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The Definitive Guide to Project Management

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The Definitive Guide to Project Management

Every Executive's Fast-Track to Delivering on Time and on Budget

FT Prentice Hall,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

As a new project manager, control as much as you can through good planning and hiring, and then ride every detail.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


As businesses adapt to rapidly evolving markets, it’s difficult to think of a more vital function than project management. The ability to drive multiple projects to completion is one of the hallmarks of leading corporations. If one aspect of contemporary business science deserves elevation to a higher seat in the academy, project management is it. Successful projects reflect extremely efficient and refined planning processes, and are no more a matter of serendipity than, say, 20 straight quarters of steadily increasing profits. This compilation of valuable insight and guidance provides a single reference source for project managers. The book asserts that it is directed at project managers early in their careers and is designed to enable them to operate competently in organizations where a project management structure and legacy already exist. However, it goes into sophisticated levels of detail and the authors assume that you can juggle your jargon and your organization’s politics and policies. Well-illustrated, with reader-friendly charts and a detailed appendix about critical chain project management, it provides a fundamental, thorough, all-you-need-to-know compendium for completing projects. strongly recommends it to any project manager. The newer you are, the more you need it.


Not Home, But Alone

Imagine it’s late at night and your car is the only one left in the parking lot. It’s there because you’re still in the office, shoulders slumped, palm pressed to your forehead, deep in thought. You’re in the middle of a project, consumed with worry, and the fact that you’ve barely seen your bed in the past week is one indication that things aren’t going so well. Your project is a little bit out of control; you’re not sure you’ll make your deadline. Too many loose ends still need to be pinned down. Moreover, your boss has expressed reservations about how things are going. You feel isolated, the clock is ticking and you’re uncertain about what to do next.

This out-of-control project scenario plays out often in companies large and small. Halfway into a project, risks that should have been apparent start emerging. Typical pitfalls include:

  • Higher than expected risk - A project outside of the normal range of corporate activities exposes the company to a greater chance of failure. The greater the project’s potential benefit, the greater the risk involved.
  • Variable scope - Carefully guard against the danger that management may change...

About the Authors

Sebastian Nokes was trained in project management at major corporations and the UK Royal Air Force. He managed major projects in finance, IT and publishing. He is chairman of Project Value Associates, a project management advisory firm, where co-author Ian Major is director. Major practiced project management for several major companies in the industrial, financial and technology sectors. Alan Greenwood is a regular lecturer on project management for Project Value Associates and an experienced project manager. Mark Goodman led projects for major financial institutions and the British army.

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