Human Factors in Project Management – A Book Review

Human Factors in Project Management: Concepts, Tools, and Techniques for Inspiring Teamwork and Motivation is a comprehensive resource that presents different models useful for team motivation. Organizations today are trying to find ways to improve performance. They usually focus on strategies, projects and timelines while not paying much attention to how behaviors affect performance. The author identifies and discusses principles he calls human factors and present them as models that can be used to improve skills, work relationships, and other challenges faced by many project teams.

Book Details

The 1st edition book measures 7.1 in. wide, 1.3 in. thick, and 9.4 in. tall. Shipping weight is about 1.6 pounds. It has 368 pages divided in 17 chapters and other sections. It is available in hard cover and Kindle formats. It was published by Jossey-Bass, now a brand at Wiley Publishing, in June 2007 in the English language. ISBN-10: 0787996297; ISBN-13: 978-0787996291

Price

$43.73 for the hardcover edition and $38.49 for the Kindle edition

Target Audience

Human Factors in Project Management is for project managers, supervisors, team leaders and other managers. It is for people who manages teams and workforce. It is also for those interested in developing ways to motivate teams and improve its performance. Instructors and students alike can use the book as reference for organizational behavior and project management, especially the so-called soft skills.

What Customers Say

Chris S. (Amazon) stated that the book has great content and applicable methods. He stated that there are great tactical and practical methods that can be easily applied to existing teams. He also mentions some methods discussed in the book that he is personally using. The book also has relevant case studies and experiential learnings.

Bryce C. (Amazon) described the book as full of non-technical definition of human factors. As a teacher of project management to Masters students, she believes this is an ideal book specifically on the subject of project team leadership and communications. The term human factors as used by the author is used more in a non-technical sense rather than in strict organizational behavior use. She described the book as a useful and practical addition to the HR and business psychology genre.

Mace (Goodreads) who read the Kindle version described it as a good book that discusses group dynamics and good leadership qualities. He also recommends to those who are really interested to take Dr. Wong’s class in UC Berkeley.

Content, Approach, Style

Content: Human Factors in Project Management is divided into an Introduction, 17 chapters, an Epilogue, and References. In the Introduction, the author presents the reason for the book, a simple definition of ‘human factors’, and how it can help readers face common challenges in improving team performance. The next chapters present the concepts of human factors.
Approach/Tone: The author presents the concepts in a sequential manner, with each next chapter building and expanding on the previous chapter. It discusses the concept of human factors from a historical perspective, its progress up to the current state, and with stories as examples. With a practical approach, the author also presents tools and techniques that readers can apply to their own team environment.
Style: The book is mainly text in paragraphs of varying but readable lengths. It also uses bulleted lists and figures to help present the ideas in a concise and visual way. Headers help identify topics. Project management, business and psychology terms are regularly used but usually defined at the beginning. A chapter summary is available at the end of each chapter.

Why Buy the Book

Human Factors in Project Management is a practical guide with its several applicable models for improving team performance. It addresses the issue of how organizations focus too much on strategies, projects and timelines, taking for granted the aspect of human behavior as something constant. On the contrary, it is very diverse and can severely impact any endeavor if human factors are not properly recognized and managed. The book offers several tools and techniques to help manage teams in different situations.

Author

Zachary Wong, PhD, works as a manager at Chevron Energy Technology Company. He heads a team in Toxicology and Health Risk Assessment. He has over 30 years of managerial and project management experience. He has also held senior positions in research and technology, strategic planning, and business analysis. Doctor Wong received his doctorate in environmental toxicology and pharmacology from the University of California, Davis. He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Environmental Toxicology at UC Davis, and was selected in 2002 as an Honored Instructor by the UC Berkeley Extension. He has served extensively in project teams and brings a great amount of practical hands-on knowledge and experience to the classrooms.

$43.73 for the hardcover edition and $38.49 for the Kindle edition

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose is a subject matter expert and member of the writing team for Project-Management.com and Bridge24. He has written hundreds of articles including project management software reviews, books reviews, training site reviews, and general articles related to the project management industry.

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