The views expressed in this article are strictly those of Max Wideman.
The contents of the book under review are the copyright property of Tom Kendrick.
Published here October 2017

Introduction | Book Structure | What We Liked
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More Snippets

Chapter 5 Program Leadership

  • Getting a large community of people heading in the same direction starts with a clear definition and vision of what is to be accomplished.[29]
  • At the program level, you will need a staff of skilled and competent contributors who can assume responsibility for organizing and leading the work and for performing the functions of a program management office (PMO) (whether or not that terminology is used).[30]
  • Major programs rely on a hierarchy of teams and leaders. Organizing all the contributors into aligned project teams that can operate smoothly is crucial to good program management.[31]
  • Managing large-scale staffing and a significant budget carries a good deal of risk; so good program management also depends on identifying, assessing, and managing program resource risks.[32]
  • Governance and Stakeholder Expectations ... The larger the program, the more likely that its inception depends on a single, powerful, often visionary, individual.[33]
  • Decision processes that strive for consensus (or at least some level of cooperative buy-in) from all important players serve programs much better than those that rely primarily on a small cabal of decision makers who drive program decisions with minimal input from the people their decisions will be inflicted upon.[34]

Again, the remainder of this chapter goes into considerable detail and ends with a useful list of "Key Ideas for Program Leadership".[35]

Chapter 6 Program Execution and Control

As mentioned earlier, this is the longest chapter of all. It follows a logical path through such topics as: Sponsor and Stakeholder Expectations Management, Program Metrics, Status Tracking, Reporting and Information Management, Controlling Scope, and so on. However, we have a couple of comments we think are worth noting.

This chapter, like previous chapters starts out with a quote, thus:

"In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable"
Dwight D. Eisenhower[36]

"Even if you do an outstanding job of program planning, you will inevitably encounter surprises, problems, and other issues. It is also true, however, that with systematic analysis you will encounter fewer unexpected events than you would with less planning. Lowering the stress, even a little bit, can make a good deal of difference when leading a major program."[37]

Similar to previous chapters, this chapter ends with a list of ten bullets under the heading: "Key Ideas for Program Execution and Control".

Chapter 7 Program Closure

"Begin at the beginning," the King said gravely, "and go on till you come to the end; then stop."
Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland[38]

How appropriate that is. Many are the programs that do not know how to stop! In a few short pages, Tom Kendrick tells you exactly how.

Snippets  Snippets

29. Ibid, p183
30. Ibid
31. Ibid
32. Ibid
33. Ibid, p184
34. Ibid, p187
35. Ibid, p225
36. Ibid, p229
37. Ibid
38. Ibid, p291
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