Listen Up or Lose Out

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:    Listen Up or Lose Out: How to Avoid Miscommunication, Improve Relationships, and Get More Done Faster
Authors:  Robert Bolton and Dorothy Grover Bolton
Publisher: AMACOM
List Price:   $19.95
Format:  Softcover, 272 pages
Publication Date:   2018
ISBN: 978-0-8144-3201-3
Reviewer: Linda Hughes Peterson, PMP
Review Date: May 2018

 



Introduction

This book reminds the reader why listening is important and why effective listening is hard for most people.  The Boltons distill many years of research on listening into an interesting and readable book.  They describe the research in the field and provide concrete recommendations for implementing the techniques described in the book.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The first section of the book covers why it is important to improve our listening.  From improving team communication in business to building strong, supporting relationships with family, listening is a critical skill.  Companies with high-quality work relationships tend to perform better and listening is a critical skill for building work relationships.  Strong relationships within the family and with friends promote a sense of well-being and contributes to better heath.

Part 2 of the book covers the do’s and don’ts of great listening.  Using the traditional communication model, the authors discuss how ambiguous the English language is.  This ambiguity of meanings of common words can cause problems that are seldom discovered until the negative consequences of the miscommunication surface.  They also include a list of six common missteps in the listening process that cause problems when they are abused.  This section provides concrete guidelines for reducing these missteps that starts with targeting one misstep and then striving for improvement rather than expecting to eliminate it at once.  Several specific listening skills are also discussed with suggestions on how to implement these skills.

The third section discusses reflective listening and how it reduces miscommunication.  As part of the discussion, the authors discuss how to paraphrase what was said and to use pauses in the conversation to allow the person to say all they need to say about a topic.  An interesting observation on pauses is that the speaker owns the pause and the listener should not take control until the speaker indicates that they have completed their speech.

Part 4 addresses reading and reflecting other people’s feelings.  The authors discuss the importance of emotions related to work, relationships, and health.  They relate the ability to read a person’s body language to understanding a person’s feelings and how the ability to read body language improves communication.  The authors provide lists of words to help the listener recognize various emotions and the strength of the emotion as well as terms that can be used to reflect the speaker’s feelings.

The last section of the book discusses the use of summary reflections to capture the essence of a conversation to make sure that there is understanding between the two parties to the conversation.  It also discusses the results-focused listening process that can be used to resolve problems that have been discovered during the conversation. This approach allows the speaker and listener to explore the problem, to discuss what has been done so far, and to provide input about the solution if it is desired.

Highlights

The book consolidates information from a variety of sources and presents it in a useful and logical order.  It explains why each technique is important and how to apply the technique.  There are examples that demonstrate the techniques.  The book emphasizes that improving listening is a process that takes time and practice.  It suggests that the first step in the process is recognizing communication errors after the fact.  As the practitioner continues to use the techniques, the recognition of the errors moves to the point where the error occurs.  Eventually, the new expert listener will recognize that they are about to make a mistake and stop themselves before they do it.

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About the Reviewer


Linda Hughes Peterson

Texas, USA

 

 

Linda Hughes Peterson, CDP, PMP has been an IT professional for over 40 years.  She is currently adjunct faculty at San Antonio College and Webster University (Lackland Air Force Base) teaching programming, operating systems, systems analysis and design, and project management to undergraduate and graduate students.  She is a member of PMI, AITP, and ACM and has been honored for outstanding teaching in an online environment.

Linda holds a BS Computer Science & Statistics (University of Delaware), MBA Technology Management (University of Phoenix) and ABD, Information Technology Management (Capella University).  Her professional certifications include Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Data Processor (CDP) and Graduate Certificate, Project Management, Webster University.  She 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.  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].

 

 

Project Management the Agile Way

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:  Project Management the Agile Way: Making it Work in the Enterprise, 2nd Ed.
Author: John C. Goodpasture, PMP
Publisher:  J. Ross Publishing
List Price:   $59.95
Format:  Hardcover, 392 pages
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 978-1-60427-115-7
Reviewer: Kevin D. Martin, PMP, PMI-ACP, SAFe SA
Review Date: May 2018

 



Introduction

Initially, the book title intrigued me, as an experienced leadership professional, trained in a variety of process and delivery disciplines, with the ability to properly deploy a framework in a customized manner, to meet the needs of the problem to be solved.  The book did not disappoint as I eagerly consumed each chapter.

It attempts to address the long-standing conflict between agile purists and the traditional project management crowds that has long caused me great concern and confusion, since I find so much common ground and appreciated the nuances among the practices to meet unique situations.

Overview of Book’s Structure

This second edition is well organized for both learning and coaching other professionals who are engaged in the complexity of delivering solutions in the fast-paced business environment, with high levels of quality, team engagement and rapid change.

Organized into twelve chapters, each standing alone on a specific element/theme, they build logically upon one another, from agile concepts, highlights of the four most common agile methods, through the discreet practices to operationalize and transition into an agile organization, in a very easy to read style, with plenty of charts and diagrams, to reinforce the reader’s learning.

Highlights

Great for the agile beginner, the author opens with the history and vision for the agile movement, the Agile Manifesto, principles and focuses on four of the most commonly deployed agile frameworks.  Extensive use of tables and charts, help to compare the differences among Scrum, Kanban, XP and Crystal, with an anchor in the terms used in traditional project delivery methods.

Highlights: What I liked!

I thoroughly enjoyed this entire book and will continue to use it as a desk reference for helping others who are confused or at the start of their agile journey.  The chapters, allow me to assess a root cause and quickly flip to the chapter that explores and explains some possible solutions to their unique problem.

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About the Reviewer


Kevin D. Martin, PMP, PMI-ACP

San Antonio, Texas, USA

 

 

 

Kevin D. Martin, PMP, PMI-ACP brings successful leadership, strategic & design thinking in project/program/portfolio practices in Information Technology, Call Center Operations and Project Management disciplines.  Actively involved in the vision & growth of this global award-winning Alamo PMI chapter, his focus is building and leading high performing teams to achieve business value and sustainable success.  His talents have benefited numerous Fortune 100 companies in the Oil and Gas, Banking, and Financial Services industries, in addition to various sports, volunteer and community service organizations.

Kevin is a graduate of St. Mary’s University – Bachelor of Applied Sciences and a holds a Master of Business Administration M.B.A.- Finance from St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas.  He is a graduate of the University of Virginia’s Darden Executive Education Program and the Leadership Development Program (LDP) at The Center for Creative Leadership.

Mr. Martin is a member of the faculty at the University of Texas – San Antonio, with a focus on project management and agile business practices to develop future leaders for delivering organizational and business value through innovation and continuous learning.

As a thought leadership expert and international speaker in high demand, he enjoys the variety and challenges at every scale of complexity and business development.  You can connect with him on social media, to find him facilitating teams, through mentoring or discussing timely topics over food and drink with other friends and colleagues.

Kevin, nicknamed “KMart,” is an avid reader, consuming 25-38 titles annually.  He is co-author of “Swimming in the Deep End,” a collection of his life-long experiences, while leading high performing teams to deliver amazing results.  His personal motto is “Dream Big, Work Hard and Give Back” and his passion and energy are nearly boundless.  Kevin is employed by USAA, and currently serving as the USAA Enterprise Practice Lead for Project Management & an Agile Coach, leading large multi-million-dollar investments, using Scrum, Kanban and SAFe practices.  He is on faculty for University of Texas – San Antonio and the UTSA Center for Professional Educational Excellence, delivering courses for executives, doctoral, graduate and undergraduate students.

A long-time resident of San Antonio, Kevin is a voracious business & leadership reader and leader in community and civic organizations. He is a devoted husband to his wife of 38 years – Cheryl, and they are blessed with three adult children, Jennifer, Matthew and Allison, all of them are leaders in their chosen professions.  He 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.  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].

 

 

Megaproject Organization and Performance

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title: Megaproject Organization and Performance: The Myth and Political Reality        
Authors:  N. Gil, C. Lundrigan, J. Pinto & P. Puranam
Publisher:  Project Management Institute
List Price:  $34.95
Format:  Soft cover, 170 pages
Publication Date:   December 2017
ISBN: 978-1-62825-176-0
Reviewer: Frank Murphy, PMP
Review Date: May 2018

 



Introduction

This book summarizes a three-year study of mega projects, which are defined as   “project-based organizations purposely formed to develop capital-intensive, large-scale infrastructure systems”.  Project managers are always managing stakeholders, and this book gives a different view of who those stakeholders might be, and why they may wait till later in the process to voice their views.  Even though they wait, they impact the overall viability of the project and force radical design changes to satisfy them.

The fascinating part of the book is how assumptions can radically change and change background details for various projects.  The authors tell a project story that is easy to follow and shows how the size of the stakeholder is not important, but rather how their influence is wielded can impact the final product.  This is worth reading, and applicable whether you manage small or large projects.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The 170-pages are broken down into 5 chapters, with a natural progression in understanding the intricacies of megaprojects bringing them all together.  Chapter Two describes the organizational design for these projects, and the challenges in bringing together the right resources to fund and manage them.  Chapter Three discusses the performance of these organizations and the evolution of project goals.  Chapter Four highlights the optimism bias of the project promoters, and the challenges the project will face due to this mindset.  The final chapter switches gears and looks at megaprojects in developing economies to see if they face the same challenges.  Spoiler alert:  they do!

Each chapter gives a bountiful amount of references used for that chapter and is very helpful in looking for more information on particularly interesting topics.  The overall tone of the book is scholarly, but it is easy to follow the conclusions and look for more material on the various subjects.

Highlights

Megaproject structural characteristics are described in a building block fashion and easy to understand.  Case studies are used on different projects and easily understandable diagrams are throughout and illustrate the concepts and methodologies the authors used.

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About the Reviewer


Frank Murphy

Texas, USA

 

 

 

Frank Murphy is a USAF veteran of 30 years, with multiple deployments and extensive travel on the 7 continents.  He was a Loadmaster on both C-5 and C-17 aircraft, with his final USAF assignment as the senior enlisted leader for an Operations Group.  Frank recently moved to the Texas Hill Country and is a member of the Project Management Institute (Alamo Chapter).

Frank has a BS in Industrial Technology, MBA in Strategic Leadership, and is completing a DBA at George Fox University. He has been a certified PMP since 2012 and has worked projects ranging from real estate to satellite transport.

 

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].

 

 

Project Procurement

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title: Project Procurement: A Real-World Guide to Procurement Skills
Author:  Ajay Bhargrove, C.Eng, MIE, PMP
Publisher:  Project Management Institute
List Price:   $24.95
Format:  Softcover, 120 pages
Publication Date:  January 2018  
ISBN: 9781628254686
Reviewer:     Juan J. Martinez, PMP
Review Date:   May 2018

 



Introduction

As a Project Manager with a background in Procurement (Print), I was drawn to this title. I felt the book could elaborate more on the innerworking’s of Project Management Procurement. Reading the book, I felt the author, Ajay Bhargove had a balanced mix of PMBOK terminology and topic explanation beyond the terminology.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is well structured with concise and precise chapters. I enjoyed seeing that the author added in PMBOK-related terminology, but also further explained the topics for those who haven’t read the PMBOK.

The chapters are short and I found this book an easy and very informative read, yet topics were thoroughly explained to obtain a true understanding of the topic.

Highlights

Each topic was broken down into detail. I found that the book could be used as a quick reference guide to Procurement or expanded knowledge on Procurement Management.

I felt some areas, particularly negotiation and finance views, were especially helpful as these topics were not covered in the PMBOK.

The book goes further in-depth on the topic of financial risk analysis. I found this area of interest as it connects the work of the PM to the financial health of the organization. The book clearly conveyed the relationship between varying PMBOK principles and how these principles will effect an organization financial wellbeing.

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About the Reviewe


Juan J. Martinez, PMP

North Texas, USA

 

 

 

Juan J. Martinez is an independent Project Manager in Dallas and is a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) Dallas Chapter. Juan’s career and experience over the last 12 years is multidiscipline and includes Creative Project Management, Print Production Management, Strategic Planning, Resource Procurement and Allocation, Vendor Relations, and Employee Development.

Juan has a B.S in Advertising/Public Relations and is a recently certified Project Management Professional (PMP). He has varied interests and is always seeking new ways to learn new skills and be a servant leader to others.

He can be contacted at www.linkedin.com/in/juanjmartinez99/

 

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].

 

 

Conflict First Aid

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:  Conflict First Aid: How to Stop Personality Clashes and Disputes from Damaging You or Your Organization  
Author:       Nancy Radford
Publisher:  Business Expert Press
List Price:   $34.95
Format:  Softcover, 150 pages
Publication Date:   December 2017
ISBN: 978-163157-973-8
Reviewer: Calvin Flemmings, PMP
Review Date: May 2018

 



Introduction

As a leader and manager of project teams comprised of stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds with often conflicting priorities and agendas, I was intrigued by “Conflict First Aid How to Stop Personality Clashes and Disputes from Damaging You or Your Organization” as a possible source of tools and techniques for managing the personality conflicts that often occur and potentially create risks to project and/or organization objectives if they persist.

Nancy Radford’s book provides excellent examples of how to effectively manage disputes and personality clashes before they get out of control and damage organizations and relationships.  Nancy uses a detailed, structured process that helps you to understand and empathize with antagonists, provides tools and tactics for understanding motives, triggers, and communication styles, and methods for handling the inevitable difficult conversations and falling outs. The book consists of 12 well-written chapters that examine Understanding Conflict, Controlling Emotions, deciding whether to Speak up or Remain Silent in the face of conflict, managing conflict when it occurs (Getting Ready to Take the Plunge”), Difficult Conversations, Improving Communication, Ambushes and Problems, refereeing (“When Good People Fall Out”), and Prevention.  The final chapter is a source of useful tools and techniques.

Overview of Book’s Structure

Conflict First Aid is a well-written and structured guide that shows the reader how to handle the unavoidable conflicts, disputes, and personality clashes that occur among individuals within a project team or organization.

As a specialist in early conflict resolution and civil and commercial mediation, Nancy draws from her experiences and includes real-world examples and case-study excerpts. Nancy provides real-world examples and stresses the importance of listening carefully, fairness, and empathy.  She provides useful tools (often delivered as acronyms), quotes from luminaries, and practical exercises Each chapter ends with a short “Check Understanding” section to remind the reader of the major points covered.

Highlights

Leading a project team involves not only managing stakeholders’ expectations of a project’s deliverables but also managing stakeholders’ interpersonal relationships. When a team is comprised of individuals with diverse backgrounds, priorities, and agendas, conflict and personality clashes are sometimes inevitable. The ability to manage conflict and personality clashes before they become serious risks to relationships and business objectives in a calm, fair, and effective manner is a critical skill.

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About the Reviewer


Calvin Flemmings

Washington, D.C. USA

 

 

Calvin Flemmings, PMP is a Project Manager and Oracle EBS Specialist with over 20 years of Information Technology (IT) experience and a proven record of successfully managing complex ERP Financial Systems implementations, upgrades, and support. A respected leader, manager, and coach, Calvin is adept at assembling and motivating diverse teams of up to 25+ IT professionals and maintaining stakeholders’ confidence. Calvin serves as a trusted advisor to clients while delivering effective and efficient integrated solutions for federal state and local government agencies as well as communications, financial services, banking, media, insurance, REIT, and energy clients. Calvin is passionate about giving back to his areas of expertise and encouraging young people to work in Information Technology and Project Management.

Calvin 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 Leader Habit

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:    The Leader Habit: Master the Skills You Need to Lead in Just Minutes a Day
Author:  Martin Lanik
Publisher:  AMACOM
List Price:   $25.00
Format:  Hard Cover, 256 pages
Publication Date:  April 2018       
ISBN: 978-0814439340
Reviewer:     Mukuka Chipanta, PMP
Review Date:   May 2018

 



Introduction

The premise of the book, The Leader Habit, is that all exemplary leaders rely on a set of good leadership habits that have been developed over time. Habits are formed when micro behaviors are practiced continually until a state of “automaticy” is attained. The author, Martin Lanik, argues that when his “Leader Habit Formula” is followed, one can acquire and strengthen leadership skills through deliberate practice to create good leadership habits.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book appropriately begins with a prologue which details an anecdote about an emergency room nurse, Laura, whose self-image as a leader is in stark conflict with the reality of what her contemporaries at work make of her. The author then walks the reader through how Laura manages to completely transform herself into a leader who is admired in her organization by simply employing a regiment of prescribed leadership skills exercises over an extended length of time­—Martin Lanik’s Leadership Habit Formula.

After the prologue, the book is parsed into four parts. Part I gives the reader the theory of the Leadership Habit Formula and how it works. He contrasts this with the training centered models that have been tried to limited success by many organizations in the past. Part II delves into the mechanics of how leadership skills are built. Then in Part III, one enters into the meat of the book. Here the author meticulously describes twenty-two discrete leadership skills and corresponding exercises that can be employed to develop and strengthen them. Finally, Part IV ties it all together by focusing on how one can motivate change in an organization and coach others to develop good leadership habits.

Highlights

Through his research, Martin Lanik postulates that many organizations spend a lot of time and resources in conducting leadership training classes of various flavors for their employees. He describes how these efforts, although well intentioned, have not yielded the desired results. The author firmly believes that the reason why these training efforts have failed so miserably in the past is because in order for good leadership traits to be ingrained, people must practice their newly acquired skills until a state of automacity is reached. With automacity one begins to employ good leadership skills without having to make a conscious effort­ to do so—the skills have in essence become second nature.

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About the Reviewer


Mukuka Chipanta

Washington, DC, USA

 

 

Mukuka Chipanta is a PMP certified Aerospace Program Manager and Published Author who currently resides in the Washington DC metro area. Mukuka has several degrees in Engineering and Business from the United Kingdom and the USA. One of his proudest professional achievements is having successfully led teams on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft design program. He has travelled widely across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia and he considers himself a global citizen with roots firmly anchored in Zambia, his country of birth.

Mukuka published his debut novel, A Casualty of Power, in October 2016 with Weaver Press. The novel has received worldwide acclaim, winning prizes for ‘Best First Book’, ‘Gold for General College Level Book’ in the USA and is one of only nine books to have been longlisted for the prestigious 9-Mobile Prize for Literature in 2018. His contribution to an anthology of short stories for Makerere Conference of African Literature was published in October 2017.

Mukaka 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 Business of Portfolio Management

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:    The Business of Portfolio Management: Boosting Organizational Value Through Portfolio Management
Author:  Iain Fraser
Publisher:  Project Management Institute
List Price:   $44.95 ($35.95 for PMI members)
Format:  Hardcover, 166 pages
Publication Date:   2017
ISBN: 978-1-62825-372-6
Reviewer: Gus Sanchez, PMP
Review Date: April 2018

 



Introduction

Hello readers! I attended a recent PMI Chapter meeting (San Antonio, TX, in my case) where they had a table set up in the back of the room with several books, free to anyone who would read one and submit a review. Now, I happen to be a “slow” reader. Unfortunately for me, I never mastered the art of skimming or speed reading so it’s an “effort” for me to accept this challenge – but I did! The title was just too compelling to pass up. Thus, here is my first ever book review! I hope it can be of some help to some to you.

In 2013, I had the good fortune of attending PMI’s PMO Symposium in San Diego, CA. The organization had just published a set of papers showing a huge disparity between what organizations say they wanted/needed and what they actually did. 88% of the organizations researched said strategy implementation was important and 46% said they were good at strategy implementation. However, only 17% said that strategy implementation was strategic! The language did not match the behavior! Fortunately, the symposium went on to cover many topics to help address this challenge, including:

  • “Agility: Reshaping How We Succeed in Business”, by Iain Fraser (yes, the author of this book)
  • “Results Management Office: Moving from Processes to Outcomes”, by Kelley Laird and Ed Panzarella – Deloitte Consulting LLP
  • “The Disruptive PMO: Change, Innovate and Lead”, by Ken Crawford
  • And many, many more awesome presentations (including a great keynote presentation from Daniel Pink)

This was a trigger point for me, professionally, as I fully embraced these simple-to-understand but, unfortunately, super-hard-to-implement concepts of strategic alignment and outcome/value-based work. So, as mentioned above, the book title itself was enough to make me grab a copy. Was it worth my time? Read on…

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is well organized. There are four major sections:

  1. Introduces a Value Management Framework, highlighting why your organization would want to implement/leverage portfolio management.
  2. Covers portfolio management itself. What it is, how it is used, etc.
  3. Talks about delivery techniques. That is, the components that make up a portfolio, like programs (groups of projects) and individual projects
  4. Includes tools for leaders on influencing change and helping their organizations realize the value of portfolio management

Each section breaks down into individual, well-titled chapters that are clearly outlined in the table of contents, making this book a very useful reference guide, letting you easily focus on (or return to) the section/information that pertains to your area of interest or responsibility.

The book is chock full of reference materials. While some material, like opex (operational expenses) vs. capex (capital expenses) and organizational structures (functional, matrix), could be really good for someone relatively new to portfolio management, it may not be as valuable for a seasoned professional. However, it’s all necessary to provide context. Just be aware there may be some sections that may cause you to say “I already know this”.

There are useful diagrams, a decent glossary and a few case studies, allowing you to better see/understand the principles in a practical sense. You will also find helpful techniques (you know, the kind that follow some acronym like H.E.L.P. – Humor, Excite, Listen, Praise).

More…

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About the Reviewer


Gus Sanchez

Texas, USA

 

 

 

Gus Sanchez is an experienced cross-functional team project leader specializing in Agile project delivery. He believes in partnering, collaborating and executing initiatives strategically-aligned with organizational goals and has a passion for sharing knowledge and business value delivery.

Gus 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.  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].

 

 

The Camino Way

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:  The Camino Way: Lessons in Leadership from a Walk Across Spain
Author:  Victor Prince
Publisher:  AMACOM
List Price:   $21.95
Format:  Hardcover, 208 pages
Publication Date:   July 13, 2017 
ISBN: 9780814438244
Reviewer:     Linus Toy, JD
Review Date:   October 2017

 



Introduction

Santiago de Compostela is a historic pilgrimage destination on the northwest corner of Spain. The Camino de Santiago is the term often used to describe a pilgrimage journey to that destination. Originally a faith-oriented journey for those seeking an indulgence, forgiveness or penitence, in recent years, it has become a journey for not just the faithful, but also those seeking self-awareness, personal learning, and sometimes, just a tour.

Victor Prince relates the story of his Camino experience, transforming his journey from “just another tour” to a juxtaposition of his prior professional life with a series of soul-baring realizations. Ultimately, he turns the Spirit of The Camino into a series of leadership lessons he wishes he’d learned earlier in life.

Overview of Book’s Structure

Prince starts off with a historical context of the Christian Pilgrimage. Describing how pilgrimage locations rose and fell in prominence across time, he sets the stage for the contemporary rise and popularity of Santiago de Compostela as a pilgrimage destination, and the many routes (literally and figuratively) to Santiago as the Camino de Santiago.

The first half of the book then weaves together The Spirit of The Camino, 7 suggestions to enjoy or succeed in a Camino journey, with relevant anecdotes and tales of his experience from the business and government service career he previously held.

The last half of the book is a series of lessons and realizations the author holds out as a way forward for his future professional life, as well as his sharing and giving back. This part of the book is perhaps less developed and consistent, combining a disjointed mix of lessons for leadership in organizations, personal growth, and suggestions for approaching one’s own Camino journey.

Highlights

Throughout the book, Prince uses quotes from fellow Camino pilgrims, either those he met in person, or those he met virtually through blogging and essays on his own Camino journey before authoring this book. By design, these many varied quotes and messages reinforces the concept that a Camino journey, regardless of purpose, is personal in nature, not to be prescribed our “guided” by outside influence.

More…

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About the Reviewer


Linus Toy

Texas, USA

 

 

Linus Toy, husband, father of two, and inveterate DIY-er, is a Senior Analyst in Bioinformatics for a pre-approval stage pharmaceutical company. He previously held consulting positions as a project manager serving clients in the Technology and Communications industries. He earned his B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and J.D./M.B.A. from the University of Washington. 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].

 

 

The One Percent Edge

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title: The One Percent Edge: Small Changes That Guarantee Relevance and Build Sustainable Success
Author:  Susan Solovic
Publisher:  AMACOM
List Price:   $24.95
Format: Hardcover, 256 pages
Publication Date: February 2018 
ISBN: 9780814438800
Reviewer: Alice Chiang, PMP
Review Date: April 2018

 



Introduction

Competition is fierce and intense day by day. Big companies, start-ups, and competitors from overseas are surrounding us. The author analyzes current business circumstance and explains to readers why companies need to find the one percent edge.

The reason is simple and easy, companies want to survive, even get more successes. Improve anything in your company and take your company to the one percent edge. This book tells us how to examine our company and directions we can go.

Overview of Book’s Structure

This book is composited by the foreword, the introduction,8 chapters, and the conclusion. The introduction states challenges that companies are facing. It opens a door to chapter one.

In chapter one, the author lists step by step for how companies achieve their one percent edge, and introduces the following 7 chapters focus on the one percentage by different aspects. The following 7 subjects are relevant to each other.

Subject of chapter two to eight is: Leadership Edge, Customer Edge, Product Edge, People Edge, Marketing Edge, Process Edge, and Financial Edge. Each of them begins with questions for companies. These questions are designed for examining your company’s current status. After questions, the author organizes directions you can move on. Directions come with real examples and/or numbers from published reports. When numbers have meaning that can assist readers to understand their company’s status, the author brings up tools and/or formula with explanation and examples.

After being baptized by chapters, the conclusion reminds readers that the key points and benefits had been addressed in the introduction.

Highlights

6 steps in the process to achieve the one percent edge is essential procedure. Steps are: ask the tough questions, select and prioritize, create your action plan, execute, measure and review, and repeat. These steps have six sigma and project management concepts. Asking the tough questions can determine requirements. Select and prioritize can define scope. Create your action plan is planning. Execute is processing plans. Measure and review is monitoring. Repeat is practicing and implementing improvements.

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About the Reviewer


Alice Chiang, PMP

Taiwan and Texas, USA

 

 

 

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

 

 

Boost!

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:    Boost! How the Psychology of Sports Can Enhance Your Performance in Management and Work
Author:   Michael Bar-Eli
Publisher:  Oxford University Press
List Price:   $29.95
Format:  Soft Cover, 328 Pages
Publication Date:   Nov 2017
ISBN: 978-0-19-066173-1
Reviewer:     Michael Carlew, PMP
Review Date:   April 2018

 



Introduction

We all desire to maximize our performance in one if not multiple areas or our lives.  Whether it is in the office, on the playing field, or in our relationships, we all want to perform at a higher level more consistently.  In his book, Boost!, renowned sports psychologist Michael Bar-Eli applies over 3 decades of experience working with some of the top athletes across the globe to explain how the correct mental preparation techniques can increase performance for leaders or managers in every aspect of life.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is comprised of 12 chapters, each of them dealing with a particular facet of cognitive practice and how it can be applied to improve performance.  Each chapter opens with a quote from an ancient philosopher, inventor, composer, or athlete, setting the stage for Bar-Eli to explore how various mental coaching experiences with superior athletes can be equally as effective when used by leaders in the workplace.

Each chapter is an amalgam of anecdote, experimental data, reporting charts, and personal revelation, used to convey the ideology that high levels of performance and achievement are more often than not the result of an individual’s successful endeavors toward meta-cognition.

Highlights

The greatest inspirations to be drawn from this book are found in the one-on-one interactions that Bar-Eli describes with the athletes he works with.  Through these interactions, the reader is able to look into the psyche of top athletes and understand that even those individuals are often times able to achieve high levels of performance not through natural ability alone, but by hard work and a repetition of mental preparation and visualization that can be used by almost any individual in any situation where stimulation levels are extremely high.

Highlights: What I liked! 

Personally, I drew inspiration from Bar-Eli’s interaction with basketball players trying to improve their free through shooting percentage. One athlete was coached to understand that not only does he have 5 seconds at the free through line to collect his thoughts, but also the 10 seconds of dead time before the free throw clock is set. There is a similar story in which a very famous basketball player was able to drastically improve his free throw shooting percentage by reciting a personal mantra at the free throw line; “this is for my wife and kids”, thereby mentally reframing and putting a new perspective on the situation.

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About the Reviewer


Michael Carlew

Dallas, Texas, USA

 

 

 

Michael Carlew, PMP is currently the Manager of Development for a landscape design/build firm in Dallas, Texas. Michael currently manages a team of designers and project managers responsible for creating high-end residential landscapes. 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 PE, PMP and Puja Bhatt, PMP
Publisher:  Project Management Institute
List Price:   $12.95
Format:  Paperback (spiral bound), 65 pages
Publication Date:   2017    
ISBN: 978-1-62825-179-1
Reviewer: Kimberly S. Varner, PMP
Review Date:   May 2018

 



Introduction

Sometimes project managers focus on managing the triple constraints of scope, time, and budget to the extent that they may miss an opportunity to score a real win! While the customer and the project manager may consider the project a success, what about everyone else? Will the project team and the organization/executive management also consider the project a real win? Maybe, maybe not! The 9 Habits of Project Leaders: Experience and Data-Driven Practical Advice in Project Execution, is a research-based book, which explains how project managers can grow into project leaders who use nine habits to develop much-needed soft skills. Authors Singhal and Bhatt suggest that if a project manager can develop these nine underutilized habits, he or she will be able to engage ALL of their stakeholders, contribute to the project’s success, and score a win for everyone!

Overview of Book’s Structure

The 9 Habits of Project Leaders: Experience and Data-Driven Practical Advice in Project Execution, is a 65-page, pocket-sized book that is a simple read. Honestly, you can read the book in less than one hour and gain some practical nuggets of information. I recommend reading it at least two times so that you can begin to think about how best to apply the nine habits to your work and make them…a habit!

The first section of the book is the preface, which is a must-read piece. The preface will set the reader up with pertinent information on the following: the intended audience, the definition of a habit and how the nine habits are tailored to project management, the importance of soft skills as they relate to the habits, the goal and importance of a project manager becoming a true project leader, and the premise of the “Triple Win” (Win-Win-Win) concept. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of this section, which offers a solid foundation for one’s understanding.

Each habit has its own chapter and includes a title that will give the reader a clear directive or action item. For example, Habit One (Chapter 1) is “Take complete ownership of the project” and Habit Two (Chapter) 2 is “Enable core team to make decisions.” The chapters are approximately three to five pages long and include the recommended habit, real-life examples (based on Singhal and Bhatt’s research) of why a habit should be followed, and the business strategy that promotes the habit. The business strategy sells the habit and seals the deal on why the habit is critical to the stakeholders’ win.

The first appendix includes a list of the authors’ collective project management experience, which represents 20 diverse projects, worth $5 million to $20 billion, in the United States and abroad. The second appendix is the data collection and analysis methodology, which outlines the authors’ 20-year research for this book.

Highlights

In life, some habits are negative and hard to break; however, the nine habits in this book are positive and will more than likely be beneficial for project managers. Seems simple? If done correctly, it appears simple enough. Rooted in research, the nine habits were developed by interviewing experienced management professionals, directors, and core team members. The authors hope project managers will consciously incorporate these habits into their management skills and ultimately become project leaders who think about and work with their customers, their teams, and their organizations to ensure success.

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About the Reviewer


Kimberly S. Varner

Maryland, USA

 

 

Kimberly Varner, PMP 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.  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].

 

 

Megaproject Organization and Performance

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:    Megaproject Organization and Performance: The Myth and Political Reality
Author: Nuno Gil; Colm Lundrigan; Jeffery K. Pinto; Phanish Puranam
Publisher: Project Management Institute, Inc.
List Price: $34.95
Format: Soft cover, 170 pages
Publication Date: 2017      
ISBN: 978-1-62825-176-0
Reviewer: Mark J. Loiselle
Review Date: April 2018

 



Introduction

This book sheds light on a seldom encountered job opportunity; The MEGAPROJECT. Few project managers are ever afforded the opportunity to manage a megaproject, let alone play a small part as maybe a PM assistant or a Project Manager for one of the secondary or even tertiary players. MEGAPROJECT outlines, from start to finish, high points and low points (and all the in-betweens) of the Project Management process. The very beginning of the megaproject is a GRAND idea described between 2 or 3 people. If it has merit, it can grow into a conglomeration of political figures, financial backers, real estate developers, geographic planning and design experts, suppliers, contractors and the general public.

The book is a 3 year study on megaprojects, project based organizations formed for the sole purpose of developing capital intensive,  large-scale infrastructure systems. The authors intend to show that megaprojects act at Meta-Organizations, a group of independent actors collaborating under an identifiable system-level goal. The megaproject is divided into 2 parts, the CORE and the PERIPHERY. Core members control strategic choices for the project, whether political, financial, regulatory power, knowledge of need and land. The periphery is the group of suppliers and ancillary players needed to complete the project.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book provides good background material and numerous citations, indicating a well researched report.

Chapter 1 describes the process the authors are using to defend and prove their hypothesis. They describe in detail the core of the megaproject,  or the organizational structure that defines the megaproject. They describe the periphery as a vast supply chain providing knowledge and labor for the project.

This study focuses on 4 multi-year and multi-billion pound projects undertaken in the United Kingdom.

  • Crossrail rail project; a high capacity train connecting the east and west ends of London.
  • High Speed 2 railway; a national high speed railway network meant to increase rail traffic between London and the northern regions of the U. K.
  • London 2012 Olympic Park; an infrastructure project to host the 2012 Olympics.
  • Heathrow T2; a project to develop a new terminal campus at Heathrow Airport.

The study also examines megaprojects in developing economies as well, to look for similarities or differences from projects in developed countries.

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About the Reviewer


Mark J. Loiselle

San Antonio, TX, USA

 

 


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

 

 

 

Project Procurement

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:  Project Procurement: A Real-World Guide to Procurement Skills
Author:  Ajay Bhargove, C.Eng, MIE, PMP
Publisher:  Project Management Institute
List Price:  $24.95
Format:  Paperback Book
Publication Date:   2018    
ISBN: 978-1-62825-468-6
Reviewer:     Heron Gonzalez Jr., PMP
Review Date: April/2018

 



Introduction

Project managers become involved in the procurement process either through a need to purchase an external resource to support a project they are implementing or by leading a project whose purpose is to source or purchase an external resource to support a broader corporate activity or mission. In either circumstance, having a firm grasp of project procurement principles and an understanding of the procurement life cycle can be the difference between success and failure. “Project Procurement: A Real-World Guide for Procurement Skills” can be helpful in trying to navigate the procurement process.

Overview of Book’s Structure

After an introduction which includes baseline definitions and a review of both the stages of a project familiar to project managers and the components of the “Procurement Life Cycle,” this book steps readers through a logical discussion of the project procurement body of knowledge over the course of eleven chapters.

Structured in outline numbered format, much like a technical book or user manual, this book attempts to provide a handy and easy-to-use tool to navigate a path through the forest of procurement knowledge. With short, simplified chapters, the book is easy to read and follow.

Highlights

“Project Procurement: A Real-World Guide to Procurement Skills” is a basic overview of the procurement discipline. After a review of the Supplier Management Life Cycle, this overview touches upon the types of bidding methods a project manager may encounter and the approaches she should use to evaluate those bids. It reviews the types of contracts and the important, essential contract terms that project managers should be familiar with if they are involved in project procurement, and explores Contract Change Management and Procurement Change Orders.

A very interesting and critical section of the book covered what the author refers to as “The Game of Negotiations.” This section delves into negotiation “Tactics and Countertactics,” negotiation power shifts, and shows through a “Power Shift Curve” (page 61), how delicate negotiating leverage is and how it shifts between buyer and seller over the course of a negotiation.

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About the Reviewer


Heron Gonzalez, Jr.

San Antonio, Texas, USA

 

 

Heron Gonzalez, Jr. PMP 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].

 

 

Responsible Leadership in Projects

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:  Responsible Leadership in Projects: Insights Into Ethical Decision Making       
Author:  Nicholas Clarke, Alessia D’Amato, Malcolm Higgs, Ramesh Vahidi
Publisher:  Project Management Institute (PMI ®)
List Price:  $24.95
Format:  Soft cover, 150 pages
Publication Date:  2018
ISBN:  978-1-62825-476-1
Reviewer:  Les Foley, PMP, MPM, MBA, MA
Review Date:   March 2018

 



Introduction

Responsible Leadership in Projects: Insights Into Ethical Decision Making, by Nicholas Clarke, Alessia D’Amato, Malcolm Higgs, and Ramesh Vahidi, investigates how relationships among the project manager, project team members, and “key” stakeholders bring about ethical and/or moral dilemmas during the management of a project. It takes a closer look at how managers’ leadership actions impact the decision-making process in an attempt to resolve ethical and moral dilemmas.

This book brings to the reader’s attention the significant role organizational culture plays in the ethical decision-making process and the importance of extensive stakeholder engagement in contributing to handling ethical issues and dilemmas.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The Chapter 1, “Executive Summary”, gives the reader background information about the objectives of the study, how the study was conducted, key findings, and the resulting contributions to theory and practice.  This is followed by a short “Introduction” (Chapter 2) explaining how a phenomenological approach survey was conducted to map the interrelationships between the various stakeholders in four projects located within the financial industry in the United Kingdom.

Chapter 3 deals with “Responsible Leadership” and contains, among other things, a statement regarding a 2009 poll conducted in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain and the United States indicating the percentage of Americans and European adults who believe the behavior of their business leaders is unethical or irresponsible.  I think you will be amazed when you see these numbers in the book.

“Ethics in Project Management” is addressed in Chapter 4.  At this point, the authors give an overview of ethics concepts, contexts, theories, ethical dilemmas, ethical decision making, and behavioral theories they uncovered in their review of project management academic literature.  Names and dates of the authors, who produced this literature, are included for the reader who cares to investigate this material further.

After explaining that an ethical decision is a decision “that is both legally and morally acceptable to the larger community”, Chapter 5, Ethical Decision Making” addresses individual and situational factors that affect ethical decision making and various ethical decision-making models. Chapter 6 explains the aims of the study and details the methodology used.  This is followed by the longest chapter in the book, Chapter 7, describing the findings of the four case studies.

The book wraps up with some general discussion comments and a summary of key findings and conclusions in chapters 8 and 9.

Highlights

This is the first study to investigate how relationships among project managers, team members, and “key” stakeholders bring about ethical or personal conflicts for project managers.  In spite of the fact that much has been published about the idea of a code of professional conduct in project management, there is a scarcity of academic studies on ethics in project management.

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About the Reviewer


Les Foley, PMP

North Texas, USA

 

 

Les Foley, PMP, MPM, MBA, MA, BS earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and Economics from Culver-Stockton College in 1977, a Master of Arts Degree in Computer Data Management from Webster University in 1985, an MBA Degree in General Business from Amberton University in 1997, and a Master of Project Management Degree from the Keller Graduate School of Management in 2012.  While serving at the Air Force Officer Training School (OTS) from ‘81 to ‘85, he attended the Academic Instructor School, conducted the OTS train-the-trainer program for three years, and earned his Master Instructor rating.   Les completed his military career with the Air Force in 1990 with the rank of captain and moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area.

Over the past 27 years, Les has worked in the eyewear, copier, aerospace, defense, and audio-visual industries in DFW; most recently, as a PMP Prep Class Boot Camp instructor for Rebus Business Solutions and as a Project Manager at Whitlock–an audio-visual integrator in Flower Mound, TX.  He earned his Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification in August 2005.

Les began teaching Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification exam prep classes in 2006 while employed at Elbit Systems of America, LLC in Fort Worth, TX and produced over a dozen new PMPs for that company.  Les and his wife Denise started D and L Training in 2011.  He has been teaching PMP®/CAPM® Cert Exam Prep classes at White’s Chapel in Southlake, TX, for the unemployed, since 2013.  This class has produced over 175 PMPs to date.

In his spare time, Les likes to read, listen to classical music and exercise.  He is passionate about teaching, project management, and helping others to be successful.

 

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 Successful Organizations implement Change (PMI)

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:    How Successful Organizations implement Change
Authors:  Emad E. Aziz and Wanda Curlee
Publisher:  Project Management Institute (PMI®)
List Price:   $44.95
Format:  Soft Cover
Publication Date:   2017    
ISBN: 978-1-62825-386-3
Reviewer:     Anne Dacy Ecklin, PMP
Review Date:   04/18

 



Introduction

Larger scale implementation initiatives require the adherence to change management disciplines as an important way to improve the odds for a successful outcome. Failure to prepare the organization for upcoming changes, failure to engage the right audiences, or failure to capture and measure project or program benefits can result in a real or perceived failure of the initiative.   Employing change management disciplines can avoid a situation where the ‘operation’ was successful, but the ‘patient’ died.

Successful enterprises integrate Organizational Change Management with the Project Management and Program Management activities which are being carried out to ensure that the right activities are happening with the right stakeholders and to also make certain that effective teams are working towards common goals which are in turn supporting organizational strategic imperatives.   Organizations today need to be responsive, agile, and able to capitalize on opportunities in order to gain a competitive advantage.  This comprehensive reference tome is able to provide solid foundational understanding of the importance of Organizational Change Management for key initiatives.  It also illuminates the practical aspects of change by providing techniques and examples of templates and key activities required to support change objectives.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is a compendium of Organizational Change Management topics organized into fourteen chapters.  Different, highly knowledgeable subject matter experts author each chapter.  At the beginning, the reader obtains an overview of the history of Organizational Change Management in the Project Management and Program Management profession from the years 1969 to 2015.  The following chapters provide readers with perspectives on change triggers, how organization agility can be a catalyst for change and the role of program, portfolio, and project management in organizational change.

Following these topics, the change process in practice is surveyed and this chapter covers change management as a practice and provides a concise view of the key change concepts and the importance of putting the proper context around change and managing change as a programmed discipline.

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About the Reviewer


Anne Dacy Ecklin

Texas, USA

 




Anne Dacy Ecklin
is with SAP America as a Delivery Executive dedicated to Human Capital Management program delivery.  She was previously a Partner in the SAP practice for IBM where she focused on delivering excellent customer outcomes for Human Resources implementation clients who utilized SAP HCM On Premise in addition to the SuccessFactors Suite of products. Prior to that her experience includes a previous tour of duty at SAP America as one of the first SAP HR consultants working in the US.

With over 25 years’ experience in the software industry, consulting delivery, product management, and sales; Anne has a deep background in global ERP Software Implementations, Program Management, Project Management, and Product Management, with a strong emphasis on Human Resources global deployments. In addition, Anne has domain expertise in the process and change management areas.  She has worked with Life Sciences, Consumer Products, Retail, High Tech, and Public Sector clients.  Some of her previous clients have included Harley-Davidson, Brooks Brothers, VSP, Abbott Labs, Heinz, Telefonica of Spain, and Pepsi International.

 

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:  2017
ISBN: 9781604271492
Reviewer:     Maryanne Coelln, PMP
Review Date:   March 2018

 



Introduction

This easy to read book provides a complete approach to project portfolio management. A key differentiator from other books is Mr. Kulathumani’s explanation of how to create a project portfolio using a simplified form of earned value management which can be adapted to changing situations. He introduces the portfolio management concept in the initial chapters, explains how to measure success in subsequent material, followed by implementing the concepts, then concludes with portfolio governance.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is divided into four sections: Key Components of a Portfolio Process, mEVM (modified Earned Value Management), Implementation Strategies for the Real World, and The Support Systems that Decide Success.

These sections flow very logically from one to the next. The chapters have numerous sub-topics in each, allowing the reader to stop and reflect on each new thought before reading on to the next section. Each chapter contains a summary of what was presented.

Highlights

Mr. Kulathumani’s conversational explanation of the topics in this book engage the reader. From his detailed review of the intake process of projects and his recommendations on the optimal portfolio planning approach, the reader has an immediate sense of where portfolio planning fits into the strategic focus of the organization. His details and examples describe the approach to take on this journey to create and manage a portfolio of projects that’s in alignment with the strategic vision of an organization.

His approach to modifying earned value calculations was new to me. Intuitively we all realize that we need to select projects and programs in our portfolio that will provide the greatest benefit – value – to meet the organizational goals. Money, time and resources are always constrained. He presents the concept and approach of mEVM, a technique that allows portfolios to make data-based objective decisions. mEVM can be considered a light footprint variant of EVM that provides most of the benefits of the traditional EVM technique at only a fraction of the cost/effort. He has a fully developed model for evaluating projects using this mEVM method, as well as rolling it out to the enterprise.

Part III of his book begins with dialog on Common Portfolio Problems and Solutions that all leaders of a PMO will recognize and have likely experienced several of them. Moving on to the selection and implementation of a tool to help with portfolio management is the next logical step in the process. Portfolio governance follows, with excellent pointers on how to approach new projects entering into the project backlog. The book ends with a perspective of the role of the CIO, and then how portfolio management benefits the business transformation of executing strategically valuable projects.

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About the Reviewer


Maryanne Coelln

North Texas, USA

 

 


Maryanne Coelln
, PMP, is Director of Project Delivery for the American Airlines Federal Credit Union.  Maryanne has a B.S.C. degree in Marketing from Santa Clara University, California and earned her PMP in 2003. She has over 15 years of experience in leading technical project teams and is focused on developing practical methodologies. She has been an active member in the PMI Dallas Chapter for many years.  Maryanne 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].

 

 

Raise Your Team’s Employee Engagement Score

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:  Raise Your Team’s Employee Engagement Score
Author:  Richard P. Finnegan
Publisher: AMACOM
List Price:  $14.95
Format:  Soft Cover, 128 pages
Publication Date: 2018
ISBN: 978-0-8144-3862-6
Reviewer: Edward Raibick, PMP
Review Date: March 2018

 



Introduction

The book titled Raise Your Team’s Employee Engagement Score is a manager’s guide for companies who have enacted a formal engagement program as well as managers who are struggling with employee engagement within their organization. The book provides instruction, examples and exercises that can be used to foster positive relationships, reignite commitment and inspire employees.

Overview of Book’s Structure

  • Chapter 1 discusses Employee Engagement Scores, and the importance of employee engagement.
  • Chapter 2 discusses the importance of trust and provides a Manager Self-Assessment of engagement styles and behaviors.
  • Chapter 3 introduces utilizing employees to exponentially expand your recruiting pool.
  • Chapter 4 discusses identifying and hiring employees who self-engage.
  • Chapter 5 introduces Stay Interviews as a tool to minimize employee turnover.
  • Chapter 6 discusses One-on-One engagement solutions.
  • Chapter 7 dives into employee engagement and performance management.
  • Chapter 8 discussed leveraging your company’s engagement-related programs.
  • Chapter 9 introduces utilizing goals and forecasts to create a business-driven model.
  • Chapter 10 discusses leading supervisors to build engagement on your team.
  • Chapter 11 introduces metrics and surveys for tracking engagement improvement.

Highlights

Raise Your Team’s Employee Engagement Score provides real life examples and exercises to improving employee engagement. Topics include interview role-playing exercises and introduces specific interview questions targeted at identifying employee candidates that are more prone to be actively engaged in your organization. Formalized measurements and metrics are introduced to measure the engagement process improvement for the program.

Highlights: What I liked!

The fundamental concepts discussed throughout the book involve building trust in relationships and cultivating an engaged work force where employees take personal pride in going beyond compliance to commitment. These environments are prone to higher moral, higher profitability and productivity.

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To read entire Book Review, click here

 



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. 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].

 

 

How Successful Organizations Implement Change

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title:    How Successful Organizations Implement Change
Authors:         Emad E. Aziz and Wanda Curlee
Publisher:      Project Management Institute (PMI®)
List Price:      $ 44.95
Format:  354 pages, soft cover
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN: 978-1-62825-386-3
Reviewer:      Rex B. Reagan, PMP
Review Date: April 2018

 



Introduction

How Successful Organizations Implement Change is a well thought-out, extremely well organized, and profound look at Organizational Change.  The authors, and noted contributors, take Organizational Change a step further and much deeper by clearly stating the benefits and potential minefields to businesses in a complex and sometimes volatile environment, where strategies may often become, or redirected, realigned to fit within the organizational climate.  This book is a collaborative effort of a team of well-known, respected, and accomplished parishioners and not just scholars.  These are operators who have truly “been there and done that” and have accomplished their change and project management objectives successfully.

The proposed change cannot be accomplished without a strong and compelling vision.  It is said that vision is a picture of the future and why people should strive to create that future. While the book is not based on “vision”, it is paramount that this element of change be a foundational principle of change and without a clear vision, then the risk of solving current challenges and not attain the desired and needed change as originally planned.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is presented in three (3) parts:

Part 1 provides a history of project management and how it has evolved to include and facilitate organizational change.  The book especially devotes attention to the complexities that surround organizational change and the inherent negative and positive benefits from this change.  The companies and organizations that are able and capable of adapting to change will often stand a greater probability of succeeding where those who cannot, will not, or do not, will likely not succeed to the degree sought.

Part 2 addresses the more personal part of Change with affects to leadership and employees.  The influence of innovation (demonstrated by Agile approaches)  will also show how these methodologies may benefit organizational change.  The role of Stakeholders is addressed and the necessity for gauging their impact upon this change.  Change cannot be measured without metrics and key measurements are discussed in Part 2.

Part 3 is critical in that the actual and pragmatic approach to a change team is addressed.  This includes constructing a change team, its leadership, and sponsorship.  Communication is discussed as a critical ingredient and the importance of how the role of technology may often drive change.

More…

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About the Reviewer


Rex B. Reagan

Washington, DC, USA

 


Rex B. Reagan
, PMP is a project manager with the Loch Harbour Group, He is a Project Management Professional, ITIL, Agile International Consortium, and is Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certified. He is also a retired U.S. Navy commander (Supply Corps) and former Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security Federal senior manager. He has his masters degree in financial management from American University in Washington, DC, and is a graduate of the Naval War College.

 

 

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: 263 pages, hard cover
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN: 978-1-60427-140-9
Reviewer: Lawrence Reid, PMP
Review Date: 03/2018

 



Introduction

“Every project is about a gap.” A gap is the difference between the status quo and the desired outcome. Bridging the PM Competency Gap by Loredana Abramo, PMP, and Rich Maltzman, PMP, is a book about identifying and fulfilling training opportunities in project management.

“A project manager’s level of competency is often not equal to the new and dynamic challenges encountered in his/her profession.”

For example, I was the administrator of a windows-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. When the time came to move it to the web base format, additional training was required.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The chapters of Bridging the PM Competency Gap are well-organized to walk the reader through the process of developing a continuous learning plan.

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

Highlights

Continuous learning is required to remain relevant in today’s rapidly-changing world. Bridging the PM Competency Gap provides a roadmap to develop a continuous learning environment (CLE). The publisher, J. Ross Publishing, provides additional free Web Added Value™ materials for download from their website at www.jrosspub.com.

Recommended steps to follow:

More…

To read entire Book Review, click here

 



About the Reviewer


Lawrence Reid, PMP

Bedford, Texas

 


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

 

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].

 

 

Investment-Centric Project Management

BOOK REVIEW

Book Title: Investment-Centric Project Management: Advanced Strategies for Developing and Executing Successful Capital Projects
Author:  Steven James Keays, M.A. Sc., P.Eng.
Publisher:  J. Ross
List Price:   $ 59.95
Format:  Hard Cover, 419 pages
Publication Date:   2017
ISBN – 13:978-1-60427-142-3
Reviewer: Marta Santos, PhD
Review Date: March 2018

 



Introduction

Nothing like a brilliant and bold statement on the very beginning of a book! In this volume, Steven Keays unleashes a series of thought provoking and challenging arguments that defies the traditional definition of project management and its current state. This book brings about a concept named, Investment-Centric Project Management, along with remarkable insights derived from years of experience in aerospace, defense, manufacturing, and oil and gas industries to show you how to make projects work and organizations succeed.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is structured in 7 parts. Each one dissects the W5H (what, why, when, where, and how) technique in ways I have never seen before. Included in the last section, there are samples, structured plans and other valuable examples of supporting documents to learn from.

Highlights

Investment-Centric Project Management is a true multidisciplinary approach to project management. The author masterly blends in physics, math, molecular biology, the laws of the universe, psychology, and business to give his expert view on project management. It’s hard to believe that the essence of project management is missed in the process of trying to make it work. Remember:

  1. “A project is the investment vehicle to realize the asset.”
  2. The management philosophy must be anchored to the asset, as a business investment.
  3. Strategies should be built as prescriptions are. As the author defines it, “a strategy is effective when it is prescriptive, procedurally specific, continuously consulted, and adaptable. “A strategy is not a generic statement to do something. It is a precise road map…” Avoid the 9 deadly contract sins! (Chapter 16)
  4. Projects should also be viewed as networks. As complex as neuronal networks, yet manageable when carefully set in place.
  5. Accountability decreases risks and execution costs. Learn its true definition.
  6. Explicit, unequivocal, and to the point. Three words to define phase execution plans.
  7. Organizational long-term survival can’t be attained without miscegenation.

Highlights: What I liked!

The second and third pages of this book deliver enough impact and bring the reader to a total new reality of what the author defines as project management. As a reader, one must be open and willing to consider new views and sometimes opt out of traditional methods. This book can facilitate that if you are willing to challenge yourself and the status quo.

More…

To read entire Book Review, click here

 


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. Marta 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. She adds to the PM World Journal by providing reviews on portfolio, programs and project management books. Naturalized American from Brazil, Marta currently lives in the Dallas Forth Worth 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].