Investment-Centric Project Management



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



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

Overview of Book’s Structure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


To read entire Book Review, click here


About the Reviewer

Mark J. Loiselle

Texas, USA



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

Mark can be contacted at [email protected]


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