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Titanic Lessons in Project Leadership: Effective Communication in Team Building

BOOK REVIEW 

titanic-lessonBook Title:  Titanic Lessons in Project Leadership: Effective Communication in Team Building

Author:  Ranjit Sidhu

Publisher:  Multi-Media Publications

List Price:   US$24.95

Format:  soft cover; 115 pages

Publication Date:   2012

ISBN: 9781554891207

Reviewer:  Laura K. Moorhead, PhD, PMP

Review Date:              November
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Introduction to the Book

One hundred years ago, the passenger ship, Titanic, sank several hundred miles south of Newfoundland on her maiden voyage. In Titanic Lessons in Project Leadership, author Ranjit Sidhu posits that the tragedy was not primarily the result of a failure of engineering, but a failure of effective leadership and communication.

The Titanic was designed to be the most luxurious, safest, and most technologically advanced ocean liner of its day, but key decisions were made to change its design along the way that sacrificed passenger safety for a luxurious sailing experience. Sidhu draws parallels between major milestones in the design, construction, and launch of the Titanic and contemporary project management methods to reveal important lessons in team building and communication to ensure successful projects. 

Overview of the Book’s Structure

Titanic Lessons in Project Leadership is organized into eleven chapters which roughly correspond to the stages and processes of project management in a traditional waterfall project. The eleven chapters are:

  • Chapter 1 – Stakeholders and Strategy
  • Chapter 2 – Definitions and Design
  • Chapter 3 – Construction and Compromise
  • Chapter 4 – Marketing and Media
  • Chapter 5 – Changes and Consequences
  • Chapter 6 – Teams and Tensions
  • Chapter 7 – Communication and Conflict
  • Chapter 8 – Risks and Reframing
  • Chapter 9 – Decisions and Disaster
  • Chapter 10 – Crisis and Collision
  • Chapter 11 –  Conclusions

The book is not meant to be a definitive history of the Titanic nor a definitive analysis of all of the events that led up to the disaster.  Instead the author identifies what she sees as key turning points and decisions that were made to illustrate how these turning points and decisions affected the final outcome. Sidhu also shows how, by using effective communication and leadership, these could have been done differently.

Highlights: What’s New in This Book?

Titanic Lessons in Project Leadership is part of Multi-Media Publications’ Lessons from History Series using catastrophic failures–such as the sinking of the Titanic–and spectacular successes such as the escape of the 220 captured airmen from the German prison camp, Stalag Luft during World War II, to glean important behaviors to avoid as well as behaviors and processes to emulate in our present day projects.

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About the Reviewer

laura-moorheadflag-usaLaura Moorhead

Laura K. Moorhead, PhD, PMP is a Senior Consultant with CGI, a global technologies and business solutions company. She has broad experience in managing information technology projects in manufacturing, distribution, and in the oil and gas industries. Laura is a member of the PMI Dallas Chapter and 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].