Exercising Agency: Decision Making and Project Initiation



pmwj36-Jul2015-Freeland-BOOKBook Title: Exercising Agency: Decision Making and Project Initiation
Author:        Mark Mullaly
Publisher:    Gower Publishing
List Price:     $109.95
Format:        hard cover, 192 pages
Publication Date:   2015    
ISBN:      978-1-4724-2788-5
Reviewer:     Newton F (Butch) Freeland
Review Date: June 2015



This book is a well thought out and well documented analysis of decision making as it applies to project initiation. He begins with an excellent discussion of general decision theory. The remainder of the book explores various decision making processes and their influence on project initiation and ultimate success.

He makes the claim early that “The up-front process of initiation has been identified as having a dominate influence in determining the success or failure of individual project efforts.” This excellent book then develops the issues (see Format above) pertaining to the influence of various decision making processes on the success of projects.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The introduction discusses the purpose of the book, a discussion on various decision making processes and an introduction to the chapters in the book.

The second chapter discusses project initiation challenges, how individuals attempt to influence projects, etc. This chapter frames the problem the book is trying to solve.

Chapters three through seven discuss in detail those elements of decision making and their influence on the success of the project.

Chapters eight through ten are the guidance chapters. They provide guidance, based on previous discussions, to:

  • project shapers – those who are attempting to get a project underway,
  • executives who must evaluate and making the decision whether or not to proceed
  • How to improve the effectiveness of project initiation


The book is very well organized and leads the reader logically from problem identification through the development of the various issues that influence project initiation and to guidance aimed at improving project initiation and performance.


To read entire Book Review (click here)

About the Reviewer

pmwj36-Jul2015-Freeland-PHOTOButch Freeland

North Texas, USA



Newton (Butch) Freeland’s
background includes US Naval Flight Officer – E-2C operations and T&E, Airborne systems test, systems engineering, business development, international border security and Project management for the past 28 years. Systems have included UAV, E- 2C, SATCOM, Austrailian P-3 weapons upgrade, SeaVue radar, Ukraine border security, and DEA aircraft sensor and communications modifications.


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