ways to bring their project back on track.

Overview of Book’s Structure

Chapter 1 introduces the reader to several unique project issues and the creative solutions used for recovery.

Chapter 2 discusses the misunderstandings about time and some key insights in time and due date communications.

Chapter 3 dives into the first steps in addressing the project delay, determining root cause and taking corrective action for recovery.

Chapter 4 provides exercises in confronting delay for the user to provide their own creative solutions.

Highlights

Time Matters is a quick read and a great reference for project and program managers driven to be more efficient and effective in project management. The book goes beyond adding additional project resources or changing project scope or timeline commitments. The book is easy to follow for the casual reader who is busy and on the go.

Highlights: What I liked!

This book was a quick and easy read, chock full of examples, insights and strategies that can be put into practice real time by the reader.

The book also dives into the human interaction aspects of project management and using strategies like face-to-face negotiations to break past barriers that are causing the delay in the project or program. Other strategies include segregating technical and management teams in the proper way to facilitate productivity.

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About the Reviewer


Edward Raibick, PMP

North Texas, USA

 

 

Edward Raibick, PMP is a Project Management Consultant with extensive experience in software engineering, managerial and IT Project Management. Edward holds a Master’s degree in Information Technology with a concentration in Internet and IT security, a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology and an Associate in Specialized Technology degree in Electronics. His career includes over 10 years with the IBM Corporation and over 15 years with Texas Instruments. His consultant projects includes major clients such as Experian, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines.

Edward is a member of the Project Management Institute, Dallas Chapter, having acquired his PMP certification in 2011.  Edward is also currently the Director of the Dallas PMI Chapter Book Review Program.

Ed can be contacted at email address: [email protected]

or Phone: +1 (469) 667-3792

 

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.  If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].

 

 

Find the Fire

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:    Find the Fire: Ignite Your Inspiration – And Make Work Exciting Again
Author:  Scott Mautz
Publisher:  HarperCollins
List Price:   $39.95
Format:  Hardcover, 245 pages
Publication Date: October 2017
ISBN: 978-0-8144-3822-0
Reviewer: Lusetha Rolle, PMP
Review Date: October 2018

 



Introduction

Find the Fire is a book that begins with identifying the forces that drain inspiration.  It then proceeds to suggest 9 antidotes to help renew passion and restore inspiration and motivation towards one’s work, career and dreams. The author argued that there is a significant difference between motivation and inspiration; inspiration leads to   motivation and is more enduring.

Inspiration compels us to act even in a soul-crushing work environment or our own debilitating hang-ups and habits.  He reported that “Research claims that optimism is the single biggest predictor of resiliency and even has the power to undo the negative effects of a stressful experience” (pg. 5).  The book guides you on a journey to discover ways to become more resilient and to persevere.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book has 245 pages with 11 chapters. After identifying the forces that are in opposition to motivation, inspiration and growth the author suggests how to overcome them. Nine chapters focus on each of the antidotes to restoring inspiration; relinquish fear, reject settling and boredom, relieve inundation, revitalize dwindling self-belief, revert loss of control, reverse disconnectedness, reconstitute the dearth of creating, reformulate insignificance and rediscovery for the lack of evocation.

The author organizes the core concepts so they are presented with a pleasing and appropriate amount of humor; which makes for an easy and interesting read.  It opens with a familiar and agreeable vice; fear.  The progression of the book leads to an in-depth introspection of our choices as we face obstacles; the possible options, alternatives and how to gain desired outcomes while facing adversity.

The concluding chapter is “The Bonfire” and is used as a summary of each chapter.  It lists in chart form the anti-muse, antidote and the anti-body.  This is a great quick, easy to read cross reference of the concepts presented. The book closes with acknowledgements, notes (references) for each chapter and an index of terms and the pages where they are used.

Highlights

A major theme is that inspiration can lead to creativity.  We are inspired to create, connect, produce and pursue.  The author claims that inspiration can be evoked or come from within.  Either should compel us to act.

Fear was noted as the most devastating of all the anti-muses because it distorts reality.  Fear of failure, change and criticism are debilitating.  Making choices and setting priorities decreases procrastinating and perfectionism. If you want to increase your success rate, increase your failure rate. Which can only happen with repeated attempts towards one’s goals.

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About the Reviewer


Lusetha Rolle, MBA, PMP

Maryland, USA

 

 

Lusetha Rolle is manager of accreditation services for the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (NLN CNEA).  In her role, she manages a team that assists in the proper education of a caring and trained nursing workforce that improves the health of our nation.  As a seasoned mid-level manager, she brings over 15 years of experience in project management, information systems, and health sciences.  She is a member of the PMI and the PMI Silver Spring chapter.  She enjoys travel, theater, swimming and reading.  She is proud to have served as a Gulf War veteran.

Lusetha can be contacted at [email protected] or [email protected]

 

Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the PMI Silver Spring Maryland Chapter. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Silver Spring 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 Silver Spring Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published.  If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].

 

Breakthrough Project Portfolio Management

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:  Breakthrough Project Portfolio Management:  Achieving the Next Level of Capability and Optimization
Author:  Murali Kulathumani, MBA, CSM
Publisher:  J. Ross Publishing
List Price:  $59.95
Format:  Hardcover, 272 pages
Publication Date:   Dec 2017
ISBN: 13: 978-1-60427-149-2
Reviewer: David H Diatikar
Review Date: July 2018

 


 
Introduction

Traditional Earned Value Management (EVM) systems and their tools are often characterized as complicated and labor intensive.  A well-managed project portfolio is one of those mythical information technology (IT) beast – often bragged about and rarely bagged.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is organized in a very readable application style.  It is divided into four parts.  Part one covers all the key components of a portfolio management process.  Part two thoroughly defines and explains with applications the modified earned value management (mEVM) method.  Part three describes real world implementation strategies.  Part four elaborates the method’s support system ending up with how this is linked directly to the CIO office.

Chapters start with brief introduction, objectives and then the meat.  Every chapter ends with a maturity level description and conclusion tying all the information together.

Highlights

In this time of information overload and short attention spans, executives will find using Modified Earned Value Management (mEVM) is a simple yet powerful tool to optimize and manage a Project Portfolio.  Kulathumani describes a technique that runs on an Excel spreadsheet and SharePoint.  While this method is not as rigorous and precise as EVM, it provides enough information to bridge the gap between portfolio theory and the realities businesses operate in today.

Kulathumani portrays the functions of a well-run Portfolio office, from its day to day functions to Annual Planning.  He walks through how projects should be received by the Portfolio Office aligned to Portfolio Strategies, Funding, Monitoring and Management. The key difference between his method and EVM is mEVL is easy enough for just about any medium to large company to use and get the same results EVM provides.

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About the Reviewer


David Diatikar

San Antonio, Texas, USA

 

 

David Diatikar’s experience in project and process work started with the Toyota Production System (Lean Manufacturing).  He has extensive experience in Lean Six-Sigma planning and implementation, Agile business transformation, SAFE 4.5, emerging hybrid product and process development and the supporting processes that make these work.

David can be contacted at [email protected]

 

Editor’s note:  Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the Alamo PMI Chapter in San Antonio, Texas. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Alamo 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 Alamo Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published.   If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].

 

Managing Project Competence

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title: Managing Project Competence: The Lemon and the Loop   
Author: Rolf Medina
Publisher:  CRC / Auerbach Publications
List Price:  $89.95
Format: Hard cover, 170 pages
Publication Date:  January 2018
ISBN: 978-1-4987-8438-2
Reviewer: Mechelle Davidson, PMP
Review Date: September 2018

 



Introduction

Managing Project Competence provides an in-depth look at competence and its many facets. Competence is something that is often misunderstood, and the author is extremely thorough and deliberate in his definition and description of the different types of competence. To illustrate his point, the author uses case studies, which provide real-life examples of the impact of various aspects of competence on organizations.

Using visuals such as graphs, charts, and pictures, the author paints a picture in the reader’s head to solidify the concept of competence in all its forms. The book revolves around 2 main ideas: the competence lemon, which describes competence from a personal or internal perspective; and the loop, which depicts learning and competence within the context of the project and the organization at large.

Overview of Book’s Structure

One of most beneficial areas of this book is the way it is structured. Although it is a good (and fast) read from front to back, the author has skillfully organized the book so that specific sections within a chapter provide self-contained concepts. If the reader needs to understand a particular concept or group of concepts, the book allows the reader to do so. It is possible to read one chapter or a section within a chapter to understand the premise without reading the entire book.

Organized into 6 chapters, the book is further divided into sections within each chapter for the concepts that the author presents. It is reminiscent of a text book, which makes it extremely easy to locate and review passages that readers find particularly useful. Additionally, the main points of the book are highlighted with graphics and charts, further allowing readers to understand, remember, and refer back to impactful passages.

Highlights

Managing Project Competence tackles lofty concepts, and it does so in easy-to-understand language with real-life examples. The visuals help the reader understand the key ideas posited by the author. By describing the dimensions of individual competence and how organizations manage competence, the author demonstrates the practical ways that competence can be measured and managed. The author researched the theories of several industry experts to support his hypotheses, which lends additional credibility to the book.

Using the analogy of a lemon and lemon wedges, the author delivers a memorable explanation of personal competence. The concept of the loop takes individual competence and translates that into improved performance for project teams and organizations.

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About the Reviewer


Mechelle Davidson

Texas, USA

 

 

 

Mechelle Davidson is a Program Manager in Vistra Energy’s delivery office. She has worked for Vistra Energy and its retail arm, TXU Energy, for 10 years in both a project and people management capacity. With responsibility for implementing complex projects and programs, Mechelle’s current role has led her to the agile methodology, where she has developed a distinctive technique for blending traditional waterfall tasks with the scrum framework. A certified project management professional (PMP), scrum master (CSM), and six sigma black belt (CSSBB), Mechelle is passionate about project management and finds opportunities to use these skills both in and out of the workplace. Mechelle’s professional background includes project management, process improvement, learning & development, and consulting.

Mechelle can be contacted at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mechelledavidson/

 

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.  If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].

 

 

Realizing Strategy Through Projects

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:    Realizing Strategy Through Projects: The Executive’s Guide
Author:  Carl Marnewick
Publisher:  CRC Press / Taylor and Francis Group
List Price:   $55.96
Format:  Hardcover, 218 pages
Publication Date:   Nov 2017
ISBN: 978-1-138-19610-0
Reviewer: Denise Cordova
Review Date:   October 2018

 



Introduction

The book provides insight into how to view projects from an upper management level.  Not all organizations are immersed in the project management methodologies and therefore may be viewing projects more as something to complete to make operations or projects better.  Taking a different perspective to a different level will help organizations to see the benefits of tracking, monitoring, and realizing the benefits of project management.

The book also focuses on what statistical data is important from an executive’s position to compliment strategic alignment of goals and projects.  Additionally, the book expresses how the maturity level of project management within an organization will affect the ability to align strategies and create sustainability.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The structure of the book is easily understood by executives that are not well versed in the principles of project management.  The chapters review high level components and expectations for managing of projects.  Explanation of Programs and Portfolios is discussed and the how they are applied.

A key component of the authors message is the level of control that must be provided to project managers for successful execution of projects. This also implies that the vision and strategies are directly tied to project management.

Strategic alignment begins with the portfolio and the projects should meet the goals set in the portfolio, this is a good tool to consider when prioritizing projects and programs.  This book provides perspective in this area for the executive level reader.

Highlights

The best takeaway from this publication is the high-level perspective into how Project Management should align with strategic goals, but it takes it further and explains how this pairing will be successful for an organization.

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About the Reviewer


Denise Cordova

Texas, USA

 

 

 

According to Denise, “My work career began at the ripe old age of sixteen and I have worked in many career fields through the years, most people have a career and work in the same career, with various employers or for themselves.  I would say that my various careers have made me very versatile person.  I have worked as a Nurses Aid during High School while attending a two-year course for Dental Assisting. After High School, I joined the Army served 6 years as a Dental Laboratory Technician. After leaving the Army, I taught Dental Assisting at a private career school which after several years led to becoming a director of a school.  During that time, I was the chairperson for a national test writing committee for National Certification for Dental Assisting as well as being instrumental with state testing for radiology certifications for Dental Assistants in the state of Texas.  I left the Directorship and made the decision to seek a less stressful environment. I found a position as a 911 dispatcher for a County Sheriff’s office for about Six years. This was a stressful position, but a different type of stress.

With this experience I left and went to work for a Utility company and developed their dispatch center, since none existed.  This utility company offered opportunities that led to a position as a Metering Supervisor for about three years.  It was at this point I began working in the area of project management, but not as a formal process.  My next position would afford me the opportunity to begin thinking about how projects are viewed and executed.  The position was as Telecommunications Systems Administrator, which included responsibilities for PBX, Fiber Optics, Radio Communications, and Physical Security.  Each of these areas involved a mixture upgrades, construction, and complete replacements.  This position was for approximately six years.  My current position is Technology Systems Project Coordinator and I am in a position to be very involved in projects, either by leading or as part of a team.  My interest has been in this area for some time now and it is a very challenging because of the range of projects.  Technology is an ever changing and growing fluid environment where we build stability.  That is a very difficult concept and standard to maintain.  With the ever-changing world of technology and the levels of integration we see in business project management is a very demanding and important factor.  I have appreciated all of my career choices because they have led me down this road.  With this well-rounded experience, I am empowered to strive for more and will be seeking the PMP certification to validate my experiences and skills.”

Denise can be contacted at [email protected]

 

Editor’s note:  Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the Alamo PMI Chapter in San Antonio, Texas. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Alamo 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 Alamo Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published.   If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].

 

 

The Entrepreneurial Project Manager

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title: The Entrepreneurial Project Manager
Author:  Christopher Cook
Publisher: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Auerbach
List Price: $69.95
Format:  Hardcover, 196 pages
Publication Date:  August 2017   
ISBN: 978-1-4987-8235-7
Reviewer: Patt Chowdhury, MBA, MM, CAPM®
Review Date: September 2018

 


 
Introduction

Based on the title, I expected a book with a formula or blueprint for a new approach to managing both a project and a project team.  After reading it, I found this wasn’t exactly the case. The author has a unique perspective.

The author views the entrepreneurial mindset as the best approach for any project manager. This means that project managers will be as dependent upon on common sense, their life lessons, and observations of a variety of philosophers, elementary school teachers, pets, business leaders, sports figures and well-known athletic coaches as they are on the PMBOK. This sort of thinking will uncover opportunities for problem seeking, problem solving and professional growth for project managers engaged in traditional, agile and hybrid projects.

Overview of Book’s Structure

This book is arranged into 12 chapters of three to 16 sections that illustrate the theme of the chapter title but may not relate in any particular way to the other chapters. The assortment of topics provides insight to a wide variety of approaches, situations, and challenges. The common thread among the chapters is that most discuss Stoicism, Taoism and Sales.

Chapter 1:   Introduction
Chapter 2:   Traditional Mindset
Chapter 3:   Entrepreneurial Mindset
Chapter 4:   Organizational Strategy
Chapter 5:   Exploit Challenges
Chapter 6:   Entrepreneurial Agile Management
Chapter 7:   Pessimistic Optimist
Chapter 8:   80/20 Technique
Chapter 9:   Internalize Failure and Success
Chapter 10: Speaking and Influencing
Chapter 11: It Is What It Is Not
Chapter 12: Giving Back

Highlights

Philosophy is this author’s guidepost; he opines that “…philosophy provides the mental tools to handle most situations.” (p.5) He is also of the belief that while philosophy teaches us how to handle most people, sales skills teach us “…how to get what we want from those individuals.” (p.7)

Along with the maxims of Stoicism and Taoism, there are a number of everyday references, from a wide range of sources, that he believes project managers can add to their arsenals of tools and techniques to bring their projects in on time and on budget.  He discusses the 80/20 rule and removing emotions from decision making; identifies and explains a variety of biases with which we deal; the importance of keeping things simple; methods of critical thinking with de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats; and the importance of being human and the importance of recognition. Most project managers can draw from these lessons.

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About the Reviewer


Patt Chowdhury
, MBA, MM, CAPM®

North Texas, USA

 

 

 

Patt Chowdhury, Managing Principal and Consultant at Patt Chowdhury Advisors LLC, is a marketing executive and cross-functional senior manager with extensive experience in program and project management, marketing operations, product management, process development and information technology at iconic Fortune 500 brands in the information technology and travel and transportation industries. She is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Dallas Gupta College of Business where she teaches marketing and management courses in the MBA and MS programs. Patt is a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM®) and a Six Sigma Black Belt. She is a member of the PMI Dallas Chapter where she serves as Director, Lunch and Learn Program Series.

Patt can be contacted at [email protected]

 

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.  If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].

 

 

Borderless Leadership

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:  Borderless Leadership: Global Skills for Personal and Business Success
Author:  Zlatica Kraljevic
Publisher:  CRC Press
List Price:  $62.96
Format:  Hardcover, 224 pages
Publication Date:  May 2018
ISBN: 9781138591493
Reviewer: Dr. Charles Y. Chen, PMP
Review Date:  August 2018

 



Introduction

Studies consistently show how international partnerships between organizations fail, mostly to the lack of trust among people at all levels of the organization. This is also seen in leading and managing a multi-national team. After all, ignoring culture sensitivities raises imperceptible barriers that kill trust and relationships that otherwise may have been fruitful. Borderless Leadership describes the five-step methodology to develop the right mindset in how we see the world. Using real-life examples, the author illustrates how one can build the trust and rapport with strangers of a different nationality and culture background and establish the kind of relationships that help the business.

This is a timely book not only because the Western world looks at the fast-growing emerging markets as future profitable opportunities, but also the western workplace has become more heterogeneous. Understanding the differences that exists between the ways that the West and other cultures conduct business is ever more important.

Overview of Book’s Structure

This 9 chapter book is divided into five parts: awareness, understanding, knowledge, internalization, and practice. Each part discusses a new skill required to better understand the multi-national surroundings in the world that we live in today. The five parts are summarized as follows:

  • Awareness represents the impact of the transformation of the global market in the last two decades on traditional business. The author discusses techniques of how to look upon others as individuals with interest and needs likely to be very similar to your own, even though he / she may be of a different nationality.
  • Understanding describes how the world has changed from the 20th to the 21st century. The author offers the benefits of capturing the essence of the realities, interests, and needs of those you meet.
  • Knowledge advances a new approach to seeing the world so as to enhance your decision making skills. The author points out the negative impact of our own personal false bias and misconception of others, and how to mitigate them via reasoning.
  • Internalization exemplifies how leaders can effectively apply their updated view of the world to achieve success in a multinational marketplace.
  • Practice describes a wide range of real-life situations that the author experiences visiting a foreign country.

Highlights

The author draws upon her decades of international business experience and distilled it into a five-step paradigm of business skills and practices. The book provides concrete and compelling examples of business successes and failures in light of this paradigm. Most importantly, Dr. Kraljevic highlights the changing global dynamics and challenges facing leaders today. For example, one of the primary barriers to developing trust and rapport with foreign nationals is our lack of familiarity with other culture and the apprehension and anxiety associated with the unfamiliar.  This is also true in a heterogeneous workplace where the team is composed of multi-national members all with a different cultural background.

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About the Reviewer


Dr. Charles Y. Chen

Texas, USA

 

 

Dr. Charles Y. Chen, PMP has had the privilege of leading teams of engineers and scientists to transform ideas into viable products. His career began at Northrop Grumman, initially as a systems engineer and then as a program manager, he led matrixed teams of engineers to innovate, mature, and produce new electronic sensor technologies and algorithms. Energetics Incorporated introduced Charlie to the world of management consulting. Initially as a director then as the Chief Strategy Officer, he led teams to help clients transition ideas developed in the laboratory to the marketplace, overcoming the so-called valley of death. At Hover Energy, Dr. Chen led the key activities to build a new wind turbine designed for the urban environment. He is currently an Engineering Fellow and a member of the Chief Technologist’s Technical Staff at the Raytheon Company.

Dr. Chen received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University. He received his Executive Education from University of Chicago Booth School of Business. As a PMP, he looks forward to leading his next team to achieve the impossible.

Email address: [email protected].

https://www.linkedin.com/in/charlesychenphd/

 

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.  If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].

 

 

Achieve PMP Exam Success

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:   Achieve PMP Exam Success, 6th Ed: A Concise Study Guide for the Busy Project Manager
Authors:  Diane Buckley-Altwies, PMP; Diane White, PMP
Publisher:  J Ross Publishing
List Price:  $79.95
Format:  Soft cover, 526 pages
Publication Date: 2018
ISBN: 978-160427-152-2
Reviewer: Robert Goldstein
Review Date: Aug 2018

 



Introduction

The book Achieve PMP Exam Success 6th Edition, together with the PMP PMBOK Guide, has been written to help prepare for the successfully passing of the Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification Exam.  The book provides “A Concise Study Guide for the Busy Project Manager”

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book covers all subjects addressed on the PMP exam.  Each Chapter of the book is focused on key concepts covered on the exam:

  • Understanding the role of the Project Manager
  • Integration Management
  • Scope Management
  • Schedule Management
  • Cost Management
  • Quality Management
  • Resource Management
  • Communication and Risk Management
  • Stakeholder Management

Highlights

  • The first chapter of the book contains a 50-question assessment.  It is suggested by the authors to complete the assessment before proceeding with additional chapters in the preparation guide.  The assessment is designed to help the student focus on areas that require additional knowledge.  Students should still consider skimming other chapters for completeness.
  • A 50-question final exam is included that helps the student determine if they have  a good understanding of the material presented in the book.
  • The book helps to build skills focusing on using tools and techniques used in project management.  An understanding of how the tools can be used to manage projects is presented throughout the study guide.
  • Each chapter is structured to provide a list of tasks needed to pass the PMP exam.  The authors utilized input on passing the exam from:
    • Their experience helping others prepare for the exam
    • Input from workshop participants that they felt were useful in passing the exam.
  • The study guide’s objective is to add value to the to the PMBOK Guide through explanations and examples. The book should not be considered  a replacement for actual PMPBOK Guide.

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About the Reviewer


Robert Goldstein

Texas, USA

 

 

Robert Goldstein is a highly accomplished and results-oriented information technology executive with demonstrated expertise in system design/implementation, Agile/Scrum methodology, IT security, infrastructure design, data/voice design, KPIs, data center design, business reengineering, regulatory compliance/auditing, business intelligence, and healthcare cost accounting.

Robert can be contacted at [email protected]

 

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.  If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].

 

 

Agile Approaches

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title: Agile Approaches on Large Projects in Large Organizations
Author:  Brian Hobbs & Yvan Petit
Publisher:  Project Management Institute, Inc
List Price:  $24.95
Format:  Softcover, 133 pages
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN: 978-1-62825-175-3
Reviewer: Thomas Goller
Review Date: September 2018

 



Introduction

This book tackles a topic for which not much research and information is available, how the Agile methodology has been applied to large projects in large organizations and challenges faced by those projects and organizations.  The authors have completed some excellent research and the book is the sharing of the research and conclusions based on their analysis.  Also included are the actual surveys used and an extensive list of references which will be of interest to the reader desiring a deeper dive into areas and topics discussed.

The analysis of existing literature shares a brief overview of Agile and potential benefits that entice companies to use Agile as well as the challenges associated with transformation, company investment, implementation of the methodology, teaming, existing management practices/culture and requirements management.  This produces the context for the case studies and questionnaire used for research.

The research methodology and empirical results are presented, and definite themes emerge that large organizations with large projects will want to be aware of, especially if they are planning or in the process of implementing Agile.  The depth of the analysis will raise important questions in the reader’s mind and provide insight into challenges they face within their organization.

Overview of Book’s Structure

Starting with a brief but effective overview of the Agile methodology, a base understanding is provided which provides the reader with a foundation to effectively interpret the remainder of the book.

Sharing the details of the research premise, organizations targeted, results and the actual questionnaire is done in such a way that it flows very nicely.  The style in which it is presented is extremely informative and enjoyable as it builds upon what was read earlier.  In addition to the research, the authors share insights into deeper aspects to consider which are especially useful in the reader is in a transition situation and especially if they are leading such a transition

This is followed by a discussion and conclusion section which brings the research filled journey to a completion and insights into where to go next with future research.

The book then closes with the actual questionnaire used and references section which will prove invaluable as the reader will likely thirst for more facts.

Highlights

The book takes on a daunting topic, the challenges faced when the Agile Methodology (which is extremely effective in small to medium sized environments) is applied by large organizations for large projects.  The challenges associated with scale are not to be underestimated and go beyond how to guides, training challenges, and the issues associated with the project.  There are very real challenges associated with transformation, culture, investment and leadership in large organizations that have equally large consequences.

To provide real insight, research an analysis of existing literature as well as case studies and questionnaire results across a broad enough sample is required.  The authors leverage existing literature and research to formulate a very solid understanding of the challenges faced by large organizations and large projects.  The authors provide real data, real analysis to show the seriousness of the challenges and potential impacts.  Key data points are correlated across the case studies and questionnaire feedback with an explanation on how they relate and support the premises stated in the book.

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About the Reviewer


Thomas Goller

Texas, USA

 

 

 

Thomas Goller is a PMP certified project manager who holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado.  Mr. Goller has over 25 years of experience in the communications industry ranging from R&D Product Development to Operations and IT projects.   He has been privileged to lead teams from 5 to 800, using both Waterfall and Agile methods, and helped successfully transition from Waterfall to Agile for an organization of over 500 engineers.  Mr. Goller’s current project is a pilot project which starts the transition to Agile for his current organization.

Thomas can be contacted at [email protected]

 

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.  If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].

 

 

Megaproject Organization and Performance

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title: Megaproject Organization and Performance: The Myth and Political Reality        
Author:  Professor Nuno Gil; Dr. Colm Lundrigan, PhD; Professor Jeffrey K. Pinto; Professor Phanish Puranam
Publisher:  Project Management Institute (PMI)
List Price:  $34.95 USD
Format:  Soft Cover, 170 pages
Publication Date: June 2017
ISBN: 978-1-62825-176-0
Reviewer:  Sharon R Holland, PMP, PgMP
Review Date: September 2018

 



Introduction

Success for any project is measured by its performance and achieved outcomes.  Megaproject Organization and Performance provides insight into the performance challenges encountered on megaprojects, primarily involving infrastructure builds where land acquisition is a component.  The insights shared in this book can, however, give project and program managers, of any large undertaking, ideas and techniques for recognizing, adjusting to and counter acting performance challenges related to stakeholders, and the resources and influence they bring.

Overview of Book’s Structure

Megaproject Organization and Performance consists of five case-study like chapters that attempt to apply mega-organization performance theory to megaproject organizations.  Each chapter provides background on the megaproject being studied, the data collection process, the analytical approach taken by the study group, and a summary of their findings.

Chapters one, through four, focus on real megaprojects in the UK.  It introduces the challenges and complexities of an environment with multiple strategic decision makers that bring their own perspectives of the design and long-term usability of the final product.  It further considers their impact to strategic decisions, and the related performance measures, due to the addition of new members to this core group.

Chapter five switches focus to megaprojects in developing economies where governmental regulations and societal norms are very different from those of more developed nations.  These norms include more opaqueness, and other core group complexities, that result in ever-shifting balances of power and attempts to gain control over project outcomes.  The impact of the absence of foundational rules of fairness is seen in the difficulty of gaining consensus on the product’s scope, and the resulting significant slippages in completion dates and budget.

Highlights

The book introduces the concept of the Core (pluralistic strategic layer) vs. Peripheral stakeholders (implementation layer).  MegaProject Organization and Performance discusses how the core is formed, and reformed; and how the process of formation can impact strategic decisions which in turn impact implementation.  It considers how the need to obtain decision-making evidence, from the peripheral stakeholders, leads to entering contracts early in the strategic process which inherently locks in design choices that are likely to result in change orders later.

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About the Reviewer


Sharon Holland

North Texas, USA

 

 

Sharon R Holland, PMP, PgMP has led projects and programs of all sizes.  She began her career as a programmer with a small financial services software company, where she immediately began managing small projects.  She received formal project management training and significant experience while with Cap Gemini.  With her current employer where she has tenure for 15+ years, and has established PMOs and enterprise resource management, has managed mulitple programs and numerous projects.  Sharon has also facilitated the strategic planning process for two non-profit organizations.  She currently serves on the board of directors for one of those non-profits.

Sharon earned a B.Sc. in Comptuer Science from the University of North Texas and an M.Sc. in Information Systems Management from Boston University.  She earned the Project Management Professional (PMP) designation in May 2000 and the Program Management Professional (PgMP) designation designation in October 2017.

Sharon can be contacted at [email protected] or www.linkedin.com/in/sharonrholland

 

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.  If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].

 

 

The Age of Agile

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:  The Age of Agile: How Smart Companies are Transforming the Way Work Gets Done
Author:  Stephen Denning
Publisher:  American Management Association
List Price:  $28.00
Format: Hard cover, 336 pages
Publication Date: Feb 2018
ISBN: 9780814439098
Reviewer:  Alvin Keen, MBA, MPM, SCPM, LSSBB, GB, CCIM, CFM, FMA
Review Date:  August 2018

 



Introduction

The Age of Agile is a book that is very relevant and applicable for all industries that are dealing with change in their markets, customers, competition regarding product development, implementation, support and continued evolution of product lines.   It addresses how Agile evolve in the software industry and is both morphing and impacting product lines (both hardware and software) in other industries as to the rate of product development and implementation timelines.

As one reads Agile, you will think of many firms that floundered, failed, and equally many that are presently struggling transforming their organizations and products to be more Agile for increasing customer demands.   The customer now no longer has longevity in loyalty with products if these do not meet increasing functionality capabilities to support the Customer.  Companies now face competition that can erode established market presence through faster compressed product development and implementing to catch the customer’s attention.   Welcome to the Agile World.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The Age of Agile book is organized into two main sections which are Agile Management and Management Traps.

Section One — we get some background history of Agile evolution in software.   The background of Agile is to harness through collaboration, smaller work pieces, rapid implementation, smaller and tighter team cohesion, and sharing-learning through cross functions (reductions in silo’s) to help fuel the Agile team culture and performance.

The 3 main laws in Agile are identified as:

  • Law of Small Team – smaller autonomous teams, smaller work batches, and adaptive learning attitude
  • Law of Customer – Customer is “now the center” for business universe to focus upon to produce products with the “wow” factor in fit, form and functions for customers.
  • Law of Network – adaptive, evolution, cellular networks for organizing, resourcing, and supporting teams.

Section Two – discusses management traps and how firms deal with these in an Agile climate.  These traps are:

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About the Reviewer


Alvin Keen

Texas, USA

 

 

Alvin Keen has earned a MBA in Finance, Master of Science in Project Management, Stanford Certified Project Manager (SCPM), DOD DAWIA – Level II Program Management and Level II in Contract Management certifications, Graduate of DOD Program Manager College.   He earned Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Green Belt (LSSBB and GB) and has served in project management in aerospace, oil and gas, and military industries. He currently serves as adjunct professor teaching corporate finance, project management, quality systems, and organization theories.

 

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.  If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].