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 May 2018.

Introduction | Book Structure | What We Liked
Downside | Summary


The following are relative minor issues but, we think, are worth mentioning.

Chapter 1 starts out by saying (in part):[12]

"This chapter will provide readers the knowledge or ability to:

  • Understand the similarities and differences between PRINCE2 (P2) and the Effective Complex Project Management (ECPM) Frameworks."

That all sounds well and good until you suddenly start asking:

"What exactly does 'ECPM' stand for in the first place,
and what does it mean in practice?"

Well, it turns out that "Effective Complex Project Management" is a term for a process encompassing "An Adaptive Agile Framework for Delivering Business Value". This process was introduced by Robert Wynsocki himself in a publication of those names, back in 2014. So, it appears that if you want to fully understand the contents of this book, you have to buy another book as well — and read and understand that, too.

Chapter 5 — Preparing the Business Case: This includes a section titled "Starting Up a P2 LEAN Project"[13] and includes a simple diagram showing just three processes involved in Generating the Business Case.[14] These processes are (1) Appoint the Project Executive;[15] (2) Capture Previous Lessons;[16] and (3) Prepare the Business Case. The section then goes on to describe seven rather mundane items of organizational content, none of which mention the extent of the financial commitment anticipated, and the corresponding benefits to be expected. In other words: "Is the project worth doing and, if not, cancel it right now to avoid any further wasted expenditure!" But to be fair, a subsequent section does describe the P2 LEAN Business Case as typically including, among other basic things:[17]

  • A financial analysis comparing alternative project ideas;
  • A prioritization of the alternative project ideas; and
  • The incremental business value that will[18] result.

Chapter 6 describes the P2 LEAN approach to "Creating the Project Product Description". This includes "Drafting the P2 LEAN Project Brief" that in turn includes a section titled "Problem/Opportunity Statement".[19] Some readers will no doubt find some disappointment here — not because of the book, but because of what the methodology, rightly, sets out to do.

The section states:

"A well-defined need, and a clear solution path to meet that need of a want, define a project that the traditionalist expects. [However,] A rather vague idea of a want, coupled with a vague idea of how it will be satisfied, defines a P2 LEAN Project that complex Project Co-Managers expect."

The section goes on to say:[20]

"The problem or opportunity that this project is going to respond to must already be recognized by the organization as a legitimate problem or opportunity that must be attended to. If anyone in the organization were asked about it, he or she would surely answer: 'You bet it is, and we need to do something about it.' In other words, it is not something that needs a defense. It stands on its own merits. Furthermore, the problem or opportunity statement must be expressed in terms that anyone in the organization who would have reason to read the statement could understand without need for further explanation."

What We Liked  What We Liked

12. Ibid, p3
13. Ibid, p90
14. Ibid, p91
15. In other words, the Project Manager and any deputy and co-managers that may be necessary for a very large project.
16. Capturing previous lessons learned is an important step too frequently overlooked in more traditional projects.
17. Ibid, p93.
18. Or rather "should result".
19. Ibid, p125
20. Ibid.
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