Project Pain Reliever: A Just-In-Time Handbook for Anyone Managing Projects


pmwj32-Mar2015-Jackson-BOOK COVERBook Title: Project Pain Reliever: A Just-In-Time Handbook for Anyone Managing Projects
Editor: Dave Garrett
Publisher: J. Ross Publishing
List Price:   $49.95
Format: Hard Cover
Publication Date: 2011
ISBN: 978-1-60427-039-6
Reviewer: Sheila Jackson
Review Date:            January 2015


Think of this book as a trusted friend, a mentor, that person to call before acceding to your final answer. Indexed in a question and answer format, the aptly titled Project Pain Reliever is a compilation of answers to common project management questions and problems authored by thirty leading project management experts. The handbook’s tone is straightforward, at times advising the reader towards a hard, but honest, assessment of his/her responsibility, but always supportive and actionable.

As Editor Dave Garrett explains in its preface, “Project management can be a lonely and even painful job.” This collection, then, is an antidote to what can be an isolating endeavor. Covering a broad range of topics, the book is comprised of two parts: Leadership (or the art of project management) and Management (or its science), and their sub-areas. The handbook also includes additional web downloads through the publisher’s site, www.jrosspub.com.

Acknowledging that many of those responsible for managing projects are doing so as one role that they play, and not as their profession, Garrett refers to these as “accidental” project managers, he compiled this handbook of solid solutions to situations that every project manager faces at one time or another, to one degree or another. Garrett gathered this collection with this “accidental” group in mind, among the larger pool of those responsible for project results. In the alphabetized Contributors section Garret provides brief professional bios for the panel of expert authors and notes their respective sections.

Overview of Book’s Structure

For ease of use, the handbook is formatted to facilitate quick access to experienced, and nuanced, solutions on specific topics. Written in approachable, non-technical language the template for each response is comprised of five questions. So, each response answers the same five questions: 1) Problem 2) Warning Signs 3) What will happen if I do nothing? 4) Solution, and 5) What should I do?

What makes this handbook so accessible is its formatting, including a detailed table of contents listing each question. Also, the brief Contributor bios provide context for individual content. Rather than reading an entire book (this one or any other), those seeking guidance can quickly focus on specific topical questions and their expert solutions. Garrett selected the nine categories and their respective questions based upon a decade of project management and project-critical discussions that he observed as CEO of ganthead.com.

In Project Pain Reliever’s two parts, Leadership and Management, thirty experienced project managers answer common questions/problems in nine sub-areas:


To read entire Book Review (click here)

About the Reviewer

sheila-jacksonSheila Jackson flag-usa

Texas, USA

Sheila Jackson, PMP, MBA has more than fourteen years of project management experience, working mostly in marketing, live events, and ecommerce. For twelve years she worked for a global marketing/advertising agency; her most recent work has been within omni-channel ecommerce. Sheila has a BA in Psychology from Baylor University and an MBA from the University of North Texas.

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].