The Project Manager’s Guide to Making Successful Decisions

Authors: Robert A. Powell, Dennis M. Buede
Publisher: Kogan Page

Whilst it’s great to read about all the things you should check, do and monitor that will ensure your project is on time, on budget and successful it is refreshing to find a book that helps answer the question: Where did my project go wrong?

This book provides the opportunity to develop skills that are often neglected in traditional project management training by showing how to handle efficiently and productively the decisions required for really successful project management.  It’s rare to find information for Project managers focused on the decision-making required to successfully manage complex, large-scale projects.

We all learn from our mistakes, but sometimes we are so wrapped up in what we are trying to achieve it’s difficult to pin point the moments when things start to go wrong.  Sometimes the answer can be traced to a poor decision a decision made too late, or the absence of a decision at a crucial point in a project. Faulty decision-making at any time can have huge financial consequences, it can also demoralise staff, waste resources, and cause good opportunities to be missed.

It’s a very practical guide aimed at project managers with a focus on the development of better decision-making skills. It’s well structured, breaking down the process of decision making and everything is backed up with case studies making it easy to put the advice into the context of real projects. Real examples allow you to visualise how a project manager’s decisions are instrumental in a project’s success.

It’s a really in-depth analysis of decision making and the way it relates to project management, whilst providing a variety of techniques to facilitate the decision-making process. The book goes through the processes of how to frame the decision, gather information, close the decision, get approval within the organisation, and start implementing.

The book covers:

  • The importance of Good Decision Making
  • The anatomy of Decision Making and its impact on project success
  • The Project Management Life-Cycle
  • Different Approaches to Decision Making
  • Identification of required Decisions
  • Framing Decisions
  • How to Generate Alternatives
  • Decision Analysis and the Requirements for Good Decisions
  • Risk Analysis and its impact on Decisions

The Project Manager’s Guide to Making Successful Decisions” offers plenty of practical advice that should give you the confidence make good decisions at the right time and when necessary. It is a refreshing approach to project management and a much needed addition to a Project Manager’s library.

— Reviewed by Heather Buckley, December 2010


About Heather Buckley: Heather Buckley is the Director and co-founder of Silicon Beach Training. Silicon Beach Training offers a full range of Management Training and Project Management Training courses including Prince2 Training.  You can also subscribe to their newsfeed, follow them on Twitter, or like them on Facebook.

Open Positions

Share your Project Management Book Recommendations

Interested in project management books?
Would you like the opportunity to read and review a project management book for the Arras People newsletter?
Contact us to find out more information