Published here February, 2008.  

Introduction | Book Structure | What We Liked
Much That Is Familiar | Downside | Summary | Postscript


As some readers will know, after completing a book review our practice is to submit the text to the author and ask them to check our work to make sure that we have not made any errors of fact. This is what Dennis Bolles and Darrel Hubbard had to say.

Hello Max,

We have to say that you have captured much of the essence of our book and provided a factual point of view. We both appreciate the amount of effort you spent in reviewing our book. A primary objective in the book, from our perspective, was to position project management, in the minds of business executives, as a business function that needs to be owned and managed across the enterprise by a top level executive. This business function, which we call the EPMO, is seen organizationally as an equal player in company politics and executive power, thereby helping assure the enterprise is doing the right things as well as just doing things right. Being positioned at the executive level makes the EPMO no more likely to be disbanded than quality or safety.

We believe, and others like Dr. Harold Kerzner have agreed, that project management is going down the same road as quality did. The need for managing quality emerged in the 1960s and was developed into what became called Total Quality Management (TQM). In the 1980s TQM was recognized and embraced by executives as a business function that needed to become a core capability and be implemented across the enterprise.

We don't disagree with your "downside" issue concerning the need to know the cost for establishing EWPM. Our position is to counter that question with "What is the cost of underwriting failed strategic and mission critical projects?" Literature abounds with statistics that talk about the failures of projects, especially in the IT area. There is little data available regarding the cost of developing and managing PMOs. However, we would suggest that a PMO is in the same category of business functions as safety, quality, marketing/sales, accounting, and IT.

These are places where those types of functions that support the business are not profit generators, but rather part of the enterprise's planned, budgeted, and managed overhead. We argue, and we propose, that if the bottom line of the business depends on completing projects to develop products and services, then those projects must be managed in the aggregate at the top of the organization to ensure that the organizations resources being expended on any given project are aligned with its strategic business goals and objectives.

It is our intent to follow this book in late 2008 or early 2009 with our next book, which will address, in part, the details of the issues you brought up in your review. We plan to use actual case studies with organizations who have succeeded and some who have not succeeded in establishing EWPM. We will show how our PBM methodology can be sized to the reader's organization and blended with what you call agile project management. Our thoughts are to develop the book in a textbook format that would be greatly expanded to the 600-800-page size. This will also allow us to show how organizational business management and project business management can be integrated to benefit the enterprise and ensure the products produced by the projects are beneficial to the enterprise's operations.

One of the issues, to which you alluded, was your concern that an organization would have to be very large to employ our vision of EWPM. Dr J. Davidson Frame's review in the June 2007 PMI Journal, used the term "Humongous, Inc," to indicate that he felt the contents of our book limits its overall usefulness to large, complex or global organizations. We would not disagree with yours or Dr Frame's evaluations; however it is our belief that organizations of any type or size can also benefit by applying our PBM approach and can scale the EPMO structure and PBM methodology model to fit their respective requirements. The multi-tiered EPMO structure we presented is intended to provide a model to provide the structure, roles and responsibilities that could be used by companies of all sizes who want to create a PMO at one or more levels.

We appreciate the fact that you have taken the time and effort to write such a well thought out review and for your willingness to post it on your web site. We also plan on posting your review on Dennis's website as well.

Warmest regards,

Dennis Bolles, PMP
DLB Associates, LLC
The Power of Enterprise-Wide Project Management AMACOM 2006 Building Project Management Centers of Excellence AMACOM 2002 Website:

Darrel G. Hubbard, PE

Project Business Management (PBM): The utilization of general business management and project management knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques in applying portfolio, program, and project processes to meet or exceed stakeholder needs, and to derive benefits from and capture value through any project-related actions and activities used to accomplish the enterprise's business objectives and related strategies."

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