Off the Beaten Path


Book Title: Off the Beaten Path: A Project Management Field Guide
Author: Nicholas James Errico
Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
List Price:   $22.95
Format:  Paperback
Publication Date:   February 2017
ISBN-13: 9781539992530
ISBN-10: 1539992535
Reviewer: Marta B. Santos, PhD
Review Date: December 2017



“Off the Beaten Path: A Project Management Field Guide” by Nicholas James Errico, is a book that draws you into the world of project managers. Project management is a beaten path by its nature and numbers. The realm of aligning customer’s needs, team dynamics and conflicting business interests is a challenging terrain which often brings no public recognition. It demands an unwavering moral character and the ability to gracefully recognize the need to improve and change. Errico, who successfully trod the path for almost 20 years, has incredible insights from his experiences, tools/methods used, and attitudes embraced. His concise and to-the-point book could set you on the course of consistent and outstanding project results.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The author shares interesting details about himself while presenting his reasons for writing the book. In his opinion, the overall state of the Project Management business is of concern. He challenges you to rate the profession’s success over the last 20 years and emphasizes the importance of adhering to a methodology. Whether it be the PMBOK or other valid method.

As you read the first few pages, if you still believe that Project Management is the role you want to enter or remain in, you are invited into self-analysis. Truly understanding who you are, your capabilities, aspirations, expectations, and limitations is key to success. Being able to self-manage and endure a “thankless job” are pre-requisites to getting started with typical project manager’s tasks. Learning to use a tool is as important as not using the right tool for the wrong purpose or using a great tool that brings no value to the settings.

Errico takes you through the often overlooked yet essential aspects of contract, WBS, and schedule. He shows how to create and track a Schedule Model that will work for you and your customer. Managing what you have created is the next step. It will require experience, wisdom or a sixth sense, and even learning how to “play poker” with your customer. In essence, you gain knowledge on how to awaken your senses to cues and how to embrace the moment that will facilitate future exchanges between you and your clients. It takes being human and walking on customer’ shoes.

The two subsequent book sections, “Food for Thought” and “Metrics and Reward Systems”, contain real-life examples and suggestions on proven success strategies for project managers and organizations. The author bids his readers farewell as he urges project managers to love the profession or move on to something else.


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About the Reviewer

Marta Santos, PhD, CAPM, LSSGB

Texas, USA

Marta B. 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. This is her first book review for the PM World Journal. Naturalized American from Brazil, Marta currently lives in the Dallas 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. 

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