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 August 2013.

Book 1 - Enterprise Project Governance
Introduction | Table of Contents | General Observations and Recommendations
Book 2 - Improving Your Project Management Skills
Introduction | Table of Contents | General Observations and Recommendations
Book 3 - Project Sustainability
Introduction | Table of Contents | General Observations and Recommendations

Book 1 - Enterprise Project Governance: A Guide to the Successful Management of Projects Across the Organization by Paul C. Dinsmore & Luiz Rocha, 2012


What is Enterprise Project Governance you may well ask? For that matter, what is governance?[3] According to J. Rodney Turner, author of the Gower Handbook of Project Management, it is "The planning, influencing and conducting of the policy and affairs of an organization."[4] So, according to authors Paul Dinsmore and Luiz Rocha, Enterprise Project Governance (EPG) is:

"Project governance initiated under the umbrella of corporate governance. It is about ensuring that:

  • Projects succeed by establishing a well-defined approach that all parties understand and agree on;
  • The approach is followed throughout the life cycle of portfolios, programs, and projects;
  • Progress is measured and actions are proactively taken to confirm that everything stays on track; and
  • Agreed-on benefits, products, or service are delivered."

If that sounds too good to be true for the average project reader, it probably is. But listen up, because this book provides a thorough exposition on an emerging corporate management responsibility that will have a profound influence on how projects are prioritized and conducted in the future. Even though poorly recognized at this time by project teachers and consultants alike, it means that it will affect you! Better yet, this book likely represents the scope and content that you will have to master if you are ambitious enough to aim for the top rung of the corporate ladder.

As the authors observe:[5]

"Faced with the challenge of developing products and services 'faster, cheaper, and better' in order to survive in a relentlessly competitive world economy, the effective implementation of projects and programs will ultimately determine the success or failure of your organization. It's no longer enough to simply bring single projects in on time and under budget. You now have to ensure that every project or program under your roof gets completed successfully, and that they align with the priorities, resources, and strategies of the organization as a whole - and ultimately create value."

This is not project management for sure, but rather that project management provides the solid foundation on which this wide-ranging management responsibility must rest. The authors' objectives are not only to inform the project management community, but also to engage corporate management at large. As they go on to say:[6]

"Whether your view is from the boardroom, the executive suite, the project management office, or the project trenches, Enterprise Project Governance gives you the tools and guidance you need to achieve harmonious project results across your entire organization. Containing enlightening examples and case studies, the book reveals practical methods for incorporating EPG into your company's culture, synchronizing it with corporate governance, and maximizing efficiency and results across all departments."

Indeed, this book aims to show that "governance" issues affect the classic components of project management, including portfolios of projects, their necessary support structures and their stakeholders. And "The book's scope includes all project-related factors in an organization and shows how top-down governance structure is fundamental to ensure beneficial and healthy projects."[7]

We have read this book with some degree of excitement because we see it as opening up a stirring vision of the future and future opportunity. We agree that the book is a valuable read at all levels of experience. We believe that it is also relevant to a wide range of organizations that depend on projects for their very existence, not just commercial but governments, NGOs, and non-profits as well. The train may not yet have arrived at the station but it is certainly coming down the tracks.

About the authors

Paul Dinsmore, PMP, is a renowned specialist in project management and organizational change and is President of Dinsmore Associates with offices in Dallas and Rio de Janeiro. Paul has received the Distinguished Contribution Award from the Project Management Institute ("PMI") and is a Fellow of PMI. He has conducted seminars internationally on project management, change management, team building, and leadership.

Luiz Rocha is Director of Projects with Dinsmore Associates and has 35 years' experience in project management and business consulting. Luiz has worked with Andersen Consulting and Delloite in the United States and Europe when he had the opportunity to manage multicultural and geographically dispersed projects in Latin America, North America, and Europe. Luiz is an engineer by background, holding an MSc in industrial engineering.

Introduction  Introduction to the Books

3. We, and our Guests, have written extensively on the subject of "governance" on this web site. Just use our Google search engine to search for "governance". However, three articles stand out in particular:
    1. Project Portfolio Governance Guidelines (2005)
    2. Governance in the Project Management World (2013) and
    3. Having trouble with the latest lingo? (2013)
4. See
5. Dinsmore, Paul C., & Luiz Rocha, Enterprise Project Governance, text extracted from the book's fly sheet
6. Ibid.
7. Ibid, p xii
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