Project Management Leadership: Building Creative Teams


pmwj32-Mar2015-Azam-BOOKBook Title: Project Management Leadership: Building Creative Teams
Authors: Rory Burke & Steve Barron
Publisher: Wiley, U.K.
List Price: US$ 40.00
Format: Soft Cover; 381 Pages
Publication Date: April 2014
ISBN: 978-1-118-67401-7
Reviewer: Javed Azam, MBA, MSc, PME, P.G.
Review Date:            January/February 2015



With advancement in technologies and know-how, project requirements and team competencies for conducting and managing projects are more demanding than ever, and that is particularly true for mega projects in a globalized marketplace. Therefore, in addition to technical competencies and from project leadership perspective, additional sets of skills are required for the successful implementation of projects.

In a global and competitive economy, how we ensure that projects are conducted successfully largely depends on the project leader’s expertise (hard-skills), relevant experience of conducting and managing projects and teams, and most importantly in my view, their core values, character (determines how we respond to situations and circumstances during the project lifecycle) and superior emotional intelligence (soft-skills). The lack of such sets of skills would result in compromised project outcomes with costly ramifications for the project team and sponsor.

The book offers the readers fundamental concepts of project leadership in the context of project management. The authors emphasize project managers’ challenge to strike a balance between the leadership skills & styles and project management systems, as both skills are essential for the implementation of a successful project.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book consisting of 24 chapters represents three major sections. The first 11 chapters in Section I – PM Leadership, include leadership skills, styles, behaviors, ethics, influence, emotional intelligence and stakeholders, and build a basis for the understanding of various subject matters and their relevance within the project lifecycle phases. The 6 chapters in Section II – Building Teams, include project team roles, development phases, team building techniques, and mentoring & coaching. The 7 chapters in Section III – Project Leader’s Competence, incorporate key themes including negotiation, motivation, communication, delegation and problem solving.

With the learning objectives in mind, each chapter begins with Learning Outcomes and ends with Exercises encouraging questions and discussions. Some chapters, 9 in total (between chapters 5-24), also include Key Points and References. The book is enriched with a useful Glossary and an Index for easy retrieval of subject matters.


In order to equip the reader with more complex subject matter in succeeding chapters, the book devotes more than 40% of the contents to fundamental concepts of project management (enabling & facilitating processes) and leadership (traits & processes) and how both should work interchangeably for successful project implementation.


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About the Reviewer

pmwj32-Mar2015-Azam-REVIEWERJaved Azam, MBA, MSc, PME, P.G. flag-usa

Dallas, Texas, USA

Javed Azam has more than 25 years of technical/engineering and management experience in conducting and leading projects in more than 15 countries (U.S., W-Europe and SE-Asia). He served in progressively responsible positions as Regional Director, Program/Project Director and Chief Operating Officer of consulting engineering firms, and demonstrated his management, operations and leadership skills in the acquisition and implementation of complex and multidisciplinary projects (capacity enhancement, geotechnical, inspection/testing, environmental, infrastructure & water resources development) projects in often culturally challenging environments.

In addition to his technical certifications, Javed is a Licensed Professional Geoscientist (P.G., Geologist), Certified Professional Geologist (CPG), and a Certified Project Management Expert (PME). He is member of several professional organizations including the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) and the Project Management Institute (PMI). He is an alumnus of University of Texas, University of California-Berkeley, and Delft University of Technology/ITC.

Javed is driven by passion, integrity, high performance teamwork, and servant leadership to deliver successful project/program outcomes, and provides expertise to his clients and quantifiable value to his organization. He serves as a Principal Consultant with Development Group International in Dallas, TX and can be reached at [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].