Investment Centric Project Management

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:  Investment Centric Project Management: Advanced Strategies for Developing and Executing Successful Capital Projects
Author:  Steven Keays
Publisher:  J. Ross Publishing
List Price:   $57.00
Format:  Hardback, 419 pages
Publication Date:   2017    
ISBN: 978-1-60427-142-3
Reviewer: Benjamin K. Diamond
Review Date: March 2018

 



The most critical thing I can say about Investment Centric Project Management by Steven Keays is that it’s “good and original” – however the parts that are good are not original, and the parts that are original are not good.

The author wants to build a case that 65% of $500M+ projects are failing because they are placing the ‘constraint trifecta’ ahead of valunomics. He calls his solution to this dilemma the Profitability Performing Asset (PPA) philosophy. The basis of PPA-based management is to give greater weight to the total cost of ownership and future revenue streams. Much of his premise seems to be another perspective of the principles of agile techniques (“advance all work incrementally”) and mind set which are already adopted in the 6th Edition of the PMBOK.

Furthermore, I question whether the problems identified are often a straw man for the strategic and operational-alignment challenge of Program and Portfolio Managers. Keays maintains that “a project is the development of a profitability performing asset”, “to transform the initial concept into a revenue stream”. In the world of capital projects, I don’t believe anyone would argue with that aspirational goal – thus my critical opening assessment: ‘good but not original’. That project management must be proactive rather than reactive journalism (p. 39) is both obvious and elusive. The unknown-unknown challenges which characterize a complex system and interfere with every endeavor is the art and unique value of project management. I don’t question Steven Keays’ successful experience, I would have enjoyed to see more case studies and facts to appreciate his perspective.

While the originality and unique contribution of PPA as a solution to successful project management are best left debated, Steven Keays culls from an impressive amount of experience to provide broad treatment of almost every other dimension of project management from the strategic to the tactical. His broad treatment of topics benefits any reader who is also a professional PM practitioner. Additionally, Keays is a gifted author with a knack for coining neologism’s which expand the lexicon and paradigm approach of project management.

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About the Reviewer


Benjamin K. Diamond

San Antonio, Texas, USA

 



Benjamin (Ben) K. Diamond
is a 2007 honors graduate of the United States Military Academy and a ten-year veteran of the US Army with a deployment to Iraq from 2008-09 and overseas tours in Germany and Korea. His Army career culminated as the Program Manager for US Army Corps of Engineers initiatives supporting Army operations throughout the Caribbean, Central American, and South America. He is now actively seeking a career in Project/Program Management. Ben has PMI certifications and extensive experience in Project, Program, Agile, and Risk Management and holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Missouri Science & Technology in Engineering Management.

[email protected]

 

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.  PMI members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books.   

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]

 

 

 

Rethinking Innovation and Design For Emerging Markets

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title: Rethinking Innovation and Design For Emerging Markets: Inside the Renault Kwid Project
Authors:  Christophe Midler, Bernard Jullien, Yannick Lung
Publisher: Auerbach Publications / CRC Press
List Price:  $59.95
Format: Hard cover, 164 pages
Publication Date: May 2017
ISBN: 9781138037205
Reviewer: Dr. Charles Y. Chen, PMP
Review Date: March 2018

 



Introduction

It is every entrepreneur’s dream and company’s desire to invent and develop a new product that will not only transform our lives but create an extremely lucrative revenue stream. Traditionally, the innovation method focuses on sophisticated products, usually incorporating new technologies to achieve cutting-edge performance to meet the expectations of the high-end market users of the first world countries.

But what about the developing countries?

In this book, Rethinking Innovation and Design for Emerging Markets, the authors have put together an engaging narrative of the creation process of a new automobile by the Renault-Nissan Alliance, the Kwid. The Kwid is an automobile specifically designed to meet the needs of the Indian user and overcome the challenges of the Indian market. The authors provide incisive insight and analysis into the management philosophy, organizational structure within the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and design pathways necessary to develop the Kwid, which has the potential to disrupt the entry-level automobile market in India while establishing a competitive advantage for other emerging markets in developing countries

Overview of Book’s Structure

This book, an English translation of Innover à l’envers – Repenser la stratégie et la conception dans un monde frugal, is organized in two parts. The book begins with the history of the Kwid project, from its inception through the design process to its scale-up and deployment in the Indian market. It is written in narrative form.

Part two of the book takes an analytical view of the Kwid project from three points of view. First, the authors characterize “fractal innovation” and “frugal innovation” and their accompanying design processes. This is followed by a discussion of how a low-end strategy focused on emerging markets could be established and deployed in firms that are accustomed to serving first-world markets. The authors conclude this section with an analysis of how this reverse innovation strategy could be deployed in a large multinational organization.

Highlights

The conventional innovation strategy we see in industrialized countries first focus on the needs of the wealthiest areas (top of the pyramid) before trickling down to users in emerging or developing countries [1]. The alternative approach is reverse innovation, where the focus is on the customers at “bottom of the pyramid.” The product design revolves around the specific needs of the customers in these emerging markets and is more likely to be produced locally [2], bringing a new balance of cost-scope-quality in product development. However, it is with this reverse innovation approach that provides a company a competitive position for high growth markets of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, and China).

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About the Reviewer


Dr. Charles Y. Chen

Texas, USA

 

 

Dr. Charles Y. Chen 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. As Executive Vice President of Engineering at Hover Energy, Dr. Chen is leading and coordinating key activities to scale-up a new wind turbine designed for the urban environment.

Dr. Chen got his B.S. and Ph.D. 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 teams 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.  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. 

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]

 

 

How to Get Executives to Act For Success

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title: How to Get Executives to Act For Success
Author:  Michael O’Brochta, PMI-ACP, PMP
Publisher:  Zozer, Inc
List Price: $22.50
Format:  Paperback
Publication Date: Feb 2018
ISBN: 978-1981283439
Reviewer: Alice Chiang, PMP, PSM I, M.B.A.
Review Date:   March 2018

 



Introduction

Pointing out a popular question that many project managers have had: how to get support from executives for making a project success? Mr. O’Brochta understands this challenge is inevitable to happen when managing a project. He summarizes his experiences from doing project management and his studies from reading related materials into this book.

This book is not only for project managers, but also for executives who pursue projects and careers to have desired results. It states suggestions and explains reasons for suggestions that are all surrounding the concerns that most readers care about.

Overview of Book’s Structure

Six chapters, starting from introducing what challenges have happened during the author’s experience. Next, disclosure of the problem, define project managers’ goals, address expectations for project success decades ago to current.

Chapter three outlines actions that executives are expected to have. Next chapter analyzes barriers to getting project managers and executives to work together by different aspects: limitation of roles, different viewpoints and project management knowledge, and status of organization.

Chapter five lists eight steps that the author suggests project managers can take. The final chapter addresses the reality from taking actions. The progress of getting executives to act for project success would be incremental and cumulative. In addition, the author mentions the influence of willpower and delayed gratification. In the last part of this chapter, the author speaks his appreciation and other suggestions to readers.

The design of six chapters applies project management standard: define requirements, identify facts, plan what to do, what resources the plans would take. When reading this book following the order of chapters, you will experience the project management style of the author.

Highlights

Mr. O’Brochta mentions specific keywords in each chapter: reinforces mutual relationships. With positive mutual relationships between key stakeholders, your project can process more smoothly. most everywhere, and in any role, having good relationships with people can trigger tasks to move more easily and more quickly. This book reveals this reality; no matter if you like it or not, that is a fact.

As time changes, the definition of a project success expanded. Sponsors are expecting more good results. It turns out, how to achieve project success is becoming more complicated and difficult. By taking suggested project manager steps, practice over and over again, revising the style of managing projects by reviewing results and feedbacks, you will be able to set up a standard, have more confidence to handle projects.

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About the Reviewer


Alice Chiang, PMP

Taiwan and USA





Alice Chiang
is a long-life student of project management. Having an M.B.A. and a Bachelor degree in Information Management, she also holds PMP (Project Management Professional) and PSM I (Professional Scrum Master) certifications. She has 8 years of experience with managing projects in software service for business operations, data management, and project management consulting. Alice enjoys working with teams to deliver satisfied software products to customers.

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.  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. 

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

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:    Bridging the PM Competency Gap: A Dynamic Approach to Improving Capability and Project Success
Author: Loredana Abramo, PMP and Rich Maltzman, PMP
Publisher: J. Ross Publishing
List Price: $37.95
Format: Hardcover, 294 pages
Publication Date: 2017      
ISBN: 9781604271409
Reviewer: B. K. Gamble, PMP
Review Date: March 2018

 



Introduction

Bridging the PM Competency Gap provides a structured approach and practical steps on how to close the competency gap within organizations regardless of their size. Abramo and Maltzman provide several strategic approaches on how to build a sustainable, continuous learning environment.

The two authors have a wealth of experience between them. Their approach to bridging the PM competency gap is thorough, detailed, and very organized. Each chapter provides many helpful tools to illustrate their main points. The strategic approaches that are provided in the book are thoughtful and insightful as each recommendation considers the scaleability options for small to large organizations.

Overview of Book’s Structure

This book covers its content in nine chapters. The first chapter provides a definition of what comprises the PM competency and introduces the “The Gap” problem statement. What is it that keeps Project Managers from achieving excellence? A competency gap! The authors define PM Competency as “the ability to successful and efficiently manage projects with a combination of technical, leadership, strategic, and business management expertise.” In discussing the PM competency gap, Abramo and Maltzman reviewed the key areas of the PMI Talent Triangle: Technical, Leadership, and Strategic and Business Management. Leadership was noted as being the most important skill for long-term success. As projects become more complex, strong project leadership skills are even more important to ensure strategic value is delivered to the organization.

In the remaining chapters, Abramo and Maltzman share several strategic approaches and tools that can be used to establish a continuous learning environment for different organization sizes. The book’s final chapter provides feedback from 36 experts regarding the PM competency gap and their recommendations on how address it. Four appendices are also provided for additional reference.

Highlights

It is important to spend adequate time upfront developing the overall strategic approach. Senior leadership’s support is needed to endorse the importance of project management as a discipline. It was noted that while you also need strong support from the middle management level to make competence building an ongoing, active contributor to project success, project managers also need to be aware of their own needs and take responsibility for their own development.

Before you go too far down the path in understanding the PM competency gap in your organization, you must first observe and evaluate your project management staff. There are generational differences in the workplace – age matters! Project Managers tend to reflect the populations from which they are drawn. Different generations do not learn in the same way and are not motivated by the same things. Understanding the mix of Project Managers in your organization’s community is important as you strategize on how to build a continuous learning organization.

When addressing which tools are needed for the competency gap there are many options regarding training. However, one size does not fit all situations. Some of the options highlighted include: Formal Training, Knowledge Transfer, and Mentoring Programs.

More…

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About the Reviewer


B. K. Gamble, MBA, PMP

Kerrville, TX, USA

 



B. K. Gamble
is currently the HR Training and Development Manager for a non-profit operating foundation in the Texas Hill Country and is a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI Alamo Chapter). B.K’s career was focused in the Information Technology arena for over 35 years but she jumped on the Project Management bandwagon 15 years ago.

B. K. has a B.S. in Computer Science, a M.B.A. in Information Systems, and has held the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification since 2001. She has varied interests but considers herself to be a “life-long” learner and seeks opportunities to improve herself by learning new skills and serving others.

Email address: www.linkedin.com/in/bkgamble


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.  PMI members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books.   

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: Hard Cover 339 Pages
Publication Date:   2018
ISBN13: 978-1-60427-149-2
Reviewer: David Kressin PMP
Review Date:   March 2018

 



Introduction

Breakthrough Portfolio Management is one of the first real “How To” books for creating, monitoring and managing a portfolio process that I have ever read.  This book goes beyond other similar product, project, program and portfolio reference books to physically lay out the steps to take to implement and build a successful portfolio and yourself as a successful Portfolio Manager.

Like all books dealing with business processes it starts out slowly defining and laying out all of the of concepts that a Portfolio Manager may need to know and understand.  Then it provides the tool (mEVM) for successfully monitoring the performance of a portfolio. Finally, it provides proven tactical and strategic processes and step needed to startup, monitor and maintain a successful portfolio.  If you read this book because it is your first portfolio process as a Portfolio Manager or because it is your 100th and simply want to know more, this book will provide what you need.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is laid out in 4 parts:  Defining the essential components of a Portfolio process, Understanding and applying the mEVM to portfolio management, Implementation and startup processes and ongoing monitoring and support of a Portfolio process. Within these parts each has several chapters explain the concepts and proving the essentials for us to successful creating and maintaining a portfolio process on our own.  It not only tells you how to build and maintain a portfolio but it provides proven steps and FAQs that empower you to feel as though you can do it because you have experienced all the aspects of Portfolio Management before.

Highlights

I was once told that a mark that separates a great employee, manager, consultant, etc. from a good one is that they care.  They care about the people that they work with and the projects that they work on.  They show you in the way they approach and do their work.  I see that caring attitude in the pages of this book.  Kulathumani does not just provide global concepts or pencil in a few bullet points on implementing and managing a portfolio process. He actually provides detailed descriptions on how to start up the process and how to manage it once stated.  He even takes it a step further and providing a chapter on real world gotcha’s and question and answers on how to either avoid or resolve common issues.

I cannot praise Kulathumani enough for dedicating a large section of his book on the definition and utilization of what he believes to be the best performance monitoring tool available for ensuring successful performance monitoring and management of a portfolio…

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About the Reviewer


David Kressin, PMP

Texas, USA




David Kressin
, PMP is a senior program manager in the retail and wholesale logistics industry specializing in improving warehouse strategic and tactical operations, labor and systems efficiencies. I have worked for over 35 years managing resource efficiency improvements and logistics, transportation, warehouse management software implementations in the retail and wholesale warehousing environments.  My concentration is in the high volume grocery, food and drug industries.  I have successfully planned, implemented, and managed several strategic projects to improve warehouse and logistics efficiencies around the world.  For the past 20 years I have been working as an independent consultant.

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.  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. 

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]

 

 

Responsible Leadership in Projects

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:    Responsible Leadership in Projects: Insights Into Ethical Decision Making
Author:  Clarke, D’Amato, Higgs & Vahidi
Publisher:  Project Management Institute
List Price:  $24.95
Format:  Soft cover, 150 pages
Publication Date:   2018    
ISBN: 978-1-62825-476-1
Reviewer: Shawn Waghorn
Review Date:   March 2018

 



Introduction

A snapshot look into how those who serve as project leaders can use their experience to respond to ethic problems within the project world. Team members and stakeholders often do not realize how their behavior affects the project and those affected by the project. The authors conducted a 12-month study to learn about inter-relationships among conflict, ethical issues and decision making as they observed an organization transform a massive transformational change in the United Kingdom.

The authors conducted interviews with several members of the project team to include the project manager, the project sponsor and several subject matter experts as they worked through the change process within this organization. This study is fascinating as it takes us through a yearlong observation and learning experience with the project team as they struggle to make decisions on how to reduce the employee population as the company transitions into a new business model

Overview of Book’s Structure

This 150 page book is broken down into 13 chapters. It starts by taking a quick look at previous research done on similar subjects to establish a basis for comparison. It also starts by describing the organizational culture, which in this case was “paternalistic” and “caring”. The book is laid out nicely as it takes the reader through the study in a way that is easy to follow and logical as it flows from introduction to conclusion

The authors clearly establish enablers and constraints as they observe the selected organization for a year. The interviews with subject matter experts provide practical and relatable experiences for almost any project manager. The authors clearly describe the dilemma they observed as the project team in the United Kingdom struggled to make ethical and responsible decisions throughout the course of a year.

Highlights

The business transformation required potentially major changes, such as laying off employees or offering the employees a new job in a different area. The company wanted to change the business model and work towards making a profit, which required a study to decide where efficiencies could be made. One area in particular was cutting out insurance sales people who could offer discounts on life insurance policies, a clear reason why the company was not making a profit. Insurance sales people were allowed to offer incentives to customers who had been using this firm for multiples years.

The major highlight of this book is the exclusive interviews with project team members as they face daily struggles to make decisions. The interviews take a harsh look at how project team members, who were made up of employees from within the company looking to downsize, felt about making life-changing decisions to lay off employees.

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About the Reviewer


Shawn Waghorn

San Antonio, Texas, USA




Shawn Waghorn
is a recently retired Air Force member with 10+ years of project management experience. Currently Shawn works as a Program Manager within the Department of Defense, working on web-based applications to improve customer (military members) ability to quickly locate personal information, such as new assignment information, retirement eligibility, personal data for promotion boards and information regarding personal finances.

 

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.  PMI members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books.   

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].

 

 

Practioner’s Guide to Program Management

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:    The Practioner’s Guide to Program Management
Author:  Irene Didinsky, MBP, PMP
Publisher:  Project Management Institute, Inc.
List Price:  $39.95
Format:  Paperback, 235 pages
Publication Date:   May 2017      
ISBN: 978-1-62825-368-9
Reviewer: Melissa Zahn, PMP
Review Date:   March 2018

 



Introduction

“A Practitioner’s Guide to Program Management” by Irene Didinsky is meant to be used as a desktop manual in the day-to-day work of practicing Program Managers.  Irene states that she recognized that there weren’t many books published on program management so she set out to create a standard approach and user manual on the topic.  This book is published by PMI and she aligns the concepts with PMI’s The Standard for Program Management published in 2006.

This book goes into detail about how to manage a program throughout the program’s life cycle and even has detailed tips for setting up a program, managing and reporting on the program status using Microsoft Project.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book contains an Executive Summary, 11 chapters and a glossary of terms and is 235 pages in length.  Chapters 1 and 2 cover the history of program management, compares project versus program management, and defines what makes a successful Program Manager.  Chapters 3 – 7 introduce the program management concepts of strategy alignment, benefits realization, stakeholder engagement, program governance, and the program life cycle.  Chapters 8 (Program Management Infrastructure) and 9 (Effective Program Management) are very detailed chapters and are meant to be used as the practioner’s guide portion of the book.  Chapters 10 and 11 are the Future of Program Management and Program Management Community of Practice.  Chapter 11 discusses the value of participating in an existing Program Management Community of Practice and if one doesn’t exist in your area, it explains how to set up and start a Community of Practice in your organization.

Highlights

The two highlights for me were in Chapter 2.  The first is when Irene introduced the concept of the program management continuum, which is referenced from the book, Program Management for Improved Business Results by James M. Waddell and Russ J. Martinelli.  She explains that there are two types of organizations, project-oriented and program-oriented and then there are levels of proficiency within these two types and based on where your organization is on the continuum can determine the true benefits derived by program management.

The second highlight is when she introduced the program proficiency framework which included an illustration of this concept and breaks down the proficiency needed for a Program Manager into three categories: program leadership, program operational management, and interpersonal skills.  Each of these categories is further divided into specific skills needed by the program manager.  The program proficiency framework is described in an easy-to-understand format and illustrated with several diagrams and tables.  When I was reading this portion of the book, I highlighted several skills and think that I can write a great job description for a program management role in my organization.

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About the Reviewer


Melissa Zahn, PMP

Texas, USA

 

 

Melissa Zahn, PMP is a Marketing Technology Architect in the Financial Services industry.  She has spent the last 18 months as a Program Manager managing a name change program for her organization.  Melissa was certified as a PMP in January 2005 and has been an active member of the Alamo PMI organization ever since.  She has worked in the Financial Services industry for 30 years and has experience in program and project management, software implementation projects, and IT management.  She has a track record for successfully implementing large cross-functional projects.

Email address:  www.linkedin.com/in/melissa-zahn-aba8a712


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.  PMI members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books.   

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].

 

 

Leading the Unleadable


BOOK REVIEW

Book Title: Leading the Unleadable: How to Manage Mavericks, Cynics, Divas and Other Difficult People        
Author:  Alan Willett
Publisher: American Management Association
List Price:   $17.95
Format: Soft Back; 225 pages
Publication Date:  2017     
ISBN: 9780814437606
Reviewer: Dyane Johnson Holt, PMP
Review Date:   February 2018

 



Introduction

Leading and managing people is my area of expertise as a senior level Human Capital Management leader. I was intrigued by “Leading the Unleadable: How to Manage Mavericks, Cynics, Divas, and Other Difficult People” as a seeker of solutions to best leverage research and industry insights to design and execute business driven HR programs. Alan Willett’s book is an outstanding demonstration of how to improve behaviors in the workplace without losing sight of the mission or the people who support the mission. Alan’s brilliant transforming processes will help drive you to great management of problem people. The book is broken down into 4 parts that hold a wealth of simple, yet deep dives into management excellence: The Call to Exceptional Leadership; The Leader in Action: Spotting Trouble, Dealing with Trouble; The Leader in Action: Preventing Trouble; and Leading Leaders.

Overview of Book’s Structure

Leading the Unleadable is a well written and structured how to guide. As a consultant, Alan wrote the book from his experiences having participated on either side of the maverick, cynic, slacker or diva role. Many examples are included in the book that captivate the readers interest. He gently walks you through real life situations and engaging conversations. Each chapter of the book is packed full of workable methods, steps and or keys leading to actionable outcomes and culminates with “Reflection Points”.

Alan is experienced in leadership development and organizational-culture change. He holds a wealth of knowledge allowing the reader to gain broad insight from his experiences to expand their leadership capabilities. For me as a leader, I hold Alan’s book in high regard as a ready resource of actionable intelligence as I not only lead and manage people but also share the wealth of knowledge gained from the reading.

Highlights

Whatever you lead it is all about people. Understanding that leadership is larger than a troublesome employee is critical to successful leading. Leading is about you as an exceptional leader having the right mindset and making a choice to lead.  It is about the mission of the organization and the effectiveness of the people who are under leadership. Leveraging research, industry insight and best practice is critical to driving successful results in business programs.

More…

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About the Reviewer


Dyane Johnson Holt

Washington, D.C. USA

 

 

Dyane Holt, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, PMP is a senior Human Capital Management leader with over 20+ years’ experience bringing value to organizations through strategic management of HR practices and programs. Her industry focus is government contracting, not-for-profits, and professional employer organizations. Dyane has served in the capacity of Vice President, Human Resources, Executive Strategic HR Business Partner, program manager and trusted advisor to executive leaders. Dyane is classified as an HR guru amongst her cohorts. With her understanding of business drivers, she has successfully worked with business leaders of a highly cyclical businesses.  Included in her contributions are proposal, program and contract management and the strategic management of Human Capital.

Born and raised in the USA, Dyane is a native Washingtonian. Dyane is passionate about giving back to her areas of expertise and she believes in the development of people and the advancement of business missions.

She 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 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.  Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books. 

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]

 

 

9 Habits of Project Leaders (PMI)


BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:   9 Habits of Project Leaders: Experience and Data-Driven Practical Advice in Project Execution
Author: Arun Singhal and Puja Bhatt
Publisher:  Project Management Institute, Inc.
List Price:   $12.95
Format:  Spiral-Bound 7×4.5 in Book
Publication Date:   2017
ISBN: LCCN2017005884
Reviewer:     Heron Gonzalez Jr., PMP
Review Date:   February 2018

 



Introduction

Project Management is a dynamic and challenging profession that demands the creation of unique results in fast paced and demanding environments. To be successful, a project manager needs to develop and then consistently apply a broad set of skills. To grow in the profession, project managers need to sharpen their skills with each new project. The “9 Habits of Project Leaders” by Singhal and Bhatt, is an excellent tool for a busy project manager to have in her tool box. It clearly, insightfully summarizes nine key success ingredients that practitioners need in order to successfully launch and grow their project management career.

Overview of Book’s Structure

“9 Habits of Project Leaders” is two books in one. It is first a project management leadership resource that is meant to be read from cover to cover to learn about key practices and thought patterns of successful project managers.

The book is also a handy reference book that is formatted be carried in a brief case or backpack, or kept in a convenient location in a workspace for periodic review and reference. The book’s spiral bound pages make the book easy to open and close and so encourage its use as a frequently used reference book.

The book’s layout is also intended to facilitate convenient use. After a helpful Preface, the book is laid out in Eleven chapters which cover each of the 9 Habits (Chapters 1-9), a discussion of the alignment of the habits with PMBOK Knowledge areas (Chapter 10) and a Summary and Conclusion (Chapter 11). The nine chapters covering the success habits should be viewed as an integrated model, but each chapter can stand alone based on its content’s insight for a particular reader. The chapter on alignment (Chapter 10) contains an excellent chart which helps to cross-reference the 9 Habits to the PMBOK Guide’s Knowledge Areas.

Finally, two helpful Appendices provide the reader with information about the author’s experience (Appendix A) and their Data Collection and Analysis Methodology (Appendix B).  Appendix B was a key element of the book for me. It drove to the heart of what it means to be a project manager. It shows that the book is based on real world, proven project experience, just like a successful project.

Highlights

Singhal and Bhatt admit that there is “nothing particularly revolutionary about the nine habits,” but as a reader and admirer of Steven Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” I thought the same about Covey’s extraordinarily insightful book before I read it and applied it to my life. Books of this kind present what appear to be simple ideas in a way that are incisive and eminently useful.

More…

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About the Reviewer


Heron Gonzalez, Jr., PMP

San Antonio, TX, USA

 




Heron Gonzalez, Jr
is currently a Business Process Outsourcing Sr. Migration Manager and a member of the Project Management Institute. His professional experience also includes Program/Project Management, Business Process Engineering, Information Security, Human Resources, Organizational Planning/Design, Change Management and Operations Integration.

Heron has a B.A. and an M.B.A., and has obtained the Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Outsourcing Professional (COP), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) professional designations.

 

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.  PMI members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books.   

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 on Large Projects


BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:     Agile Approaches on Large Projects in Large Organizations
Author:  Brian Hobbs and Yvan Petit
Publisher:  Project Management Institute, Inc.
List Price:   $24.95
Format:  soft cover, 133 pages
Publication Date:  2017
ISBN: 978-1-62825-175-3
Reviewer:     Vickie Carvajal, PMP
Review Date:   February 2018

 



Introduction

In this book, the authors’ focus was to evaluate how Agile approaches are used in large projects in large organizations.

The authors provide a summary of how Agile methodolgies and approaches have evolved and are used in software development projects. Their primary focus of the book is to determine the success of Agile when used outside of small noncritical in-house software development projects executed by colocated teams.  They also included information regarding how the Project Management role has evolved due to Agile.

The research documented in the book primarily focused on answering a couple of questions:

  • At the project Level – What challenges are encountred when applying agile methods to large multiteam software projects  and what practices have been developed to alleviate these challenges?
  • At the organizational level – How does the context of large, complex organizations affect the adaptation and adoption of agile appproaches and vice versa?

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book was structured in 7 chapters:

Chapter 1 – Introduction
Chapter 2 – Literature Review
Chapter 3 – Methodology
Chapter 4 – Results
Chapter 5 – Discussion
Chapter 6 – Conclusion
Chapter 7 – Future Research

Within each chapter, the authors provide information supporting their focus for that chapter. There are 133 pages in the book.  Chapter 1 is 3 pages long, Chapter 2 is 14 pages long, Chapter 3 is 9 pages long, Chapter 4 is 47 pages long, Chapter 5 is 5 pages long, Chapter 6 is 1 page long and Chapter 7 is 2 pages long. Also included were the following sections at the end of the book. Acknowledgments (1 page long), References (9 pages long), Appendix – Research Survey (33 pages long), About the Authors (1 page long).

Highlights

Chapter 1: Introduction

In Chapter 1, the authors provide a background on Agile methodolgies and it’s place  in today’s project management environment.  They provide information found in existing literature and areas where there has been minimal focus, therefore putting into perspective the focus of the research documented in the book.  They provide an introduction to the research included in the book and highlight that the focus is on the projects and the organizational context in which the projects are executed.

More…

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About the Reviewer


Vickie Carvajal, PMP

North Texas, USA

 


Vickie Carvajal
, PMP has more than 20 years of experience working in application services and consulting. She has provided project management for a variety of clients in various industries and countries. Vickie has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Angelo State University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Southwest Texas State University.

 

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. 

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]

 

Mastering Organizational Change Management


BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:  Mastering Organizational Change Management
Author:  Barbara A. Davis
Publisher:  J. Ross Publishing
List Price:   $59.95
Format:  Hardcover, 6×9, 264 pages
Publication Date:   May 2017
ISBN: 978-1-60427-141-6
Reviewer: Michael Morris
Review Date:   February 2018

 



Introduction

Few things in life challenge us more than change. While each of us feel as if we would readily embrace a change for the better, the more cynical nature tends to view change as a threat to our stable lives. Heraclitus is often quoted as stating that “…the only thing that is constant is change…”, and in the corporate world of today nothing could be more accurate.

This book approaches change management in a very human, and personal manner. The author consistently weaves the thought processes behind our natural tendency to resist change into a fabric of methodologies designed to assist those of us challenged with planning, championing, and assisting in the implementation of change within organizations. Regardless of the scope of the change, or the organization in which that change is undertaken, she reminds us that change must always be approached both from a top-down approach as mandated by senior management initiatives, as well as from a grassroots approach, to ensure that the changes are not merely tolerated, but embraced.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The general structure of the book leads the reader into the subject in a way that is both informative, and logical even if the reader is unaware of the finer points of change management. As the author states repeatedly throughout the book, all lasting change must start and end with the individual. As such, the first portion of the book addresses the various barriers to change that a change agent is likely to encounter. Underscoring the need for successful change to have a grassroots level of participation, she leads us through the various barriers to change, both internal and external.

The text then covers the various reasons that organizations undertake changes, and the importance of understanding the language of change. Key to this language is the importance of both listening to understand, and speaking to be understood. The author then breaks down the process of change itself, which has both internal and external components. The internal components address how individuals change themselves, how they prepare for change, and how they seek to incorporate change into their altered role within the organization. On the other hand, the external components speak to the various ways in which the organization changes people, how to engage individuals in the change, ways to build confidence while transferring the requisite knowledge surrounding and supporting the change, and the need for positive reinforcement and governance.

Foundational to every change effort is the need to gain a deep understanding of both the business itself, including the ecosystem in which it operates, the business model utilized, key relationships both inward and outward facing, and the organizations’ culture. Of equal importance is understanding the people, processes, technology, and goals involved in the change effort, as well as who will be impacted by the change. Upon the completion of a needs assessment, as well as an impact assessment, of the affected individuals, the effort can be planned appropriately.

The book then covers four Organizational Change Management approaches, and delves into the particulars of each one. These include ADKAR (Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement), the eight step Kotter method, IIEMO (Inform, Involve, Evolve, Maintain, and Observe), and AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action). In order to make the selected approach effective, various techniques are discussed which enable, support, and reinforce the efforts surrounding the selected change approach.

More…

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About the Reviewer


Michael Morris

North Texas, USA

 




Michael Morris
has over 15 years of experience in all facets of Project Management, covering software, firmware, and hardware products for the high-end consumer market. His extensive experience with both waterfall and agile methodologies of various flavors, allows him to mold his approach to various challenges to fit the needs of the project, and the composition of the teams bringing the effort to a successful conclusion. He currently holds PMP, PMI-ACP, and CSM certifications, and lives in central Texas with his wife Bertie, and son Aiden. 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.  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. 

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]

 

 

9 Habits of Project Leaders


BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:  9 Habits of Project Leaders: Experience and Data-Driven Practical Advice in Project Execution      
Author:  Arun Singhal and Puja Bhatt
Publisher:  Project Management Institute Inc.
List Price: $12.95
Format:  Soft Cover, spiral bound, 65 pages
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN: 978-1-62825-179-1
Reviewer: Edward Raibick, PMP
Review Date: February / 2018

 



Introduction

The book titled 9 Habits of Project LeadersExperience and Data-Driven Practical Advice in Project Execution is a pocket guide published through PMI by Arun Singhal and Puja Bhatt. The book discusses transforming 9 key behaviors into habits for successful project management results. These habits were determined by interviewing over 50 senior project managers, directors, and core team members who were responsible for executing technically complex projects around the world.

Overview of Book’s Structure

  • Chapter 1 discusses project ownership
  • Chapter 2 reviews enabling core team members to make decisions
  • Chapter 3 discusses effective project meetings
  • Chapter 4 covers project planning.
  • Chapter 5 discusses executing to the plan
  • Chapter 6 covers communication and documentation
  • Chapter 7 reviews status reporting on your project
  • Chapter 8 discusses project milestone celebration.
  • Chapter 9 introduces setting up a project recognition system
  • Chapter 10 aligns to PMBOK guide’s knowledge areas
  • Chapter 11 Summary and conclusion

Highlights

9 Habits of Project Leaders is a handy guide for any project manager providing the core habits needed to effectively lead and deliver on projects. This book is not meant to be an exhaustive book of analysis, management styles and theories. Instead it serves as a useful pocket reference tool providing advise to keep you focused throughout the lifecycle of your project.

More…

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About the Reviewer


Edward Raibick, PMP

North Texas, USA

 


Edward Raibick, PMP
is a Security Project Management consultant with extensive experience software engineering, managerial and IT Project Management experience. 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. Edward is a member of the Project Management Institute, Dallas Chapter, having acquired his PMP certification in 2011.

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.  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. 

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 Essentials of Managing Programmes

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title: The Essentials of Managing Programmes        
Author:  John Bartlett, BA Hon. FRGS, Hon. FAPM, CPM, ALCM, LLCM
Publisher:  Routledge
List Price:   $ 50.95
Format:  Paperback, 102 pages
Publication Date:   2017    
ISBN: 978-1-138-28829-4
Reviewer: Marta Santos, PhD
Review Date: February 2018

 


Introduction

The Essentials of Managing Programmes revolves around the decisions, benefits, and distinctions between  program and project management. John Bartlett, the author of this and several other books/articles covering change, risk, and quality devotes this volume to further clarify the approaches and techniques to successful implementation of programs.

Overview of Book’s Structure

A good portion of this book is dedicated to helping the reader distinguish the uses and purposes of projects and programs, as well as its benefits and exceptions. Several tables and illustrations allow for easy visualization of concepts and process flow. The examples are attention grabbers, as they include the very well-known Year 2000 problem besides other high profile UK programs.

Highlights

In the author’s opinion, these are some of the key characteristics of a programme:

  • Allows for breakdown of a business strategy into smaller components
  • Tolerates variation in the business strategy interpretation
  • Longer duration than projects
  • Strategic nature – Supports the strategic objective of an organization
  • Focus – A business strategy
  • Designed for scope change
  • Ideal for monitoring benefits achievement
  • Should be designed for change
  • Complex and multidisciplinary
  • Ideal for innovative undertakings
  • Change can be implemented as strategic programs
  • More adaptable to an organization’s culture

More…

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About the Reviewer


Marta Santos, PhD,
CAPM, LSSGB

Texas, USA

 


Marta Santos
currently serves on a global Cybersecurity Transformation Program as a Project Coordinator – IT Security. She previously served on a global IT Infrastructure Refresh Project after transitioning from a productive career in the Life Sciences as a Research Scientist and author on major scientific journals. She is looking forward to growing in and contributing to the Project Management profession. This is her third book review for the PM World Journal.

A naturalized American from Brazil, Marta currently lives in the Dallas area.

Email address: www.linkedin.com/in/martabsantos 

 

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. 

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 Business of Portfolio Management

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title: The Business of Portfolio Management: Boosting Organizational Value Through Portfolio Management
Author:  Iain Fraser, PMP, PMI Fellow
Publisher:  Project Management Institute, Inc.
List Price:   $44.95
Format:  Hardcover, 166 pages
Publication Date:   2017    
ISBN:  9781628253726
Reviewer: Marta Santos, PhD
Review Date:   January 2018

 



Introduction

Writing a book review is no easy endeavor when a reviewer wants to honor the book’s content, the author’s experience, and the value of shared knowledge. Reviewing The Business of Portfolio Management by Iain Fraser was no exception. I will therefore be as succinct as possible, as an attempt to drive the reader to pursue an in depth learning experience from the manuscript.

Overview of Book’s Structure

While introducing the main theme of the book, the author revisits classic aspects of business organization and takes a closer look into talent management, risk, maturity and the Ps to success. It is all presented with a new flare, and thus worth reading.

In agreement with the theme of ‘change’, that seems to be gaining momentum in the present time, the books emphasizes the need for change by pointing out key areas, types, and the drivers of change. Also, that is accompanied by clear guidelines on how to deliver transformation that comes with impact and profits.

Highlights

In his book, Iain Fraser guide’s you through an approach towards efficient portfolio management by using a value management framework. Trying to explain it here might not do justice to the original writings and therefore, it would be wise to the reader to set aside some time to learn directly from the source.

Fraser’s approach has been applied to real business which most of us are very familiar with and thus his framework wasn’t designed for philosophical debate, exclusively. Rather, it is was built for realizing results that can drive organizations ahead. Portfolio management is not about structure. As mentioned by the author, it is “a way of doing business”. Whether it be an action or milestone, it needs to be considered from the portfolio perspective and with the value management framework in mind. That is key to success.

Highlights: What I liked!

I currently support the Portfolio Management Metrics and Reporting efforts of a global organization. Given the focus on portfolio and a section dedicated exclusively to portfolio metrics and reporting, I find Fraser’s book as if written for me! It is the ultimate guide to reporting what distinct audiences need most, in a format suitable to them…

More…

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About the Reviewer


Marta Santos, PhD,
CAPM, LSSGB

Texas, USA

 



Marta Santos
currently serves on a global Cybersecurity Transformation Program as a Project Coordinator – IT Security. She previously served on a global IT Infrastructure Refresh Project after transitioning from a productive career in the Life Sciences as a Research Scientist and author on major scientific journals. She is looking forward to growing in and contributing to the Project Management profession. This is her second book review for the PM World Journal.

Naturalized American from Brazil, Marta currently lives in the Dallas area.

Email address: www.linkedin.com/in/martabsantos 

 

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. 

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].

 

 

Leadership Agility

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:  Leadership Agility: Developing Your Repertoire of Leadership Styles
Author:  Ron Meyer and Ronald Meijers
Publisher:  Routledge
ISBN: 978-1-138-06510-9
List Price:   $90.00 (hard cover); $35.00 (soft cover); $31.50 (eBook)
Format:  Hard Cover, Soft Cover, eBook; 264 pages
Publication Date: September 2017 (© 2018)
Reviewer: Edward Raibick, PMP
Review Date: Jan 2018

 



Introduction

The book titled Leadership Agility: Developing Your Repertoire of Leadership Styles introduces the reader to ten leadership styles used to influence teams and organizations in achieving successful results. The book discusses the qualities and pitfalls of each leadership style as well as organizational behaviors and symptoms of extreme usage of a specific style. The reader, equipped with the knowledge of each of these styles, can objectively analyze and manage personal and organizational changes to optimize businesses and teams.

Overview of Book’s Structure

  • Chapter 1 discusses the nature and misconceptions of various types of leaders.
  • Chapter 2 discusses the practices and styles and roles of various types of leadership.
  • Chapter 3 introduces interpersonal steering and the qualities and pitfalls of facilitative and supervisory leadership styles.
  • Chapter 4 introduces the encouraging and demanding leadership styles.
  • Chapter 5 dives into organizational leadership, analyzing unity, diversity, integrative and federative styles.
  • Chapter 6 discusses democratic vs autocratic leadership styles.
  • Chapter 7 dives into strategic leadership styles, reviewing visionary vs pragmatic leadership styles.
  • Chapter 8 reviews entrepreneurial vs executive leadership styles.
  • Chapter 9 dives into value-driven vs virtue-driven leadership.
  • Chapter 10 discusses sovereign vs servant leadership styles.
  • Chapter 11 discusses reflective vs proactive leadership styles.
  • Chapter 12 reviews consistent vs reactive leadership styles.
  • Chapter 13 dives into leadership agility and tailoring your personal leadership style
  • Chapter 14 concludes with mastering leadership agility and combining styles to fit the organizational environment and objectives.

Highlights

Leadership Agility: Developing Your Repertoire of Leadership Styles is a valuable resource for leaders that have a critical need to manage in various types of environments and situations. The mindful analysis of the various leadership styles and the resulting behavioral impact, aids the knowledgeable leader in maneuvering through difficult business situations.

Highlights: What I liked!

One of the things I really enjoyed about the book is that each group of chapters addressed a different dimension of leadership; interpersonal leadership, organizational leadership, strategic leadership, leadership and mission, leadership and self. The final chapters focused on leadership development…

More…

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About the Reviewer


Edward Raibick, PMP

Texas, USA

 

 

Edward Raibick, PMP is a Security Project Mamagement consultant with extensive experience with software engineering, managerial and IT Project Management experience. 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. Edward is a member of the Project Management Institute, Dallas Chapter, having acquired his PMP certification in 2011.

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.  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. 

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].

 

 

Extreme Teams

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title: Extreme Teams: why Pixar, Netflix, AirBnB, and other cutting-edge companies succeed where most fail
Author:  Robert Bruce Shaw
Publisher:  American Management Association
List Price:  $27.95/15.37      Format:  hardback/e-book
Publication Date:   2017      ISBN: 978-0-8144-3717-9
Reviewer:     Femi Fakinlede, PMP
Review Date:   January 2018

 



Introduction

EXTREME TEAMS, ET for short, is a well-organized and thorough analysis of cutting edge firms that exist today.  More specifically, it’s about AIRBNB, WHOLEFOODS, PIXAR, NETFLIX, PATAGONIA and ALIBABA.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book highlights the reasons why these firms are so cutting edge. From the Teams working within the company to the philosophy adopted at the top of the company.  ET describes why and how these firms stand the test of time, deal with competition and manage to keep the employees and teams empowered through the policies adopted or not adopted.

ET is a book that gives great insight for companies looking to maximize their footprint in their respective industry.  It also gives ideas for those firms and teams that would like to hire the best employees and motivate them to perform at the highest level they can.

Highlights

A company’s philosophy and culture are ways that sustain a company.  For Patagonia, the company that specializes in making gear for outdoor enthusiast, they market to the “Dirt bag” individual.  This individual loves the outdoors and doesn’t mind getting dirty.  Their gear is durable and long-lasting and made with great quality.

Whole Foods has really developed the ultimate Team dynamic.  They take serious attention to the teams that make up the store, both at the local/neighborhood level also at the corporate level.

These Extreme teams believe in creating an individual Culture of their own.  A culture that is not copied but one that is created from within.  It speaks of Culture as originating from a Cognitive angle and from an Emotional angle.  Team members are thought of as being both Result and Relationship driven.  There exists a deep passion for the work they do, some would call somewhat obsessive compassion.  What makes a company of cutting edge caliber is the unified passion that is demonstrated.

Highlights: What I liked!

Will this person be a good FIT? This is a question ET asks.  While most mediocre firms/teams look to hire and make sure that each position remains filled, cutting edge firms seek to only bring in individuals who fit within their culture.  If there is no fit, they will not be hired.  This is because of 2 reasons, first, this person will ultimately not contribute in the long run and secondly, the team will end up lagging behind.  In a scenario where Teams are rewarded based on performance metrics, this is the way in which they remain competitive.  Eventually, only hiring individuals that make a good fit leads to quite a homogeneous group, some will say they all behave in a Clone-like manner.

More…

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About the Reviewer


Femi Fakinlede

Maryland, USA

 




Femi Fakinlede
 is a PMP certified government consultant.  A trained accountant who holds the CGFM certification and brings to the table 20 years of experience in financial management. He is also a data analytics professional specializing in data extraction and mining, process development and root cause analysis. 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 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.  Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books. 

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 Inspiration Code

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title: The Inspiration Code: How the Best Leaders Energize People Every Day
Author: Kristi Hedges
Publisher:  American Management Association
List Price:   $24.95           Format:  Hard cover, 288 pages
Publication Date: 2017       ISBN: 978-0-8144-3789-6
Reviewer: Tiziana Barrow
Review Date:   November 2017

 



Introduction

As a speaker and coach who concentrates on persuasion and exercising influence, I am fascinated on what motivates people, and drives them to change or act. I was drawn to “The Inspirational Code” because I am always open to learn and explore new techniques. Kristi Hedges’ book is an inspiration, where she introduces her Inspire Path model. Given that inspiration takes place during conversations, Kristi breaks down the elements and uncovers the subtleness that injects light, and spark inspiration into any conversation. The book is broken down into 4 parts:

  • Present: the gift of attention
  • Personal: putting yourself into it
  • Passionate: bringing heart and energy
  • Purposeful: spotlighting meaning

Overview of Book’s Structure

The Inspiration Code is well written and well organized. As a result, it is both enjoyable and easy book to read. Kristi framed key concepts throughout the chapters by bolding and underlining text. She has clearly labeled “Concept in Action” sections and each chapter end with a “Takeaways” page summarizing key concepts.

She is an exceptional storyteller and uses examples to explain concepts. The book is well researched and contains significant research data. Kristi references numerous other books where concepts/topics are further developed in detail and provides recommendations as to next steps.  My personal copy of the book has been turned into a workbook because I have highlighted sections and comments that I will be referring to in years to come.

Highlights

Being an inspirational person means to be a catalyst for a spark to take place. The trigger might be a person, an idea or an experience. The individual receives both an insight as well as the drive to move into action: “It is both an insight and an energetic push.”

Highlights: What I liked!

This is the first business book I’ve read that addresses the importance and use of energy when communicating and influencing others.  “Energy is a tool we can harness and cultivate to great effect. To do so, first know what gives you energy about your message, synch that up with your audience, and display your passion verbally and nonverbally.”

More…

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About the Reviewer


Tiziana Barrow

Washington D.C. USA

 


Tiziana Barrow
is a Change Agent Coach. She has spent the last 20+ years of her career in the High-Tech Industry in positions such as Project manager, Principal Marketing Consultant, and Director of Marketing. As a consultant she has led people through change management and as a result, she is a student of resistance, conflict and ultimately has made a science out of it. She has launched a program for women to step into their power because she has personally struggled with it and was repeatedly frustrated by losing control and giving up her own power. By opening the discussion with re-defining power for women, understanding the embodiment of power, she is creating a community of powerful ladies, that desire to become more effective leaders.

Tiziana Barrow is people focused, world traveled and compassionate.  Born and raised in Italy she has since lived in the UK, the Netherlands and across the USA. She is a “change agent coach” helping executives to step into their power and exercise influence.

She 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 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.  Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books. 

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:  American Management Association (AMACOM)
List Price:   $24.95
Format:  Hard cover, 240 pages
Publication Date:  Oct 2017        
ISBN: 978-0-8144-3822-0
Reviewer: Binny Malik
Review Date:   January 2018



Introduction

Each one of us at some point or the other felt the inspiration that once drove us has been sapped out of us and more often than not we tend to blame our environment, bad boss, difficult team, or just the nature of work itself etc. for this lack of enthusiasm. Find The Fire is a good read that tries best to answer why we lose inspiration and how exactly we can reconnect with ourselves. The Author tries to give a new perspective to everything that saps our energy and that at some level we know has always been out there by listing it all out & loud. Even better than just identifying the problem as Anti Muses, the narration provides fantastic solutions to the problems as Anti Dotes. As a reader, I feel that you come out being little bit more mindful on how to keep your fire ignited.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book starts with the understanding the distinction between motivations and inspirations followed by list of 9 inspiration killers that I believe each one of us recognize at some level – a) Fear; b)Settling & Boredom; c) Inundation; d) Loss of Control; e) Dwindling Self Belief; f) Disconnectedness; g) Dearth of Creating; h) Insignificance; and i) Lack of Evocation. Each of these are organized into separate chapters with in depth explanation

The humor seems to be misplaced at certian times and flow of the content does get slow at places. The book seems to be written in a manner as if the author is ready to use the exact script (including the humor) word-to-word in a motivational speach somewhere some place. This is both good and bad but personally, it does take a bit of imagination as if some one is speaking to you directly and you are taking the que for some introspection

Highlights

The book is organized into 11 chapters with the first and last being the introduction and conclusion respectively. Chapter 2 through 10 detail out each of the anti-muses and explains why these are anti muses and how we can fight them. The author seems to have put much thought in deliberating each of these topics and has provided lot of depth on how these anti-musers matter and slow us down. There is lot of fodder for introspection and plenty of take aways from each of the chapters depending on how many of these anti-musers apply to you respectively.

More…

To read entire Book Review, click here

 



About the Reviewer


Binny Malik

North Texas, USA




Binny Malik
has work experience of about eight years, six of which have been in deployments and project delivery. She is currently working as an IT Release Manager at MoneyGram International handing project delivery of various software projects across organizational business spectrum.

 

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. 

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]

 

 

Improving Executive Sponsorship of Projects

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:  Improving Executive Sponsorship of Projects: A Holistic Approach
Author:  Dawne E. Chandler, Payson Hall
Publisher:  Business Expert Press
List Price:   $34.95
Format:  Paperback, 157 Pages
Publication Date:   2017    
ISBN: 978-1-63157-411-5
Reviewer:     Mats Malmström
Review Date: December 2017

 



Introduction

This book highlights the importance of the executive project sponsorship and its crucial function in the organization for ensuring project success.

Improving Executive Sponsorship of projects is a comprehensive guide equipping the reader with insights about the benefits and the challenges of project sponsorship together with a practical approach of how to address and successfully build an effective executive sponsorship practice in an organization over time.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is divided into nine chapters.

Chapter 1 – Approach to Improving Executive Project Sponsorship
Chapter 2 – Executive Sponsorship Matters
Chapter 3 – Cultural Influences on Executive Sponsorship
Chapter 4 – Importance of Project management standards
Chapter 5 – Desirable Executive Sponsor Characteristics
Chapter 6 – Sponsor Readiness
Chapter 7 – Roadmap to Organizational Readiness
Chapter 8 – A plan to Enhance Executive Sponsorship
Chapter 9 – Summary

The authors take you through a learning journey built on research and their own experience. Each chapter discuss each topic thoroughly and highlights key areas to be addressed. The reader will find useful questionnaires, discussion points, templates and processes to assess their current situations and to devise action plans. At the end of each chapter the authors provide some considerations from the PMO and project manager perspectives.

Highlights

A framework for assessing the current and desired characteristic for executive sponsorship built on Global Alliance for Project and Performance Standard (GAPPS) is presented. It focuses on three key traits of executive sponsorship: Taking accountability for the project, supporting the project manager and supporting the project.

More…

To read entire Book Review, click here

 



About the Reviewer


Mats Malmström

North Texas, USA

 




Mats Malmström
is a multidisciplinary project management advocate with more than 25 years leading and sponsoring international high-profile projects and programs within product development and market introduction, business development, organizational development and sales in the information and communication technology sector. Today, Mats Malmström is the head of consulting and learning services for North America and Latin America at LYM Innovation Consulting, coaching and training companies in many verticals to boost their project business performance. Mats holds an executive MBA in international business from Uppsala University in Sweden and is a member of the PMI chapters in Dallas and in Panama. Mats 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.  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. 

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]

 

 

Leading and Motivating Global Teams

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:    Leading and Motivating Global Teams: Integrating Offshore Centers and Head Office
Author:  Vimal Kumar Khanna
Publisher:  CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group
List Price:   $79.95
Format:  Hard cover, 186 pages
Publication Date:   May 2017      
ISBN: 978-1-4987-8474-0
Reviewer:     Masood Said, PMP
Review Date:   January 2018

 



Introduction

This book is about managing off-shore offices. This has become quite common in managing projects in various domains especially Information Technology.  Many companies in the developed world have established off-shore offices in countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka.  Many of these offshore offices are used for carrying out work related to software development.

This book discusses, in practical details, issues faced in managing such offices with special reference to India.  It discusses the relationship between the Head Office and the Offshore Offices and the issues faced. This book would be of interest to all companies who have offshore offices in other countries as it will give them suggested solutions for common issues.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book consists of 12 chapters which are spread over 166 pages. Abbreviations and Acronyms and Index are at the end of book on pages 167-169.

There are 8 case studies included in the book.  These case studies are used to explain issues and problems in managing relationship between Head Office and Offshore Offices. This method of using case studies is indeed a good way of creating an understanding of various issues and their solutions.

The book is written in a very simple manner with explanations and case studies that can be understood easily.  Issues and problems are described in a very simple and practical manner, suggesting solutions that can be understood easily.

More…

To read entire Book Review, click here

 



About the Reviewer


Masood Said, PMP

Lahore, Pakistan


 

Engr. Masood Said, PMP, PMI-RMP, PMI-ACP, BS.C (Mech. Engr.; MS-IT; EMBA-HR Mngt.) is a Mechanical Engineer with over 35 years of Project Management Experience. He has worked in Pakistan and the Middle East on various Oil and Gas projects. He has been a member of PMI since 2002.  Presently he is a trainer for PMP®; PMI-RMP®; PMI-ACP® certification courses. He also advises companies on optimization and improvement in processes.  Based in Lahore, Pakistan, he also travels to Dallas, TX frequently and is a member of PMI Dallas Chapter.  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.  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. 

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]