Published here October, 2009

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Downside | Summary


In addition to the real-world case studies described earlier, André also provides detailed examples and, for the very discerning reader where processes are involved, he provides worked examples and model solutions. He also provides a Glossary of some 200 terms used in the text. This is most valuable because not only do opinions differ as to the meaning and use of many terms in project management, but the Glossary makes clear André's specific meaning in his text.

Some of the lessons that readers should be able to take away after reading this book include:

  • The critical importance of the project development process, especially the generation of knowledge in the project delivery process
  • The importance of sound documentation practices in advancing a project expeditiously
  • The value of innovation in developing business strategy and the vital contribution of the project management discipline in spearheading innovation
  • The correct staging of the contribution of a wide range of managers and specialists in project delivery
  • The role of the corporate executive in being the driving force in project delivery
  • The extended role of project management in so far as there may be one project director but several project managers, all working on the same project at the same time
  • The contribution of risk management in defining the scope of a project
  • Given that each project has unique attributes, the importance of focusing sound practices around principles rather than on specific one-recipe-suits-all type of canned processes

And finally:

  • The vital importance of phased project delivery in the primary sequence of Discovery, Definition and Implementation, as a spur to delivering projects with more success and faster. "Implementation", by the way, includes project mobilization, detailed design, execution, commissioning and the successful transfer of the care, custody and control of the facility or product to its new owners. This last step can make or break an otherwise successful project.

In so far as project management education goes, it is too important for the future of mankind, to be given the role of after-thought in business management curricula. Project management as a discipline deserves more prominence in universities, and needs to be given a major place alongside finance, accounting, economics, marketing, operations and information technology. Meantime, I thoroughly commend all those who are, or likely to be, involved in managing complex difficult projects to study this book carefully for the sage and practical advice that it offers.

In fact, if you are not sure whether your project is difficult, but you suspect that it might become so, perhaps you would do well to keep this book as a ready companion, just in case. It may even help you manage your standard projects more quickly, more cheaply, and with better results.

R. Max Wideman, P.Eng

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