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


Two distinguished thought leaders in the world of IT and HT projects have developed this unique reference book. It provides a new approach to the challenge of effectively managing complex and mission-critical projects. That is, it is designed to deliver maximum business value to organizations in both the public and private sectors around the globe. It draws on the strengths of different schools of thought and best practices to develop an integrated framework that is lean, agile, flexible, and adaptable for virtually any complex project.[21]

The benefits claimed for the use of the methodology described in this book are the same as those described for the use of P2. Some examples of the benefits claimed are:[22],[23]

  • P2 LEAN uses established and proven best practice and governance for project management.
  • P2 is flexible, but using its flexibility takes a lot of experience. The chapter on tailoring the method just doesn't get you there on its own. [Whereas] P2 LEAN actually explains how to tailor the method.
  • P2 LEAN has adjusted the P2 project responsibilities, but we [the authors] believe it has made the organization structure more effective, certainly for complex projects, which is where we are at. The structure defined in P LEAN also provides accountability and authority, and we believe that it improves on P2 in terms of delegation and communication.
  • P2 has a good management by exception philosophy, but P LEAN with its agile concept of rigid time and cost parameters for a stage removes a huge percentage of the exception situations. Problems and unfinished work are put into the Scope bank for evaluation when planning the Next Stage.

In other words, the rigors of traditionally rigid project management are applied at the Stage level rather than across the board at Phase level. Given the need for flexibility in developing the products of IT and HT projects, that sounds like a very good compromise.

R. Max Wideman
Fellow, PMI

Downside  Downside

21. Ibid, text adapted from remarks printed on the back cover of the book.
22. Ibid, abstracted from page 245
23. Note that Colin Bentley was responsible for the production of PRINCE2: A Practical Handbook, Third Edition, (Oxford, UK: Elsveres Ltd.) back in 2010. So Colin is effectively quoting his own work.
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