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Book review: The Principles of Project Management

By : Shabda Raaj

The Principles of Project Management is the book I am reading after Outsourcing Web Projects.

I went into this book expecting lot of actionable steps I can use for our projects right away, however this book is heavier on theory. Guess I can not complain with the name being The Principles of Project Management.

In their own words the book has,

So What Is Project Management Anyway?

This chapter forms an introduction to the art and science of project management. Here, we talk about the key phases every project goes through and why project management skills are increasingly important today.

Getting Started

This chapter covers everything from picking the right projects, and working out who needs to be involved, through to kick-starting the project itself.

Getting the Job Done

In this chapter, we discuss the real meat of any project—planning what needs to be done, executing the work, and controlling the project as a whole to keep things on track.

Keeping It Smooth

Here, we’ll look at communication, collaboration, and how best to deal with change. This chapter is all about the softer side of project management—the skills that make you not just competent, but great.

Following Through

To wrap up, we’ll look at what’s involved in successfully finishing off your project and handing over like a superstar.

And now the review.

So What Is Project Management Anyway?

This chapter spends too much time explaining Why learn Project Management. I am already sold on the need to learn Project Management, so I was not benefited much by this. This also provides an overview and explains some key terms used in later chapter, so if you are new to PM this is useful.

Getting Started

Do you have multiple projects you can choose from? What deliverables in your projects are most important? How do you identify the stakeholders and the get them on board. How do you create a initial plan of action for your project. How would you get all stakeholders to agree on the plan. This chapter helps you get started by helping you get answers.

Getting the Job Done

  1. Planning
  2. Executing
  3. Controlling

You need to convert that initial two para plan in a actionable course of action. You need to get your team to execute this plan. You need to answer "Are we on track". You need to control your budget and time. This chapter shows you how.

Money Quote: "Each and every deliverable needs to have an owner."

Keeping It Smooth

Problems in projects happen when,

  1. Stakeholders don't communicate enough.
  2. Stakeholders do not collaborate enough.
  3. Stakeholders expectations are not in sync.

This chapters will get your shareholders to collaborate, open lines of communication, and what to do when the inevitable change requests come in.

Following Through

So you are done with your project, and you need to hand off it to the client or the next person handling it. A mistake here can kill all your hard work in earlier phases, this chapter provides guidelines to guard against this.


Overall this book is good if you are new to Project Management. A bit heavy on theory, it could have been better served by being more actionable items, and providing more How-to instead of why of project management.

Get it here.


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shabda

http://agiliq.com/blog/2010/12/book-review-the-principles-of-project-management/ Book review: The Principles of Project Management

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