Performance-Based Project Management- A Book Review
Performance-Based Project Management: Increasing the Probability of Project Success is a recently published book that equips readers with principles, practices and processes they can use to increase their chances of delivering a successful project. According to the author, it is easier to find documentation about project failures than successes. Much has been written about the magnitude of failure and how things went wrong, but little is written about the underlying root causes. Furthermore, the corrective actions applied to failed projects were rarely discussed. However, upon examination of numerous project failures, the root cause points to a failure of identifying what a done project is supposed to look like.
The hardcover was recently published in February 2014 by AMACOM, the publishing division of the American Management Association. It has 256 pages and about 1.1 inches thick. The title is displayed on the top part against a light blue background, the subtitle is displayed just below it against a bright yellow background, and the name of the author on the bottom part. In between the subtitle and the author’s name is an illustration of an organizational chart. ISBN-10: 0814433308; ISBN-13: 978-0814433300
Performance-Based Project Management is ideal for experienced project managers, program managers, and those in charge of the Project Management Office. The discussions in the book will be highly valuable to those in software and IT sectors but equally applicable across industries, since the focus is on principles, practices and processes.
What Customers Say
Chris F described the book as a relatively compact and readable book. A review of principles and best practices was condensed into a coherent and concrete framework with clear explanations and examples.
Content, Approach, Style
Performance-Based Project Management is divided into an introduction and seven chapters. The introduction emphasized the importance of having a way to assess in a measurable way what a done or completed project is. Chapter 1 discusses the 10 drivers of project success, and these include capabilities, requirements, work packages and so on. Chapter 2 discusses the 5 immutable principles of project success, while Chapter 3 details the 5 immutable practices. Chapter 4 is about the 5 governing processes, and the rest of the chapters further discuss execution, tailoring the principles and practices, and about deliverables.
The book proceeds by starting at the foundation of project success, which is to pinpoint what capabilities the project must produce or the mission that it needs to accomplish. The drivers are organized into three classes, which are planning, execution, and performance management. The principles are then built on the drivers, and the practices are built on the principles. The book is presented in an orderly manner that includes short readable paragraphs, figures, and sample projects.
Why Buy the Book
Performance-Based Project Management is a unique approach that visits and review successful projects based on early processes. It shows the importance of identifying the capabilities of a completed project as well as how principles, practices and processes build from one another to produce a solid project with minimized risks.
Books that Complement
Strategic Project Management Made Simple is another resource that challenges readers about answering crucial questions before beginning a project.
Jim Highsmith’s Agile Project Management is an important reference for new product development that is best managed by using agile methods and practices.
Glen B. Alleman, PMP-RMP has over 30 years of cumulative experience as a software developer, project manager, program manager, PMO executive, and principal consultant. He has been involved in managing projects for the commercial, energy, space and defense industries. He is also a keynote speaker at national and international events about performance management and other management concepts. He has published articles about agile, project management, and information technology among others, and is the author of the project management blog Herding Cats.