Project Management: Case Studies 4th Edition – A Book Review
Project Management: Case Studies 4th Edition is the latest edition of a popular PM resource book. Generally, case studies are real-life examples that particularly show a principle or process in action or actual application. This book shows more than a hundred cases of project management implementations. The implementations came from a wide area of industries, such as medical, aerospace, automotive, banking, construction and others. The author presents case studies that had both successful and poor implementations.
The paperback version measures 5.8 by 1.4 by 8.7 inches. Shipping weight is about 2 pounds. It contains 704 pages distributed over 17 chapters. Aside from the paperback edition, it is also available in Kindle. This 4th edition was published in February 2013 by Wiley Publishing. It is available in English only. ISBN-10: 1118022289; ISBN-13: 978-1118022283
Project Management: Case Studies is a reference for different groups belonging to this field of discipline. It is a good resource for students as well as teachers and trainers for the purpose of class discussion. The book can be beneficial also to PM professionals, practicing managers and engineers who may be facing similar situations. Important to mention here is that it comes with a companion website for instructors that may require registration.
What Customers Say
Xythnia (Amazon) stated that the book by itself is incomplete. To make full use of it, a customer also needs the Instructor’s Manual from the publisher. The customer was disappointed, feeling that the case studies could have been really helpful had they not been incomplete.
Nick Founder (Amazon) described the book as half excellent and half superfluous. He appreciated the case studies about Motorola and the Challenger space shuttle. However, he also stated that there were other parts of the book that could have been left out.
Marshal Joslin (Amazon) stated that he bought the book only because it was required for class. The problem was that it provides no advice, resolution or recommendations to the questions unless a customer also purchases the teacher’s edition. On the other hand, it does provide a great number of cases.
Content, Approach, Style
Content: Project Management: Case Studies is divided in 17 chapters that focus on a particular topic or principle. For example, Chapter 1 is about PM methodologies, and as such, the case studies mentioned all involved situations and questions about methodologies. Other topics are implementation, PM culture, organization structures, resources, and more.
Approach/Tone: The author presents the case studies in a factual approach. The case study presents a background information as well as the situation in question.
Style: The text in paragraphs are of readable length. Language is easy to understand but occasionally uses specialized terms such as life-cycle phases and tier-one supplier. The book also uses bulleted lists, charts, and usually ends the case study with a numbered list of questions for discussion.
Why Buy the Book
Project Management: Case Studies includes a comprehensive list of situations that a student or practicing PM will certainly be in. Most of the case studies, if not all, come from real-world examples. Therefore, the probability that a project manager will encounter a similar circumstance or problem is high. The book is good for group or class discussion but also needs the guidance of an instructor or senior PM in order to be complete and of value. Answers to questions or recommendations are not in the book but are available from a companion website or instructor’s manual.
Harold Kerzner, PhD, is a Senior Executive Director of the International Institute for Learning. The IIL provides training, consulting, coaching, and customized course development for many top global companies. Dr. Kerzner is a professor of systems management for 30+ years at Baldwin Wallace University. He has wide industry experience as a program manager with client projects in the military, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, banking, software, utilities, and manufacturing among others. He has authored many books, including PM 2.0 and PM: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling. More info about Dr. Kerzner and his books are available at his site and his LinkedIn page.