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].

 

 

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: David Johnson Jr, Student
Review Date: September 2018

 

 



Introduction

As a college student looking to acquire a degree in Project Management, I loved this book. It was an easy read and very informative on concepts and practices of acquiring and developing new competence. It is a guide to understanding how competence evolves in an organization and gives illustration and tables to make concepts tangible. It is a resource that students and executive professionals alike, will utilize in the daily work environment.

Overview of Book’s Structure

Managing Project Competence: The Lemon and the Loop, is a list book that breaks the information down in two six chapters. The first deals with the different dimensions of competence, while the second deals with the framework for effective competence management. The third and fourth chapters deal with competence as learning arenas and the methodology for generating competence respectively. The fifth chapter is illustrative and deals with the model of project management as a kite and the role of the PMO office. The sixth chapter supplies the do’s and don’ts of competence management in practice.

Highlights

The book starts out by introducing the reader to the concept of the competence lemon. The lemon is broken down into six dimensions of competence, knowledge and experience; personal capability; social capability; leadership qualities; ability to learn; and ability to manage complexity. He also explains factors that impact generating new competence and how it is influenced by context.

The second chapter gives the reader the framework for efficient competence management. It explains core and dynamic competencies, competence management, the competence loop and breaks down the mechanisms associated with the loop. Finally, Rolf Medina supplies the reader with learning strategies to make use of the competence loop.

The real meat of this book lies within the third and fourth chapters. In these chapters, Rolf Medina looks at competence management from a knowledge intensive and project intensive perspective. He introduces a methodology for generating new competence called REPI and discusses how the six dimensions of the competence lemon are associated with reflection, elaboration, participation/practice and investigation. He then explains how to utilize REPI in teaching, coaching, competence development, performance management, and team building.

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About the Reviewer


David Johnson

San Antonio, Texas, USA

 

 

 

David Johnson was Honorably Discharged from the United States Army on November 20, 2013. He served From November 20, 2005 until his discharge as a MOS 12T, Technical Engineering Sergeant. David spent 30 months in Afghanistan conquering the hot sands and austere conditions to perform his job as a surveyor, draftsmen, material tester and quality assurance representative.

Through all of David’s military experience he had to learn, adapt and progress in environments that were new to him. Much like when in the sands of Afghanistan, David is now set upon learning, adapting and progressing in a professional environment.

David is a student member of the Alamo chapter of PMI, San Antonio, Texas. He looks forward to gaining PMP certification upon completion of his degree.

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].

 

 

Q&As for the PMBOK Guide

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:    Q&As for the PMBOK Guide, 6th edition
Author: Ray Alton, et al
Publisher: Project Management Institute, Inc.
List Price: $23.95
Format: Spiral Bound, 352 pages
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN: 978-1-62825-461-7
Reviewer: Rodger L. Martin, PMP, ACP
Review Date: October 2018

 



Introduction

The Project Management Institute issued PM Body of Knowledge, 6th edition and started new testing for PMP certification in March 2018.  This book provides Questions and Answer’s on the new PMBOK 6th edition.  It is in a 4 inch by 6 inch spiral bound book, which makes for easy review as flash cards.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book contains 277 questions and answers with explanations and references to the PMBOK 6th edition.  All 13 sections of the PMBOK have targeted questions.  Since sprinkled into each Knowledge areas are sections for Agile/Adaptive environments, Key Concepts for the Knowledge area, and Tailoring Considerations, there are also targeted questions for those topics.  There is also a question/answer section for the Glossary.

Highlights

What better place to get practice questions than from the organization that prepares the exam?  The questions do not target just the updates.  It is a realistic test preparation situation.  The actual test may only be 200 questions with 175 scored, but the books goes beyond that and provides 77 more questions.

Highlights: What I liked!

The book is purely a set of Questions and a set of Answers.  Not only is the correct answer with a PMBOK 6 reference given, but the associated text from the PMBOK 6 is also given.  Doing practice tests is an excellent preparation to the exam.  There are no extra opinions.  All of the answers are supported by the PMBOK.

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About the Reviewer


Rodger L. Martin, JD, MBA, BSEE, PMP, PMP-ACP

Texas, USA

 

 

Rodger L. Martin has a broad background in business, law, engineering and Project Management, both predictive/plan driven and Agile/adaptive.  He is a retired US Air Force officer and a licensed attorney. He acquired his PMP certification in 2007 and his PMP-ACP in 2015.  He is also a certified Mediator.  He is currently the Book Review Director for the Alamo Chapter of PMI and previously served as the Book Review Director for the Dallas Chapter of PMI.

Rodger Martin 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 Business of Portfolio Management 4

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title: The Business of Portfolio Management: Boosting Organizational Value Through Portfolio Management          
Author:  Iain Fraser Dip PPC, PMP, MoP, P3M3, PMI Fellow, Fellow PMINZ
Publisher:  Project Management Institute
List Price:   $44.95
Format:  Hard Cover, 166 pages
Publication Date:   2017
ISBN: 9781628253726
Reviewer: Kimberly S. Varner, PMP
Review Date:   August 2018

 



Introduction

Managing your organization’s multi-million dollar project takes a lot of time, talent, and resources to succeed, but what does it take to ensure you have a high-functioning company that understands its value? If you lead or work for an organization that is stagnant or not thriving fiscally, The Business of Portfolio Management: Boosting Organizational Value Through Portfolio Management, is an excellent primer for you. Author Iain Fraser, a 30-year business veteran, shares his knowledge on the complex, but courageous and attainable steps you can take to cultivate a more sustainable organization portfolio.

So, what is a portfolio and what is portfolio management? A portfolio is a collection of programs of work, projects, and other work group together to facilitate effective management of that work to meet strategic business objectives. The content of each portfolio may not necessarily be interdependent or directly related. The purpose of portfolio management is to make sure programs and projects support the organization’s strategic objectives and goals.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The Business of Portfolio Management: Boosting Organizational Value Through Portfolio Management is a 166-page book packed with insights, processes, case studies, and strong recommendations on how best to increase value to your organization’s portfolio.

The front of the publication includes background on the book’s reference material, buy-in from key experts, and details on Iain Fraser’s expertise. The “Acknowledgements” section informs you of the reference materials and methodologies used to write the book, as well as the organizations and subject matter experts who supported the development of this publication. “About the Author” will reassure you Fraser is a knowledgeable business owner and consultant, who is an expert on the complex phases, levels, and intricacies of business management. Then, David L. Pells, managing editor of PM World Journal penned the “Foreword.” Pells emphasizes the critical need for strong portfolio management, the timeliness of what he describes as this “executive guide to implementing effective portfolio management,” and endorses Fraser’s ability to craft this handy resource. In the “Introduction” Fraser informs readers that he wrote the book to help readers use powerful value-driven portfolio management to link strategy and implementation.  He also includes a brief synopsis on each section.

The book is comprised of four sections, each with a preceding quote to set the tone. For example, Section 1 – Organizational Woes and Wishes, which addresses the importance of embracing change and new ways of working to sustain success, kicks off with a Winston Churchill quote: “Continuous effort –not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.” The additional sections, which are each approximately 30-40 pages, are: Section 2 – Portfolio Management: A Way of Doing Business, Section 3: Using Program and Project Management to Deliver Change and Realize Benefits, and Section 4 – Supporting Functions: Time for Change!

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About the Reviewer


Kimberly S. Varner

Maryland, USA

 

 

Kim Varner has more than 23 years of writing, public relations, marketing, event, and project management experience—as well as deep experience designing and conducting outreach to underserved populations. Over the course of her career, she has developed communications plans and content for clients across the health, education, safety, technology, medical, sports, and entertainment industries.

Kim earned her Master of Arts in journalism from the University of Maryland at College Park, and previously earned a Bachelor of Arts in mass media arts from Hampton University. Kim obtained her Project Management Professional (PMP) ® Certification in March 2018.

 

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].

 

 

Bridging the PM Competency Gap

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:    Bridging The PM Competency Gap: A dynamic Approach to Improving Capability an Project Success
Author:  Loredana Abramo, PMP & Rich Maltzan, PMP
Publisher:  J. Ross Publications
List Price:  $37.95
Format:  hard cover, 294 pages
Publication Date:   July 2017       
ISBN: 978-1-60427-140-9
Reviewer: Joseph Stein, PMP
Review Date: July 2018

 



Introduction

This book proposes options for PMO driven development plans to ensure project success by promoting personal and professional growth within the company’s body of Project Managers.  It’s the PMO’s role within an organization to establish tools, methods and aides for project model consistency, but tools alone can’t guaranty success. The authors of this book promotes the concept that project success is a by-product of technical understanding of PM related tools and techniques, leadership and strategic management of goal alignment.

Project manager’s level of competency is all too often equal to the challenges they encounter in their project environments, owing to lessons learned on the job.  With the rise of project complexities, it’s incumbent on the PMO to provide their PM team with the training and expertise to meet greater challenges.  Since not all project managers convey the same traits and experience levels, the challenge is to recognize individuals own unique needs or “competency gap”.

The writer clarifies many desirable PM competencies found useful to support organizational initiatives, build strong cohesive teams that communicate well and perform efficiently.  The author recognizes the practical concerns that face all projects which if left unchecked can erode the effectiveness of the project delivery.  The reader is introduced to a large verity of evaluation tools and techniques available to help PM’s recognize their own operating methods and how to leverage PM tools available and increased awareness of human behavior to their best advantage.

Overview of Book’s Structure

This book develops the concept of project management competencies and how to recognize, understand and overcome gaps in competency.  The “gap” in project management competency impedes our ability to manage successful project implementations.  This book describes analysis tools and models for PM talent and competency evaluation, and development training possibilities to tailor competency development programs to best fit the requirement of the audience.

This book examines PM competency factors that have a positive influence on project teams and satisfy stake-holder goals and objectives.  A comprehensive review of widely regarding self-assessment tools and feedback techniques are reviewed for practical measures across the PM talent scale for leadership, technical and strategic traits.  Baseline measurements are used to leverage strengths and augment weaker inclinations.  The product of self-assessments tools lead to recognition of competency gaps.  The authors interviewed 36 leading Project Management experts for their observation and advice of what competencies factors they find most importance and the warning signs and outcomes if missing.

Highlights

This book covers problematic areas of project management concerns and makes compelling arguments for the need to help the PM achieve maturing levels of competency.  Assessment techniques are reviewed for their approaches to help identify levels of competency and provide insight for competency gap identification.

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About the Reviewer


Joseph Stein, BS, PMP

Dallas TX, USA

 

 

 

Joseph Stein is a PMP Certified, IT Technical Manager with CVS who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Arizona State University.  Mr. Stein has over 30 years in the technical field with expertise that includes UNIX System Administration, Oracle Database Administration, Programming and Computer application development over a wide range of industries including Manufacturing, Telecommunications and Health services.  Mr. Stein has been PMP certified since 2016 and plays an active role in the project management process bridging enterprise information technologies.

 

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].

 

 

How to get Executives to Act

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:    How to get Executives to Act for Project Success: Building a Strong Mutual Partnership
Author:  Michael O’Brochta
Publisher:  Zozer, Inc.
List Price:   $22.50
Format:  Soft cover
Publication Date:   February 2018
ISBN: 978-1981283439
Reviewer: Kimberly Scott, PMP
Review Date: July 2018

 



Introduction

Michael O’Brochta is passionate about Project Management.  He has been a PMP for over 30 years and has held senior positions at the CIA and served as the Chair of the Ethics Member Advisory Group at the PMI Corporate level and has written papers for a wide range of project management topics.

How to get Executives to Act for Project Success is a great go-to book that every Project Manager (and Stakeholder) should have on their desk.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is nicely and succinctly broken down into 6 chapters that build from Examining the Problem to (doing) What it Takes (to get things done).   Each Chapter gives a “Problem Story” using the character(s) George or Georgette as the Project Manager that are meant to be relatable to the Project Manager.

If you want a book that’s a quick guide on how to handle challenges with your Executive or Stakeholders, this is a great book. The examples used are on point and relatable.

Highlights

O’Brochta provides good solutions for the typical problems Project Managers face when working with executives. For example, how to respond to an executive when they are asking you do more with less resources.

He also reminds the reader/PM that it’s not unusual for executives to have a lack of basic understanding of project management; hence the premise of the book, and therefore the PM’s should be prepared for this knowledge gap and respond accordingly.

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About the Reviewer


Kimberly Scott

Texas, USA

 

 

Kimberly Scott is a fairly new PMP (as of 12/2016) and her projects have been based in the Mortgage industry; she enjoys system conversion and working with the end user to ensure project success.  Kimberly has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Dallas.  She’s a member of PMI, PMI Dallas and Dallas Toastmasters.

Kimberly 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].

 

 

PgMP® Exam Test Preparation

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title: PgMP® Exam Test Preparation: Test Questions, Practice Tests, and Simulated Exams
Author: Ginger Levin, PhD, PMP, PgMP
Publisher:  CRC Press – Taylor & Francis Group
List Price:   $69.95
Format:  Soft cover, 360 pages
Publication Date: May 2018
ISBN: 978-1-138-57979-8
Reviewer:  Masood Said, PMP, PMI-RMP, PMI-ACP
Review Date:   August 2018

 


 
Introduction

This book is about the PgMP® certification exam preparation. It has been written for candidates who are interested in appearing for the PgMP® certification exam.  It has practice questions which can help candidates in preparing for the Project Management Professional (PgMP®) exam.

The questions in the book reflect the changes that have been made to the PMI’s Standard for Project Management, Fourth Edition (2017).

The book has a total of 520 test questions which includes two practice tests of 170 questions each.  The questions have been arranged by sections covering all the knowledge area domains of the PMI’s Standard for Project Management, Fourth Edition (2017).

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book has been divided into 13 Sections as follows:

Section 1 – Program Strategy Alignment
Section 2 – Initiating the Program/Program Formulation
Section 3 – Planning the Program
Section 4 – Executing the Program/Program Delivery
Section 5 – Controlling/Program Performance Monitoring and Controlling
Section 6 – Closing the Project
Section 7 – Program Benefits Management
Section 8 – Program Stakeholder Engagement
Section 9 – Program Governance
Section 10 – Practice Test 1
Section 11 – Practice Test 2
Section 12 – Appendix: Study Matrix
Section 13 – References

Sections 1 through 9 contain 20 multi-choice sample questions each related to a specific subject domain as listed above.  These 20 questions are followed by an answer sheet on which the candidate can mark his or her choice of the correct answer.

This is followed by an Answer Key, which give the correct answer to each question, explains the rationale behind the selection of the correct answer.  This is very helpful in understanding the logic behind the correct answer.

Sections 10 and 11 contain two practice tests of 170 multi-choice questions each.  The candidates are required to complete each practice tests in 4 hours.  These tests are followed by an answer sheet, on which the candidate can mark his or her choice of the correct answer and an Answer Key, which explains the rationale behind the selection of the correct answer which is very helpful in understanding the logic behind correct answer.

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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 40 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, Texas on a frequent basis.

Email: [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].

 

 

Managing Project Competence

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:  Managing Project Competence: The Lemon and the Loop
Author:  Rolf Medina
Series:  Best Practices and Advances in Program Management
Series Editor: Ginger Levin, PhD
Publisher: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group
List Price:  UKP 55.99 / US$ 89.95
Format: Hard cover, 170 pages
Publication Date:   2018    
ISBN: 978-1-4987-8438-2
Reviewer:     Ralf Müller, DBA, MBA, PMP
Review Date:   July 2018

 



Introduction

Authored by Dr Rolf Medina, who is a boundary spanner working both as independent consultant and in academia, this book makes a highly welcome difference to the wealth of practitioner-oriented books in the field of management.

The difference lies in balancing both the generality of the wide range of existing research literature on the subject with the particularity of real-life cases experienced by the author, obtained in his many years of consulting in and for organizations of various sizes and industries.  Through this, the book allows leveraging research findings of general nature, stemming from hundreds, if not thousands of companies in published studies, with the situational specifics of real-life situations in organizations, written with a sense of ‘usability’ that allows readers to apply the book’s subjects directly onto their organizational reality for operational implementation. This makes the book an outstanding reading for those who look forward to ‘learn’ new insights, instead of just being entertained by the success stories of a single author or well-known name, as done in most of the popular ‘airport bookshop’ type of management readings.

“Managing Project Competence: The lemon and the loop” is a compelling and powerful contribution to the field. Written by someone who “is passionate about people’s growth”, the book builds on the author’s many years of experience in consulting for large organizations like IKEA or Sony in various aspects of management and competence development, combined with his academic research in organizational behavior and innovation, his doctoral work at SKEMA Business school in France, and his visiting faculty work at Umeå University, Sweden.

In a book like this, readers typically look forward to be guided by new insights that can be implemented into their corporate reality. For these readers, Medina’s book will not disappoint.

The book starts with an in-depth introduction into the different dimensions of knowledge and fits them into a tangible ‘lemon’ model which includes performance related, as well as knowledge renewal related aspects, under special consideration of context, culture and time. This lays the foundation for Chapter 2, which goes on to explain how to manage competences in an organizational context. For that Medina develops a process, which he terms the ‘competence loop’, and deepens the understanding of this process by introducing the mechanisms that make this process work and describing how they relate to the social and organizational reality in corporations.

In chapter 3 he bridges from knowledge intensity in organizations to projects as arenas for learning. Through a thorough review of existing theoretical perspectives, such as the project-based versus project-oriented organization, he develops a granulate picture of the context contingency of the various characteristics of knowledge in organizations. This is backed-up by three case study organizations with nine embedded cases, which underscore and explain the different contextual influences that impact the similarities and differences in managing competences in different organizations.

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About the Reviewer


Ralf Müller, DBA, MBA, PMP

Oslo, Norway

 

 

Dr Ralf Müller is Professor of Project Management, Department of Leadership and Organizational Behavior, BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo, Norway, as well as adjunct and visiting professor at several other institutions worldwide. He lectures and researches in leadership, governance of projects, organizational project management, and research methods. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Project Management Journal and author or co-author of more than 230 academic publications. Among the many awards he has received is the 2016 PMI Fellow of the Institute Award, the 2015 PMI Research Achievement Award (a life-time achievement award), and the 2012 IPMA Research Award, which he received together with Drs. Monique Aubry and Brian Hobbs.

Before joining academia, Dr Müller spent 30 years in industry consulting with large enterprises and governments in more than 50 different countries for their project management and governance. He also held related line management positions, such as Worldwide Director of Project Management at NCR Corporation.

Professor Müller can be contacted at [email protected]

http://www.pm-concepts.com

 

 

The Relationship

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:    The Relationship Between Knowledge Transfer, Team Learning and Project Success in the Information Technology Field
Author:  Dixie D. O’Connell Overton, PhD
Publisher:  Xlibris
List Price: $19.64
Format:  Soft bound, 183 pages
Publication Date: 2/24/2018        
ISBN: 9781543483536
Reviewer: Govindasamy Manavazhahan       
Review Date: June/July 2018

 



Introduction

The birth of this book happened based on the research work done by the author Dixie during her Ph.D. dissertation and load of documents generated during her studies. Dixie sets the stage for the book in a pretty good way by explaining the problem or thesis as the introduction at the beginning, so that the reader can have a clear idea of what she is presenting up to as correlation between two different part of Information Technology field, namely Knowledge Transfer, Team Learning and Project Success.

Up until now, in the Project Management there is an understanding that for a project to be success there are six constraints considered as important viz., schedule, cost, scope, quality, benefits and risks. However, Dixie is explaining in this book that the in-depth knowledge of the project team also considerably helps the project to achieve the expected success on-time or early within-budget and lower. To support her argument, she presents many studies done by her and other researchers. In my opinion, she did a very good job on her argument.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book had been very well structured in five chapters as

  1. Introduction
  2. Literature Review
  3. Methodology
  4. Results
  5. Implications & Recommendations

Each chapter is again divided into sections each having its own heading. Dixie had explained in each chapter and section with the details that are relevant to the topic and presents many quotes from other researchers.

For example, in the introduction while explaining the problem statement, she quotes Cerpa and Verner (2009) reported as that projects fail for the same reasons they did 30 years ago, however ways to increase project success had been suggested.Three of the top 10 factors identified by Hastie and Wojewoda (2015) that made IT Projects more successful include individual knowledge, knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer (Page 1).

Similar way, in Chapter 2, while talking the supportive theories and concepts, Dixie talked about Situational Learning theory which can be applied in project management because the practices of the discipline are experiential (2013) and quoted Jagdev & Mathur who believe that Situational Learning theory could be leveraged in project management practice to improve both project-learning and cross-project learning, the mediating variables used in her study (Page 51).

In my opinion, the book is very well organized and the details are presented in a logical and structured way that makes it easy for the reader to comprehend.

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About the Reviewer


Govindasamy Manavazhahan

Texas, USA

 

 

Govindasamy Manavazhahan is working as Staff Program Manager with more than 10 years of experience in project management, managing medium to large size projects / products with many cross-functional teams.

 

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].

 

 

Raise Your Employee Engagement Score

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:    Raise Your Employee Engagement Score
Author:  Richard P. Finnegan
Publisher:  American Management Association
List Price:   US$14.95
Format:  Paperback, Kindle, Audiobook, Overdrive
Publication Date:   2018    
ISBN: 978-0814438626
Reviewer:     TereLyn E. Hepple, MS, PMP, PSM
Review Date:   July 2018

 



Introduction

Employee engagement is a business metric of the extent to which, Finnegan writes, “employees are fully committed each day to help their organizations succeed.” Organizations with the top employee engagement scores see improved turnover (65%), safety (48%), quality (41%), attendance (37%), profitability (22%), productivity, (21%) and customer ratings (10%), according to Gallup polls.

However, Gallup also reports that employee engagement has remained flat in the United States for 15 years. Finnegan tells us that engagement programs don’t work by themselves. Instead, it’s up to frontline managers to raise employee engagement.

Structure

After presenting the challenge of engaging employees, managers are encouraged to rate themselves on their ability to promote employee engagement.

In the remaining chapters, Finnegan discusses how to:

  • use referral recruiting to attract great talent
  • interview to ensure commitment
  • conduct “stay interviews” to build trust and provide coaching opportunities
  • resolve common issues that come up in “stay interviews”
  • manage performance
  • leverage engagement programs
  • establish engagement goals and tactics
  • lead supervisors to better engagement
  • measure quarterly

Highlights

Herb Kelleher, co-founder of Southwest Airlines, said “You don’t hire for skills. You hire for attitude.” Finnegan’s book reflects this philosophy by focusing first on providing managers with concrete advice on how to attract and hire the people who are most likely to be engaged.

Recruits who are hired after being referred by engaged employees work harder and stay longer (page 18), so it behooves every manager to set team goals for bringing in top talent, through friends and professional networks, social media and conferences. Most referral programs are quiet disbursements of referral bonuses, but Finnegan suggests that you visibly celebrate successful referrals, perhaps with an event involving presentation of a bigger-than-life-size check.

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About the Reviewer


TereLyn Hepple

Texas, USA

 

 

TereLyn Hepple, MS, PMP, PSM has 25 years of experience in eCommerce, eMarketing, and eLearning in cross-functional project management and analyst roles in telecommunications, business products, printing, and education. She recently helped OSP International update the PM PrepCast, PM Exam Simulator, and CAPM Exam Simulator to align with the 6th Edition PMBOK® Guide, and volunteers with the PMI Dallas Chapter as Web Director.

 

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 and Yvan Petit
Publisher:  PMI
List Price:   $24.95
Format:  Soft cover, 133 pages
Publication Date:   2017
ISBN: 978-1-62825-175-3
Reviewer:     Anita Goldshine, PMP
Review Date:   August 2018

 



Introduction

Agile is known to work well for small software development projects, but what challenges do organizations encounter when trying to apply agile methods to large, multi-team projects? And how does the context of large, complex organizations affect the adaptation and adoption of agile approaches? These are the primary questions the researchers explored through case studies and surveys, and a thorough technical analysis of the data.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book starts with a good Executive Summary followed by seven chapters. The first two chapters provide the background of the research study and a thorough literature review with emphasis on scaling agile.

Next the authors describe the methodology they followed for conducting the case studies and the survey and collecting and analyzing the data. The case studies encompassed nine projects in three organizations spanning both commercial and public sectors. The resulting data and detailed analysis is presented in Chapter 4.

The subsequent chapters interpret the data and raise questions and issues for further study.

Highlights

Through their thorough collection and analysis of data, the authors were able to identify several common elements among the organizations, such as the common use of Scrum and pilot projects, front-end activities, and handling of scope definition and product detail. But they also noted there were at least as many significant areas of variation as there were similarities. These included widely varying implementation strategies, the extent of front-end planning, participants’ roles, knowledge of agile and extent to which agile approaches are established, and even the use of the term “sprint zero”.

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About the Reviewer


Anita Goldshine

Maryland, USA

 

 

 

Anita Goldshine is a project manager for a cybersecurity consulting firm in the nation’s capital. She is a certified PMP and has over 30 years’ experience in the information industry, including software development and business process reengineering on both small and large-scale systems and processes. Her background includes technical writing and business analysis. She is a member of the Silver Spring and Montgomery County chapters of PMI.

 

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].

 

 

Evolutionary Learning in Strategy-Project Systems

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:    EVOLUTIONARY LEARNING in STRATEGY-PROJECT SYSTEMS
Authors:  Paul Gardiner, Adil Eltigani, Terence Williams, Richard Kirkham, Lixiong Ou,  Antonio Calabrese, Jonas Soderlund.
Publisher:  Project Management Institute
List Price:   $34.95 USA
Format:  Paperback, 274 pages.
Publication Date:   2018    
ISBN: 978-1-62825-484-6
Reviewer: Jorge Galvan, PMP
Review Date: July, 2018

 



Introduction

This book is an international research project sponsored by the PMI. The research was first envisioned during an event organized by an oil and gas company in United Arab Emirates where one of the authors of the book was invited as a speaker to help the company to learn how to do projects better.

The research takes on the challenge to explore and understand how learning takes place in project-based organizations. Such organizations are chosen to be of different size and project-based maturity as well as located in different countries with different cultures.

The authors try to find out how learning and knowledge is acquired and used during projects and how they can lead to “Evolutionary Learning” in those enterprises, authors call for an integration of traditional project management with other disciplines of an organization especially strategic management. With this in mind the authors focus this research on the learning evolution within what they call strategy-project systems (project management and strategic management) in an organization and how this evolutionary Learning together with existing organizational capabilities contributes to a sustained growth of the organization by adding value by creating new capabilities.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The structure of the book is very formal as of any research document. It starts with a forward, where a former Chief Knowledge Officer at NASA gives some insights about how knowledge and learning takes place in NASA and calls for a more direct link between theory and practice. NASA’s most successful knowledge-sharing strategy is by the use of forums where people share stories and conversations so in order to be able to accomplish this the CKO states that there must be a suitable landscape where the learning, knowledge and the sharing of them can flow smoothly, such landscape must have full leadership support as well as a flexible governance framework

Chapter 1 is the introduction where the authors tell us about how the research started and what motivated it. Here they search for ways to understand the mechanisms by which evolutionary learning takes place in strategy-project systems and how it contributes towards a sustainable competitive advantage of an organization.

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About the Reviewer


Jorge Galvan, PMP

Texas, USA

 

 

 

Jorge Galvan has extensive experience in the telecom industry working as a software, hardware and infrastructure Engineer for both Core and Radio systems. He has a bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering with a minor in Control. He has over 10 years of experience working with projects in different parts of the world and performing different roles such as project team member or technical engineer, as well as project coordinator and SME.

Extensive experience includes different phases of software development projects from feasibility to testing and deployment. Jorge is a member of the Project Management Institute, Dallas Chapter and obtained his PMP certification from PMI in July 2016. He can be contacted at [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].

 

 

Project Procurement3

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:    Project Procurement: A Real-World Guide to Procurement Skills
Author:  Ajay Bhargove
Publisher:  Project Management Institute
List Price:   $24.95
Format: Soft cover, 118 pages
Publication Date: Feb 2018
ISBN: 978-1-62825-468-6
Reviewer: Cassandra de Souza
Review Date: August 2018

 



Introduction

Although procurement is a major part of project management, many project managers have a limited knowledge and understanding of the key terms and aspects of this area besides what is required in the PMBOK. This book provides a broad overview of procurement terms and terminology allowing project managers to get a better grasp of the relevance and skills required from procurement professionals while also identifying or recognizing areas in which they can better utilize their procurement team to reduce costs and improve on project delivery in terms of time.

However, the title is a bit misleading in that it doesn’t always provide real world examples which could build procurement skills in the different areas discussed though this could be strengthened by adding such examples to subsequent editions.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The table of contents very clearly outlines the structure of the book and diligently follows the standard procurement cycle. Where the book structure deviates from the procurement cycle is the inclusion of chapters 8, 10 and 11 on How Finance Views Procurement Savings, Financial Risks Analysis and Incoterms. It seemed a little odd not to include the Incoterms chapter in between the chapters on Contracts and Negotiation, given that the selection of which Incoterms to use would be a key part of any negotiations.

The inclusion of the chapters on How Finance Views Procurement Savings and Financial Risk Analysis provides a solid foundation for how procurement can more intimately be correlated to other aspects of project management than might otherwise be understood by non-procurement professionals. These are helpful at placing procurement more centrally within the overall planning and risk management of project management because it includes discussions of what to be aware of when selecting and considering supplier and vendor choices as well as buyer organizations. These chapters also make the case for integrating project teams early on in project planning because the knowledge and expertise of financial analysts and risk management professionals who can work with procurement professionals would be highly beneficial to the project organization. These combined teams could look at possible intrinsic and extrinsic factors that may be at play for potential suppliers or vendors, identify what types of hedging might be necessary for currency fluctuations, or even understand what benefits the procurement team can bring to the profit margin and therefore allow the sales team to pitch a lower bidding price for a project.

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About the Reviewer


Cassandra de Souza

Maryland, USA

 

 

Cassandra de Souza is an independent consultant working in international development, with a focus on international health projects for the past 15 years. A recent newcomer to the Project Management Professional certification, Cassandra has successfully designed and managed multiple projects valued from US$500,000 to $100 million on health systems strengthening, HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, reproductive health, tuberculosis and pharmaceutical regulatory harmonization. Cassandra holds 2 Masters degrees from The George Washington University, in Business Administration and International Affairs.

Email address: [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:   Retail $59.95
Format:  Hardcover, 272 pages
Publication Date:  2018     
ISBN: 978-1-60427-149-2
Reviewer:   Sean M. Thomas, PMP
Review Date:   June 2018

 



Introduction

This is the first book from this author that I have read.  And I have to say, if this author writes another book, I will be sure to read it right away.  Murali begins by explaining the genesis of his experience in portfolio and project management, the difference in the fields’ theory and its practice, and his realization of the benefits of a modified methodological approach from a most practical perspective.

Only a very simple and basic understanding of project and portfolio management is needed to understand this book.  Murali quickly points out that while most books of this sort are not “made in a vacuum”, there are many helpful resources that participated in the assistance of this endeavor.  The endeavor?  To help anyone in project and portfolio management understand both of these areas more effectively, give them the tools to manage them more intelligently, and navigate the perilous waters of portfolio management from inception to efficiency, and from current decrepitude to rejuvenation.

Overview of Book’s Structure

This book begins by explaining the functions of a Portfolio Management Office (I’m going to coin a term here simply for the readers ability to separate ideas and definitions, PfMO = Portfolio Management Office, since PMO means Project/Program Management Office), and its responsibilities of overseeing the projects over which it has dominion.  It then gets into details about the intake and assessment of work as well as the tools to use to maximize the potential of that work.  The author goes further, giving us actual templates/snapshots of spreadsheets and diagrams, to afford us the well-conceived tools and techniques which will allow any and every Project Manager, Program Manager, Portfolio Manager, and business person the ability to setup and manage these offices most effectively.

Next come Annual Planning and Funding strategies.  The most interesting part of these chapters is not so much the way in which to plan for these, which is succinct yet ample, but rather, the pitfalls and pigeonholes one may expect to confront from external sources who have a stake in “fighting the power” of the experienced Manager, or worse yet, the newcomer brought in to reign in the insanity.  Murali goes beyond identifying these speedbumps by giving us additional tools to deal with these dilemmas in a logical manner, and always, as professionals.  From the perspective of this PMI-ACP, I would call this “Murali’s Roadmap to Sucessful Project Management”.

Murali then explains the Monitoring, Rebalancing, and Benefits Realization of PfMO’s when run well.  After this he starts offering up his own “modified Earned Value Management” or mEVM, which puts the power of producing consistently solid results in the hands of all who avail themselves to his writing.  Instead of using technical terms like Planned Value, which he references of course, he uses a “laypersons” approach and calls it what it is: “How Much Work Should Have Been Completed?”.  It is actions like this that enable any business person the ability to read this book.  He also breaks things into manageable components, such as Aggregation for PfMO use into three dimensions, “Portfolio View”, “Program View”, and “Multi-Year Project View” (page 126).  He then demonstrates an Agile approach to keeping everyone honest by recommending that all these dimensions be posted where ALL WORKERS CAN SEE THEM, so everyone in the company who passes by can see how work is progressing and see where the endangered/bad projects might be at any point in time.

More…

To read entire Book Review, click here

 



About the Reviewer


Sean M. Thomas, PMP

Texas, USA

 

 

 

Sean Thomas holds a MBA from University of Texas at San Antonio as well as the PMI credentials PMP and PMI-ACP.  He is also a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.  He teaches PMP and PMI-ACP Exam Prep Courses all over the world for government and non-government organizations alike, his students boasting the world’s highest PMP exam first-time test-taking pass rate of 99.7%, for all students who follow the careful course curriculum designed by Sean himself.

Sean is Adjunct Faculty for Hallmark University in San Antonio, TX, teaching for the Schools of Business and Information Technology, including Project Management, Macro and Micro Economics, Mathematics/Statistics, etc.  Sean has ten years’ experience in the US Army, both in demolitions and Armor (tank commander) having served two combat tours, and was badly wounded on his second while leading and protecting his troops.  After being medically retired out of the Army in 2008 at the rank of Captain, he continued his education and practiced consulting work for a wide range of organizations, which he continues to do, and in 2012 he started his own company called Project Vanguards LLC.

Sean can be reached at [email protected] and you can view his LinkedIn account at the web-link below, and his company information can be found at http://ProjectVanguards.com

LinkedIn Page:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/sean-m-thomas-85767913/

 

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].

 

 

Practitioner’s Guide to Program Management

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:    The Practitioner’s Guide to Program Management
Author:  Irene Didinsky, MBA, PMP
Publisher:  PMI
List Price:  $39.95
Format: Softcover, 235 Pages
Publication Date:   2017
ISBN: 978-1-62825-368-9
Reviewer: David Kressin PMP
Review Date: June 2018

 


 
Introduction

I can say from experience that most people do not really understand what Program Management is, nor what Program Managers do.  I took a survey at my place of work the other day and was surprise at how little people understood what Program management was about.  If nothing else, you need to read this book to solidify what Program Management is and how it helps a company.  But, that is only chapter 1.

Every program Manager, Potential Program Manager or just Mid-Level Manager will take away much more than the time it takes to read this book.  Didinsky eliminates years of trial and error give us a path to success.  I have already applied several of the formulas and tools provided in this book to my current project.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book very much structured like a text book, with the concepts and definitions at the start, the Program Management life-cycle, processes, tools and formulas in the middle and future planning and summarization at the end.  Any teacher could pick this book up and use it as a basis for a Program Management class.  The book is that well-structured and that complete.

Most books you read, each chapter is similar in size and provides one key message.  Didinsky does stay with strong messages with each chapter but spends the time where it is needed.  Chapter 7 is only a few pages where chapter 8 is 4 times the size of chapter 7.  Actually, I really like this.  Give me the information and detail where it makes sense and is needed.

Because there is so much work behind project management (Training Classes, Books, Our own Experiences, etc.) every manager project or not understands and can anchor to these concepts.  Didinsky use this base in Project Management to drive home the major points behind Program Management.  She does this by providing relevant comparisons throughout the book.

More…

To read entire Book Review, click here

 



About the Reviewer


David Kressin

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. He has worked for over 35 years managing resource efficiency improvements and logistics, transportation, warehouse management software implementations in the retail and wholesale warehousing environments.  David’s concentration is in the high volume grocery, food and drug industries.  He has successfully planned, implemented, and managed several strategic projects to improve warehouse and logistics efficiencies around the world.  For the past 20 years he has been working as an independent consultant. David Kressin 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].