Drawing from his own experience in leading many projects, Scott Berkun documents the major pitfalls encountered in the project lifecycle and the ways to avoid it. Earlier, this was published as “The Art of Project Management”. When published as the second edition, the book earns a new title and some of the chapters have undergone a facelift.
The book is divided into three parts – Plans, Skills and Management. In Plans, Scott tackles schedules, approaches to planning, the project vision, requirements, design and idea generation. Scott uses the second section named Skills to address specifications, review process, decision making, importance of communication, managerial skills that are less annoying but effective at the same time and conflict resolution. The third part covers trust building, prioritization, milestones, coding pipelines, change control, deadlines, measuring progress, controlling projects and politics.
The books contains a lot of diagrams simplifying complex topics. Additionally, the book contains reference to other books. The referenced materials are mentioned in the pages of reference. For a reader who likes to read more about the particular topic, this often serves as the next book to read. Some of the references are to Scott’s own website.
This is a treasure house for a mid level project manager who has been fighting fires. For such a person, this book gives a lot of ideas to follow up. This book can still be recommended to anyone who has been a part of a project for this will enable them to see the big picture and a better understanding of the heartburns associated with management. For an experienced project manager, this has nothing to offer other than the affirmation on what he/she had known all along.
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