Program Management for Improved Business Results – A Book Review

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program management for improved business resultsMost project professionals know that project management and program management are different, but confusion still persists in how much they differ and in what way they are related. Program Management for Improved Business Results, Second Edition, is a guide that aims to not only explain the difference but also show both in theory and practice what PgM really is, how it connects business strategy and project management, and how it can help develop a project professional to become a capable program manager and prepare them for the PMI’s PgMP certification. It is the newest edition of a book that was published first in April 2007.

Book Details

This hardcover second edition is also published by Wiley Publishing in July 2014. It has 408 pages and is about one inch thick. The front cover displays the title in large fonts at the middle area, the authors’ names at the top and the name of the publisher at the lower right on a background of different shades of blue and violet. ISBN-10: 111862792X; ISBN-13: 978-1118627921

Price

$61.15 for the hardcover edition and $39.49 for the Kindle edition

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Target Audience

Program Management for Improved Business Results is for managers and project professionals at all levels, especially those in medium to large enterprises that plan and implement multiple and complex projects.

What Customers Say

Amazon customer Rico described the book as quite comprehensive in covering almost everything about program management. He added that it is a good primer for beginners as well as a reminder for those who have PM experience.

Michael Markle stated that the book is a great updated version and highly recommended.

Gene Bowker stated that the macro views in this book helped him learn to look at the bigger picture. The tips included also helped him improve his management skills immediately.

Content, Approach, Style

Program Management for Improved Business Results is divided into 5 parts, 13 chapters and 3 case studies in the appendix of the book. The first part is titled It’s About the Business, which is a very important concept throughout the book. It contains 3 chapters that details about program management, realizing business benefits, and aligning programs with business strategy. The second part is about delivering the whole solution, which contains chapters that discuss the concept of a whole solution as against individual project solutions, how project teams need to be viewed as an integrated program team, and how the complexity and interconnectedness of several projects require them to be managed as a program.

The third part is about program practices, metrics and tools. The fourth part is devoted to the roles, responsibilities and competencies of a program manager, while the last part discusses organizational considerations, including a program management office. The book is well organized, complete with topic headers, lists, figures, tables, definitions, and resource lists. The paragraphs are of readable length, with the use of bold and italicized fonts for emphasis. The book is scholarly and comprehensive in its discussion of the subject, with a persistent focus on delivery of business results as the primary goal. Some readers find the scholarly approach and textbook appearance difficult to read for long durations.

Why Buy the Book

Many businesses today implement change through projects, but project professionals should go beyond the goal of on-time, on-budget and on-scope. In the end, it is about improving outcomes and realizing business benefits. Program Management for Improved Business Results is a comprehensive and practical guide that clarifies concepts and offers framework and techniques on how to align programs with business strategy, related planning, execution and processes, and metrics and tools. It does well also in defining the role and responsibility of the program manager and their competencies.

Books that Complement

Exercising Agency by Mark Mullaly is about decision making and factors and influences in making project-related decisions.

Grant Avery’s Project Management, Denial and the Death Zone is full of stories and analogies that explain the constancy of project failures and a better way of thinking and managing risks in project management.

Authors

Russ Martinelli received his MBA from the University of Phoenix. He has served as manager, director and senior program manager in companies such as Loral, Lockheed Martin and Intel. He is currently the Managing Director of TrendScape Innovation Group and a co-founder of Program Management Academy with James Waddell.

James Waddell received his MBA from the University of Southern California. Jim has served as director of program management in companies belonging to the high-tech industry. He is the owner and co-founder of Program Management Academy LLC, that provides training, consultancy and other resources. It aims to help companies, organizations and individuals understand and utilize the principles of program management to achieve business objectives and goals.

Tim Rahschulte received his MBA from Thomas More College and his PhD in organizational leadership and human resource development from Regent University. He is a Professor of Business at George Fox University, an Executive Director at Program Management Academy and Chief Learning Officer at Evanta.

$61.15 for the hardcover edition and $39.49 for the Kindle edition

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Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose is a subject matter expert and member of the writing team for Project-Management.com. 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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