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 December 2015

Introduction | Book Structure | What We Liked
Downside | Conclusion


In his summary of Section 2 — Causes of New-Hotel Opening Delays, Gert Noordzij says:[16]

"The preceding root cause analysis highlights the root causes and direct causes that can be influenced realistically in an effective and efficient process within a reasonable time."

His answer to the problem is to introduce project management to the industry at large by adapting the PMBOK Guide structure and contents to the features and challenges of the new-hotel opening industry. In the following four sections, 3 through 6, he then proceeds to illustrate what a corresponding guide for the new-hotel opening industry might look like by quoting extensively from the Project Management Institute's original document with a few editorial changes.

We think this is a bad idea for a number of reasons.

  1. All of the project management processes identified by the Project Management Institute are described in the Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide "The Guide". This guide is available to anyone who is willing to buy it. There is no significant benefit to reproducing it with a few editorial changes. Such changes could easily be called out in a separate document.
  2. The Guide is a description of the body of knowledge that represents project management as a standard professional discipline. It is not a methodology, even though many people try to make it so. It is a book describing a set of project management processes and their interactions. Indeed, The Guide, Fifth Edition, explicitly states that: "this standard is a guide rather than a specific methodology."[17]

And goes further with these observations:[18]

"The project processes are performed by the project team with stakeholder interaction and generally fall into two major categories:

  • Project Management Processes. These processes ensure the effective flow of the project throughout its life [span]. These processes encompass the tools and techniques involved in applying the skills and capabilities in the Knowledge Areas (Sections 4 through 13)
  • Product-oriented processes. These processes specify and create the project's product. Product-oriented processes are typically defined by the product life [span] (as discussed in Section 2.4) and vary by application area as well as the phase of the product life [span]. The scope of the project cannot be defined without some basic understanding of how to create the specified product. For example, various construction techniques and tools need to be considered when determining the overall complexity of the house to be built

The PMBOK® Guide describes only the project management processes." (Emphasis added.)

  1. If the intended audience of this book is as naïve as the author suggests, then they are unlikely to take to a tome like The Guide and be willing to spend time on digesting it. In any case, quoting large sections of The Guide together with its very generalized illustrations results in a very one-sided document.
  2. What readers will most likely be looking for is a "How to" manual applicable to the New-Hotel Opening industry rather than a general "What is" project management book. Hopefully, that interest would come later.
  3. That means that what is required is a book that focuses on the "Product-oriented processes. And that starts with identifying a typical "Product Life Span" design for a typical hotel-opening project.
What We Liked  What We Liked

16. Ibid, p21
17. PMBOK Guide, Fifth Edition p2
18. Ibid, p47
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