What We Liked
This publication is unique in its concept, being two books in one. It is well written in a good-sized font on quality semi-glossy paper suited to the heavy use that can be expected in an educational environment. It also has good page margins where instructor's can add personal reference notes. The content is attractively laid out and supported by frequent bullet lists, tables, figures, illustrations and pictures making the contents easy to understand and consume. In short, both sections of the publication are light easy reading as they should be considering the intended audiences.
In each of the two parts of the publication there are introductory sections that are almost identical, except for modifications necessary to suit their respective audiences. As an example, in the Learning Guide for Project Managers there is a Project Manager Preface that starts off stating:
"The book you are holding, Project Management for Education ("PM4Ed" for short), is actually two books in one: a Project Manager Guide and an Educator Guide to bring the benefits of the powerful, practical principles and practices of project management to the world of education.
By flipping this book over, you can switch between the two guides to explore how both project managers and educators are increasingly striving towards the same goal to help all students become more successful 21st century learners, well prepared for future work, citizenship, family, and community life.
PM4Ed aims to help build indispensable bridges between project management and education, to support the evolving transformation of education to equip all students with the essential skills to help tackle our world's 'glocal' (global and local) problems. And also help to empower all learners to successfully manage their personal, social, and life changes."
All of this is well and good. However, in an introduction: Project Manager Foreword, Jim Snyder reminds us of a serious challenge:
"I have long held a strong opinion that the only way for project management to reach its full potential in driving solutions to world problems was to create a generation of project-oriented people to solve project-oriented problems. The only way to achieve that would be to fully integrate project management skills into our K‑12 educational programs. That means that we must first have project-oriented educators and this might be just a small problem! After all, business/industry and education are two very different worlds."
In other words, even though both parties are speaking (say) English, the vocabularies of each of project versus business tend to be quite different when it comes to the working technicalities. So, communication, that is the understanding and appreciation of each other together, is the stumbling block. For me, this comes as no surprise as I have long since felt that the subject of Project Communications Management has always been the weakest of all the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) chapters.
Therefore it is heartwarming to see that this publication's authors have attempted to address this very issue by including a Life, Learning, and Professional Project Glossary at the end of the Learning Guide for Educators part of the publication.
Finally, it would be remiss not to mention the excellent practical, working student projects that are included and designed for each of the two types of student audiences. In each case, there are three of each type that are also graded to suit three progressive student levels.
There is no doubt that this publication provides a valuable tool for bringing project managers and educators together for educational purposes. The objective of the two authors is to solve the essential desire to bring project management more firmly, not only into the future work place, but also into the classroom as a general life skill. This publication presents itself as a reliable and realistic book for doing so.
5. Ibid, p xi
6. Ibid, p vii. Jim Snyder is one of the founders of the Project Management Institute (PMI) back in the 1960s. He also claims to be a Lifetime Innovator.