Project Management Blunders: Lessons from the Project that Built, Launched and Sank Titanic


Project-management-BlundersBook Title:  Project Management Blunders: Lessons from the Project that Built, Launched and Sank Titanic

Author:  Mark Kozak-Holland

Publisher:  Multi-Media Publications Inc.

List Price:   US$ 39.95

Format:  soft cover; 384 pages

Publication Date:   2012

ISBN: 9780814408759

Reviewer:      Kathryn M. Moore, PMP

Review Date:              October 2012


Introduction to the Book

Project Management Blunders: Lessons from the Project that Built Launched and Sank Titanic analyzes the project management phases and key decisions in the project to deliver three Olympic sized ships to replace an aging fleet of six much smaller ships.   J.P. Morgan had taken over White Star in 1902 and put it under a conglomerate of shipping companies called International Mercantile Marine (IMM).  Shares in IMM were offered to fund the development of a new fleet of liners.

Harland and Wolff was a premier shipbuilder in Ireland.  White Star had a longstanding relationship with Harland and Wolff.   White Star hired Harland and Wolff to deliver three identical Olympic size luxury ships.  Harland and Wolff delivered Olympia first.  Titanic was to be built on a seven month lag behind Olympia.  The Britannica was the third ship to be built.

The author walks us through key decisions made throughout the project that contributed to the sinking of the Titanic.

Overview of Book’s Structure

Readers are provided with a background on Shipping Liner competition and White Star’s business model.    The project initiation examines the project charter and business case regarding the plans to build three Olympic sized ships to replace the current fleet of six ships.

Within each chapter, project management processes are examined and linked to the Project Management Body of Knowledge.  Each chapter ends with a set of Conclusions, Key Lessons and a section for educators.

Highlights: What’s New in this Book

Key decisions that impacted the safety of the passengers and the ship were made throughout each project phase.   Scope emphasized luxury over speed.  However during Titanic’s maiden voyage, the chairman of White Star pushed to set a world record on speed.  The chairman received Marconi grams warning of icebergs in the area that were ignored.  When the iceberg was hit, without waiting for a complete assessment of damage, the chairman ordered the ship forward which doomed a crippled ship. 


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About the Reviewer

kathryn-m-mooreflag-usaKathryn M. Moore

Kathryn M. Moore is a Senior Project Manager in the Banking Industry.  The past three years she has been managing global projects in the development of Fraud and Compliance software for banks around the globe.  Since obtaining a PMP in 2002, Kathryn has been active in the PMI Dallas Chapter including a role as a registered company coordinator.  Kathryn has a BBA in Information Systems from the University of North Texas.  She can be contacted at [email protected].

Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of cooperation between the publisher, PM World Inc and the Dallas Chapter of the Project Management Institute (www.pmidallas.org). Publishers provide books to PM World, books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter where they are given to chapter members who commit to providing a book review in a standard format; the reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  Since PMI Dallas Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, they represent the intended audience for most PM books.  If you are an author or publisher of a book related to program or project management, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].