Managing projects can be a daunting task, especially for new leaders.  Your success on your first few tasks can help you land more and more challenging tasks, allowing you to climb up the “organizational ladder”.  Unfortunately, I don’t think that we teach logical planning processes in school – you need to get some additional information to close the knowledge gap.  If you find yourself overwhelmed by the prospect of planning an office move, an event such as a party or a wedding, or even doing your own home renovations, I would strongly recommend that you consider this book.

Weighing in at 108 pages, this is a fairly quick read that nevertheless incorporates a lot of key concepts required in executing a plan.  In line with the best project management practices, Douglas Land and David Barrett walk you through the steps in a logical fashion.  They have created several story lines so that you can see tangible examples of project management at work.  You can easily picture yourself replacing the people in the book and achieving success.

The authors start with considerations on whether you should even start a project in the first place – not every idea should go ahead, especially if the assumptions are wrong or the value isn’t there.  Big tasks can be overwhelming, and it can be easy to skip important steps in seemingly simple tasks.   Douglas and David explain to you how to break down the project into bite-sized chunks, and how to look at following aspects (each line is a chapter):

  • Who will do the work?
  • How much time will it take?
  • How much will it cost?
  • What are the risks to our plan?
  • Follow-up and control
  • Managing change
  • Communication
  • Ending the project

The authors have also found a way to increase the value of the book by including various templates in the book’s website.   The authors can also use this book as a background for a keynote presentation or a workshop.

In my opinion (and that of the authors), this book is not designed for certified Project Management Professionals (PMPs) since the requisite training goes into much greater depth – I must admit, however, that I really did enjoy reading the book.  If you considering a career in project management, or are looking at starting a project, give this book a read – you can get a copy here.

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