Brilliant Project Management – A Book Review
Brilliant Project Management: What the best project managers know, do, and say (3rd Edition) is a PM guide based on the experiences of two veteran project managers. It is a manual that shows the reader how to consistently meet deadlines and stay within budget, no matter what the project is. The latest 2012 edition is updated to include a section on valuable PM resources such as recommended professional associations (APM and PMI), methods such as agile PM, training, books, and templates from online resources.
The book measures 5.3” wide, 8.2” tall, and 0.5” thick. It is in paperback and contains 200 pages. The third edition was published in September 2012. It is published by Pearson as part of the Brilliant Business series of books. Like others in the series, the front cover uses the two-tone color scheme background and the opposite colored fonts for the title. ISBN-10: 027377509X; ISBN-13: 978-0273775096
Brilliant Project Management is for all types of project professionals, whether beginners or experienced, working on short- or long-term projects, and in whatever industry or country. It is for anyone who prefers to learn quickly from the experience of others rather than try to learn and experience everything firsthand. The book is for people who want to know in general the essential principles as well as the needed skills and effective methods that successful project managers have and apply to meet their objectives.
What Customers Say
Mr. Iain Simpson described the book as packed full of hard-won experience, wisdom, tools and techniques that one can immediately and practically apply. In his words, it is “full of real-world relevance.”
Doireann Moore bought the book upon the recommendation of her manager. It captures the basics of project management, according to her, and is a handy desk reference.
Another customer who bought the Kindle version described it as excellent for anyone starting out in PM or someone in a support role.
Content, Approach, Style
The 200-page book is divided in ten chapters. It gives an introduction, and then discussions about project planning, risk and issue management, quality, resource management, team leading, meetings, and facilitation skills. It also has a chapter about how to best learn from mistakes and additional resources that project professionals can take advantage of.
Brilliant Project Management can be read from cover to cover or be used as a reference for a particular topic. It uses simple, conversational language. It injects humor in the discussion and has several funny illustrations to emphasize the point it is making. Every chapter begins with a famous quote. Paragraphs are divided by headings and subheadings. Important steps are well summarized in bulleted lists.
Why Buy the Book
The project is the responsibility of the project manager. This truth can be challenging and sometimes a little overwhelming. Brilliant Project Management, which remains at the top 100 PM Best Sellers in Amazon UK, is a valuable resource, especially coming from veteran project managers and consultants who shared their priceless experience. The book tells not only of the good things that happened worth emulating, but also of the bad that occurred worth avoiding at all cost. It serves as a map of sorts, so that the reader, although just by himself or herself, can still have a smoother professional journey. Experience alone is not sufficient, according to the authors, and doing personal research and getting good advice along the way will prove helpful.
Books that Complement
The PMBOK Guide is considered the bible of project management. The principles, processes, and practices mentioned in Brilliant Project Management are discussed here in detail. It is the reference for the serious project professional who seeks expertise in the field, including preparations for PM certification.
On the other hand, readers who prefer actual experiences with a touch of wit and humor will find Scott Berkun’s Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management another masterpiece. The book’s compilation of essays not only shares lessons but also invites creative thinking.
Authors Stephen Barker and Rob Cole are UK-based project managers who also offer project and programme management consultancy services. Mr. Barker has over 15 years of PM consultancy experience, with clients ranging from small tech startups to large government departments. He has written several books including Brilliant PRINCE2. PRojects IN Controlled Environments (PRINCE) is a process-based method for effective PM used extensively in UK government projects and in private and government projects internationally. Mr. Cole has more than 20 years of PM consultancy experience, specializing in project troubleshooting. Together in Barker and Cole Consultancy, they offer project rescue, standard and tailored consultancy, as well as training and mentoring services.