Being a Project Manager: Planning the Project by Hamutal Weisz, Daniel Zitter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Can project management be taught? Well yes and no. It is less of a science and more of an art which is to be learnt by the experience and can’t be taught. So what purpose can this book, like countless management book, serve?
This is book 2 of a 4 part series. Part 2 is about planning of project. This try to teach us many tools which can help us to manage and plan project in a more efficient way. The approach of keeping end in sight and identifying most important objectives, necessary and peripherals can help us to plan it better in the beginning. Then there is question of involvement of client and stakeholders. How much is required and how it be helpful rather then being an impediment. The concept of WBS (Work Breakdown structure) is about dividing the content into smaller, manageable and measureable work units.
Language of book is easy and it does not fall into trap of rhetoric and hi-fi technical terms. As I already said this cannot teach management but can work as a tool to manage and plan in a better way.
I give this book 3.5 / 5 stars.
Where to buy:
Being a Project Manager is a different kind of book about project management that focuses on essentials and practice. It clearly draws the path one must walk as a project manager.
The book is suitable for managing any project of any size, subject and content since it refers to the foundations of project management—planning, control and communication—rather than a specific methodology or expertise. Moreover, the book offers appropriate methods and tools for proper project management that are easy to implement.
Practicing project management using the methods described in this book will initiate a process of continuous improvement in project management skills, starting from the first project! So if you are a project manager, start here and now!
The bread on the cover represents the project’s end product, which is the combination of all its ingredients: flour is the basis; yeast is the means for leavening the dough and turning it into bread and water is the glue that bonds all the ingredients. The same applies in a project: planning is its basis; control provides the means needed to achieve the project’s objectives and communication bonds all the project’s stakeholders and expresses the project’s management tone and pace.
Bread without flour is not bread, just as a project without planning is not a project. Yeast-free bread is a flat cracker, just as a project without control is an effort going everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Bread without water is nothing but shapeless powder, just as a project without communication is simply a collection of individuals who aspire to reach a common goal but have nothing that links between them. Therefore, planning, control and communication are the indispensable ingredients needed to create the final product in the project effort.
All projects, both large and small, require a set of clearly defined objectives and targets, as well as a plan for their achievement. Determining the project’s objectives and laying out a course for achieving them are handled in two distinct stages. First, the objectives are set out in general in the preliminary planning stages of the project. Then, each objective is laid out in further detail in the secondary planning stage, which focuses on the practical and specific details of the project.
In this book you will all about project planning. In the first part of this chapter, we will learn how to generate a ’Project Compass‘ which will help answer questions central to the project’s planning and approval process, such as: “Why should this project be undertaken?”, “Who is the target audience?”, “What does this project entail?”, and “How should we execute the project?” Answers to these questions are needed to ensure that we do not make decisions at this stage of the project that will be regretted later. In the second section of this chapter, we will expand the Project Compass into a detailed project plan—one that we can then use to manage and control the project in practice.
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