Project Management JumpStart – A Book Review
Project Management JumpStart 3rd Edition is the latest edition of a popular introductory but comprehensive book about the subject. It covers the essential fundamentals but also includes updated PM methods and practices. This new edition is complete with new examples and a set of review questions after every chapter. After reading this book, the project professional would have certainly learned new things and would be better equipped for his or her next project.
This latest paperback edition is about 7.3” wide, 9.2” tall, and 0.9” thick. It has 360 pages and was published by Sybex on May 17, 2011. The front cover has the title in large bold letters and the edition in a smaller font. A photo of a standing female and a sitting male both going over a plan is displayed under the title. The book uses a glossy cover, with the inside sheets being heavy, non-glossy paper. ISBN-10: 0470939192; ISBN-13: 978-0470939192
Project Management JumpStart is written mostly for the beginning project manager or any professional fairly new to the field of PM. It can be instrumental in laying a solid foundation of PM principles and methodologies. Aspiring project professionals will certainly find new and helpful practices to help them close projects on time and on budget. In turn, this will impress their employers, increase their marketability, and propel their career forward. On the other hand, the experienced manager will discover that the example projects, templates, and checklists are relevant and immediately applicable for the next upcoming project. The review questions can also help the professional to decide if he or she is ready to take the next step toward certification.
What Customers Say
Kimberly Liegel (Amazon) gave the book a 5-star review and described it as the best PM introduction she has read. She states that it is easy to follow with its conversational tone, and has a thorough coverage of project planning with examples and templates that can be quickly put to use.
An anonymous reader (Barnes and Noble) praised the author for her clear definition and discussion of what a project is. The author’s experience and suggestions will benefit even people not working in government or in business. The reader explains that the author’s avoidance of using jargon and the inclusion of enough anecdotes and examples kept the book lively and easy to read.
Another B&N reviewer and experienced project manager found the book affordable yet comprehensive. He found each chapter to be building on previous ones, but still can be read separately as a good “PM refresher.”
Content, Approach, Style
Project Management JumpStart has a total of 12 chapters, covering the entire project life cycle. Chapter 1, all 30 pages of it, starts with Building the Foundation. It talks about the important definition of PM, different organizational structures, the life cycles of a project, project criteria, constraints and their impact, and the benefits of PM certification. The next chapters cover Developing PM Skills (Ch.2), Initiating the Project (Ch.3), Defining the Project Goals (Ch.4), and so on until Closing the books (Ch. 12).
The order of discussion follows the project life cycle from beginning to end, exactly like how an actual project is managed in real life. In addition to the topics discussed, such as initiation, planning, and breaking down the work, the author includes tables for comparison, side notes for defining PM terms, and practical tips, hints, and useful examples for easier understanding. The paragraphs are well divided by headings and subheadings for comfortable viewing. The use of plain and conversational language makes the reading experience pleasing.
Why Buy the Book
For the new project professional who is seriously decided on a challenging but rewarding PM career, this book is a good first book or even second book choice. Having it in one’s bag of references is a good decision. It is a very good introductory guide that covers a lot of ground, enabling the practicing manager to initiate, plan, execute, control, and close the project while being aware of risks and constraints.
Books that Complement
Project Management JumpStart, although comprehensive, was written with the beginning professional in mind. For more in-depth learning of the principles and practices, as well as a preparation for certification, the PMBOK Guide (Fifth Edition) is the next logical choice.
Another good companion of PM JumpStart is the Brilliant Project Management (Third Edition) book. This book documents the authors’ more than 30 years of PM experience between them and gives more tips on risk and issue management, delivering quality, resource management, and leading effective teams, among others.
Kim Heldman is the author of several PM books including the best-selling Project Management Professional Exam Study Guide. She has a Masters Degree from Regis University, in Denver. She is a Senior IT Director of the state of Colorado in charge of four state agencies and its CIOs responsible for PM, service delivery, and IT management. She has more than 20 years of experience managing IT projects and a certified PMP since 2001. Kim has also been invited to speak on topics such as PM, leadership, and other business subjects.