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Managing Technology-Based Projects: Tools, Techniques, People and Business Processes

 

BOOK REVIEW

pmwj37-Aug2015-Frost-BOOKBook Title:   Managing Technology-Based Projects
Author: Hans J. Thamhain
Publisher: Wiley
List Price:   $125.00
Format: hard cover, 528 pages
Publication Date:   2014
ISBN: 978-0-470-40254-2
Reviewer:     Christopher Frost
Review Date: 06/2015

 



Introduction

For years, my job centered on medium sized database projects that work well with a traditional waterfall approach. However, last year, I was promoted to manage an application solutions group. This group had a wider range of responsibilities – everything from database development to web design and training. The group had some recent informal exposure to Agile methodologies and was trying to get used to new change management procedures. To succeed, I realized that I had to update my project management skills. That is why Thamhain’s book appealed to me.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The first fourth of the book looks at contemporary project management and the role of project management in modern organizations. After a chapter on project evaluation and selection, it moves into a couple of chapters that focus on monitoring and controlling the project. From there, it delves into different subject areas – with chapters on managing projects through risk management, collaboration, human resources, and conflict management.

The book ends with a chapter specifically on leading technology teams, another on the challenges of professional development, and a last one on the future of project management.

Highlights

One thing that Thamhain returned to at various points in the book was the concept of Strategic Project Management. Coined by Aaron Shenhar (2004), this approach looks at business results and human issues in addition to project management efficiency. Too often, it is natural as project management professionals to become overly concerned with project processes and lose sight of the larger objective. In addition to simply managing projects, the PMO project leader has to deal with the issues of organizational culture, politics, and power (Thamhain, 2012).

Another recurring item in Managing Technology-Based Projects, is the Stage-Gate process. Stage-Gate is a framework of phased development developed by R. Cooper and S. Edgett in 1985 and is similar to Agile. In Stage-Gate, projects have deliverables at certain pre-defined stages. These gates allow project managers to get better buy-in because the development is iterative and customer feedback is gathered at each gate.

More…

To read entire Book Review (click here)

 



About the Reviewer


pmwj37-Aug2015-Frost-PHOTOChristopher Frost

Texas, USA

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Christopher Frost
, MBA, PMP, works for Columbia Advisory Group as a Senior Consultant and is currently the Director of Student Information Systems for Texas A&M – Commerce. He is also a charter member of the TCC Leadership Council and resides in Richardson, Texas with his family.

Although currently active in higher education, Chris has worked with a number of Fortune 100 companies including UPS, Verizon, and American Airlines. With more than 15 years of experience in Information Technology, Chris has been active in dozens of projects involving enterprise databases, business intelligence, and web-related projects.

In addition to his PMP certification, Chris is both an Oracle Certified Professional and a Microsoft Certified Professional. He has authored a book on Android and spoken at several higher education conferences as a technical expert.

In his free time, Chris volunteers with the PMI Dallas chapter, the Soupmobile, and is on the board of the Dallas Oracle Users Group. He also is passionate about staying fit and recently completed his first half marathon.

Email: [email protected]

 

Editor’s note: This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the PMI Dallas Chapter. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library. 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].