Home | Project Management Books

Project Management Books

Book Review – Managing Project Uncertainty

Few quotes from Managing Project Uncertainty resonate nearly as well with the modern project manager as Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke’s ‘No plan survives contact with the enemy’ (pg. 28). It compares favourably to the more recent advice of that great sage, Mike Tyson: “Everyone has a plan ’til they get punched in the mouth.” Author David Cleden surmises that von Moltke’s statement ‘sits at the heart of any strategy for managing uncertainty.’ In essence, Cleden is talking about projects as if he is talking about the future – no one knows what’s going to happen. The book is simple ...

Read More »

Book Review – Getting to Grips with Interview Testing

Getting prepared to take a test or pulling together a presentation for an interview can feel like a daunting task. Some people say that you can’t prepare for the testing stage of an interview and indeed why would you need advice on creating presentations when you do it all the time during your day-to-day work. I like to think that anything you can do to help prepare yourself for an interview – especially when it is a job you really want – is not a waste of time and indeed can help offset some of the nerves you might be ...

Read More »

Book Review – Playing the Project Manager

I really love this book. It’s not often that a gem of a book on project management comes along and this one is definitely one of those. I’ve just finished reading Playing the Project Manager from Charles Smith and throughout the weeks of picking it up and reading a bit more, it’s stuck with me in my thoughts. A sign of a good book you would say. So Playing the Project Manager is all about the identities, style and mode of operation or performance of project managers. The book sees Project Managers as performers (actors). Performers in their own stories ...

Read More »

Book Review – Project Risk Analysis

Project Risk Analysis: Techniques for Forecasting Funding Requirements, Costs and Timescales by Derek Salkeld. Gower – ISBN978 0 566 09186 5 Derek Salkeld’s book is about understanding the uncertainty inherent in projects, which leads to the inability to predict timescales and costs precisely at the beginning of a project. In an industry where even large companies are wedded to single-valued estimating techniques, against which they may enter fixed-price contracts with penalties for lateness, (or judge the performance of the project delivery staff), the content of this book provides valuable material to help manage expectations, obligations, and funding. Salkeld is exceptionally ...

Read More »

Book Review – Strategies of Project Sponsorship

I spend a fair portion of my time exploring the role of the project sponsor with project managers, sponsors and senior executives, so was interested to see a new book on the market and what additional insight it could bring. Despite the title, I was expecting a discussion on the role of sponsor, but this is dealt with very quickly in the first dozen pages of the book and has some very predictable conclusions based on management best practice and other notable publications. However, it omits a key role of the sponsor – the realisation of benefits – which I ...

Read More »

Book Review – Project Psychology

I love the subject of psychology, and after cough splutter years of graduating with a degree in it, I like to keep up with anything I can get my hands on. So it’s great to see someone finally write something that brings both my worlds together. In a nutshell, Sharon’s book is for each and every project practitioner – regardless of your role within project management. If you’re serious about the behavioural side of your role – and lets face it, any practitioner who ignores the people and behavioural aspects are on a hiding to nothing – this book is ...

Read More »

Book Review – One Project Too Many

In ‘One Project Too Many’ the authors Geoff Reiss and Geof Leigh aimed to write a book introducing project and programme methodology, woven around a story. The book covers a project to develop an ‘e-trolley’ in a fictional supermarket organisation.  Anna is asked to manage the project, and although she has no previous experience, she does a reasonable job of managing the work with the assistance of a number of co-workers, particularly Jason, who is both the Chairman’s Nephew and has a good understanding of project theory – but no real practical experience. A number of interesting personalities within the organisation are introduced throughout the book as Anna investigates the challenge and involves her co-workers in ...

Read More »

Book Review – A Short Guide to Operational Risk

David Tattam’s ‘A Short Guide to Operational Risk‘ fits into a series of Short Guides about risk published by Gower. The series is planned to comprise around 15 books, addressing risk management topics as diverse as Climate, Fraud, Kidnap and Ransom, and Tax Risk. The Short Guides series aims to provide an easily digested, 100 page introduction to each subject. Although this book exceeds that page count by a considerable margin, it provides a thorough, detailed guidance and discussion of its subject whilst retaining an easily assimilated style. Tattam provides a context for risk management in terms of regulation and ...

Read More »