The views expressed in these introductory reviews are strictly those of Max Wideman.
The contents of the books under review are the copyright property of the respective authors.
Published here June 2013

Introduction to the Books
Book  1  - An Introduction to Project Management
Introduction | Table of Contents | General Observations and Recommendations
Book 2 - The Six Sigma Handbook
Introduction | Table of Contents | General Observations and Recommendations
Book 3 - Facilitating Project Performance Improvement
Introduction | Table of Contents | General Observations and Recommendations

Book 3 - Facilitating Project Performance Improvement, Jerry Julian, 2010

General Observations and Recommendations

In our opinion, the book is generally well written in a clear style, though for ease of reading a number of paragraphs are longer than we normally like to see. In her Foreword to the book as something of a backdrop, Victoria J, Marsick observes:[11]

"Project teams form a temporary community with a common focus even though members may be spread around the world and often cross professional, functional, and cultural boundaries. Project teams bring people together with diverse backgrounds to achieve shared aims on common tasks under tight timelines - often in collaboration with customers and other stakeholders - in ways that require innovation and knowledge sharing. However, the conditions under which project teams work are challenging and turbulent, and organizations are not always prepared to change the way they work when they become "projectized". Learning in project teams often requires coordination, alignment, and intentionality."[12]

Jerry Julian's position is that Multi-Level learning is neither just top-down nor bottom-up. It is both, because it focuses on facilitating systematic reflection at three levels: strategies, processes, and projects. In larger organizations, these three levels of learning may also reflect different levels in the organizational hierarchy.[13] Chapters 5, 6 & 7 describe how to carry out the Multi-Level learning in detail. We were impressed by Jerry's arguments in favor of the approach, while we recognize the practical difficulties of inserting the extra work into the hectic environment of project work as described earlier.

The book includes a limited number of illustrations to clarify the concepts being proposed. It is relatively easy reading and provides good advice for those companies willing to undertake such an endeavor.

R. Max Wideman
Fellow, PMI

Table of Contents  Table of Contents

11. Ibid, Foreword, p xiii.
12. In case you don't know, "intentionality" is a philosophical concept defined by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy as "the power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand for, things, properties and states of affairs" see The term refers to the ability of the mind to form representations and has nothing to do with intention.
13. Ibid, p4.
Home | Issacons | PM Glossary | Papers & Books | Max's Musings
Guest Articles | Contact Info | Search My Site | Site Map | Top of Page