Great Lessons in Project Management – A Book Review
Great Lessons in Project Management is a compilation of stories from the author’s several decades of experience as either a project manager, a quality assurance expert, or someone providing oversight and guidance to other project professionals. It attempts to bring together all the lessons that the author and some colleagues learned while facing particular challenges and events. Many of the lessons came from experiences in fixing damaged or failing projects, and with this book, readers will hopefully benefit by recognizing and avoiding some stumbling points and pitfalls that many are encountering in projects.
This paperback edition was published on January 1, 2015 by Management Concepts Press. It has 143 pages and about 0.5 inch thick. The front cover shows the title at the upper part in large white fonts on dark background. Below the title in small fonts is the author’s name. At the lower part is an image of a crystal gem cut like a diamond. At the bottom is the publisher’s name. ISBN-10: 1567264727; ISBN-13: 978-1567264722
Great Lessons in Project Management is obviously for project managers. It is for project professionals in IT and other industries and sectors. It is also a great read for project team members who aim to be project managers in the future. Other project stakeholders such as sponsors will also find it valuable.
What Customers Say
Stephen Strecker described Great Lessons as a concise book filled with practical advice and applicable solutions. It explored applied PMBOK principles and practices based on project case study stories. (PM World)
Content, Approach, Style
Great Lessons in Project Management is divided into 19 chapters. Each chapter has a project case study story. The first chapter is titled Scope Management and it has a case study story of a large state agency with a project to replace a hunting and fishing state license sales system. A legacy system that generates hundreds of millions of revenue for the state is scheduled to retire in six months, but the replacement project was failing. The rest of the chapter narrates how the problem was solved. At the end of the chapter, a Lesson Learned portion stated the importance of having a clear vision statement.
Chapter 2 is titled Management and Control, the third chapter is Project Team Management, while Chapter 4 is Stakeholder Management, and so on. Each chapter provides a short story which usually tells how a troubled project was rescued. The text is divided into short paragraphs. Language used is plain and easily understood, with PM terminologies that are usually explained or made clear in the following texts. The whole book can be read quickly due to its narrative and summarized form.
Why Buy the Book
In today’s project-driven world, there are more opportunities to excel as a project professional and at the same time help employers and/or clients realize the value of their project investments and initiatives. Great Lessons in Project Management can equip project professionals with the knowledge, awareness, and techniques from other project managers and help them navigate successfully in similar problematic situations while avoiding traps and pitfalls. Although most case studies in this book are IT-related, the author clarified that there are really no IT projects, only business projects with large IT components.
Books that Complement
Performance-Based Project Management by Glen B. Alleman, PMP, is a book that discusses comprehensively the drivers, principles and practices of project success.
Richard Heaslip’s Managing Complex Project and Programs details the history, past and present processes, practices, limitations and the need for a new approach to project and program management.
David Pratt, PMP, is the owner of DHP Project Services, LLC, based in Yelm, WA, USA. His company provides comprehensive project management services, system development, group facilitation, training, and other general business process consultancy. David received his BS in Psychology from Washington State University, his MA with emphasis on finance and organizational management from Webster University, and a Masters degree in Health Care Administration from Baylor University. He is a retired officer in the US Army, a health care administrator, a quality assurance professional, and a veteran project and program manager of more than 20 years. He is also the author of two other project management books from Management Concepts Press. David is also an adjunct professor at South Puget Sound Community College, teaching a PM Certificate Program.