The views expressed in this article are strictly those of Max Wideman.
The contents of the book under review are the copyright property of the author.
Published here January 2020

Introduction | Book Structure | What We Liked
Downside | Summary


This book[1] is a very solid treatise that explores and expands in great detail on the whole domain of project management families. That is, from the project level, to program, to portfolio and, for completeness, to the necessary close relationship with on-going operations. As author Kik Piney explains in his Preface:[2]

"[T]here is general agreement that the overall goals of integrated project management are to generate beneficial change. [However,] there is still a large amount of discussion as to the scope of each family member and the actual techniques for achieving success. Rather than simply reformulating existing concepts, the book aims to break new ground and present a novel and consistent insight and approach at each stage.

This new approach starts from the definition of the concepts and continues through modeling the solution, scheduling, risk management, resourcing, procurement, and progress tracking, right up to the handover of the new capabilities for ongoing operations and maintenance. The challenge of understanding stakeholders, analyzing their relationships to the program, and evaluating how to communicate effectively is also integrated consistently with the unique set of overarching tools and concepts that form the backbone of this book."

Kik goes on to explain:[3]

"For many years now, I have been working on ideas and concepts of what I would like to see as integrated project management (IPM). ... As part of my IPM analysis, I realized that earned value management, despite being a valuable tool for tracking completion of project scope, is ill-suited to and insufficient for tracking program and portfolio progress. These need to be measured in terms of value rather than content. This led me to develop a new method that I named the earned benefit method".

Kik adds that:[4]

"I have done my best not to reproduce ideas that are described elsewhere in the literature. My aim has been to build up an original set of concepts that integrate project, programs and portfolios in such a way as to provide a new, consistent framework of concepts and tools for business management."

As reviewer of this book, I believe that in view of its length and detail, it will be of most interest to business managers involved in portfolio and program management of very large project/programs. It would also be of interested to academics studying this area of high-end project management.

About the author

Crispin Piney, PMP, PgMP, PfMP, (known as "Kik"), has been involved in cutting-edge development projects since the 1970s when he joined the Information Technology Group at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics. He has published a number of articles covering projects, programs, and portfolios and their respective relationships and content, and presented them in a range of forums. These include industries such as aviation, banking, construction, electronics, information technology, packaging, and steelworks, as well as at various project management conferences.

Based on his experience, he has also dedicated much of his time to expanding the project management area of knowledge associated with the interrelationships between project, program, and portfolio management. He believes these depend on:[5]

  • The need for alignment between all of these project management disciplines.
  • The need for clarity and precision in order to avoid misunderstandings.[6]
  • The willingness to generalize and expand valid concepts in order to increase their generality and potential value, and
  • The willingness to reject ideas and beliefs, however well they are established, that are based on false or doubtful premises, and to discover creative, verifiable alternatives with which to replace them.

1. Earned Benefit Program Management by Crispin ("Kik") Piney, PfMP, PgMP. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, Florida, USA, © 2018.
2. Page xxi.
3. Ibid.
4. Page xxii.
5. Page xxix.
6. Editor: Including overlap of responsibilities.
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