Project Management Tools and Techniques: A Practical Guide

PM WORLD Book Review

pmwj31-Feb2015-Becker-IMAGE1 BOOKBook Title:    Project Management Tools and Techniques: A Practical Guide
Authors: Deboah Sater Carstens, PMP; Gary L. Richardson, PMP; Ronald B. Smith, PMP
Publisher: CRC Press
List Price:   $107.96
Format: Hard cover textbook; 494 pages
Publication Date:   April 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4665-1562-8
Reviewer: Mark S. Becker, PMP
Review Date:            November 2014


For the person looking for a good first introduction into the Project Management discipline, this book is fairly comprehensive. For seasoned practitioners, with well designed Chapters it becomes a reference guide in quick fashion. Given the consistent placement of formal Questions, in-class Questions, and Exercises at the end of each Chapter, this book would serve quite well in a Project Management course.


As a practitioner working in the US Defense Industry for a leading DoD Contractor in Master Planning and Scheduling; I am routinely subjected to Audits held to DFAR Contracts. That said, I found this book a good source of theory for Guidelines #6 & #7 from the 32-Point DCMA Checklist.

As an Corporate Trainer to New Hire Project Planners; I reference Theory found in this book.

What I Liked about this Book

I especially enjoyed the chapter on the understanding and development of Work Breakdown Structure. Further explanation of Earned Value Management is addressed in easy to understand examples. In fact, through out this book; I found the use of Chapter Review questions helpful and forced myself to reread some sections for improved comprehension. Additionally the exercises provide realistic case studies for either the individual or small class team assignment useful in a training environment.

Although it is not a Microsoft Project ‘how-to’ book, it does present some very good examples of using the Tool to build Networks. Further discussion of both Earned Value and Earned Schedule are presented.

Each Chapter is presented with a Summary.


To read entire Book Review (click here)

About the Reviewer 

pmwj31-Feb2015-Becker-IMAGE2 REVIEWERMark S. Becker, PMPflag-usa

Texas, USA

Mark S. Becker, PMP has been a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) since March 1998 and received his PMP® certification in July 2000. Employed in the Defense Industry since 1981, his current employer is Lockheed-Martin (Dallas, Texas). Mark is currently assigned as an Earned Value Management Specialist supporting DFAR Contracts as a Master Program Planner. He is also an Organizational Trainer of New Planners.

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].