The views expressed in these reviews are strictly those of Max Wideman.
The contents of the books under review are the copyright property of the respective authors.
Published here July 2018

Introduction to the Books
Book 1 - What if Common Sense was Common Practice in Business?
Introduction | Book Structure | What We Liked
Book 2 - A Pocket Guide to Stakeholders' Management Engagement
Introduction | Book Structure | What We Liked | Conclusion

Introduction to the Books

From time to time, books come my way that spark my interest, not because they are about project management, indeed they may not be, but nevertheless because they have a definite application in the project management environment.

Book 1, see list above, is about common sense. True that the phrase "project management" is not mentioned anywhere, but what could be more relevant to project management generally than that? In this book the author's essential theme is that we are so used to using standard platitudes that we fail to realize that the listeners are free to interpret such fuzzy descriptors any which way they like. Examples include such expressions as customer-centered, teamwork, world-class and so on. Is it any wonder that so many projects fail?

Book 2 is indeed about project management but an area that is rarely spoken of, that of engaging the stakeholders, whether of a project, program, or even a portfolio of projects.[2] True the PMBOK document[1] speaks of "Project Stakeholder Management", but can we really manage the majority of people over whom we have no authority? Obviously, our author here thinks not, for in the title of his book he makes a point of striking out the word "Management" and inserts "Engagement".

In my view, project management practitioners who are aspiring to higher things should read both of these books for the sage practical experience that they both offer, and which is not to be found anywhere else.


1. Disclosure: The author is a friend of mine, and I wrote the Foreword to his book.
2. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, Fifth Edition, 2013.
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