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 August 2021

Introduction | Book Structure | What We Liked | Book's Purpose
Obstacles to Project Success | The 10 Principles of Project Success
Downside | Conclusion

Book's Purpose

As Antonio says in his Introduction:[12]

"Most of us have not received training in the methods and tools that are vital to project success. [Therefore] This book's purpose is to fill that gap and provide you with an easy-to-apply framework — the 10 Principles of Project Success — to help you and your organization succeed in the new project-driven economy.

The principles are based on my years of experience and research covering hundreds successful and failed projects, ranging from the smallest to the largest and most complex. The 10 Principles an be applied by any individual, team, organization or government, and are suitable for any kind of project."

Antonio also added:[13]

"I recommend that you also use the principles as an evaluation checklist, either at the beginning or when the project is running. This will give you as sense of how well the project fundamentals have been taken into account, and whether the project has a good chance of being successful. It will also allow you to focus on what you really need to do."

"Make no mistake, we are witnessing the inexorable rise of the project economy."[14]

To provide clarity, Antonio first provides his perspective of the project management environment as follows:[15]

"The word 'project' is extensively used, yet largely misunderstood. There is confusion about what is and isn't a project, as well as the nature of project management. So let's start by defining some simple terminology.

Projects are limited in time; they have a start and an end. They require resources, often from different areas of expertise and backgrounds, bringing together people who have never worked together before. Projects are made up of a series of planned and costed activities, designed to deliver a new product or output, at least one element of which is unique. In other words, a project is something that has not been done before.

If a project delivers a defined outcome (a new product, a new piece of software, a new building, a new organization, etc.) [then] a program delivers capability; the organizational structures, processes, skills and knowledge that enable new behavior. Programs are composed of several, sometime hundreds, of projects, and are much longer in duration."

For comparison, "Operations" refers to the core element of most organizations that include all of the activities required to run the business. For example, in a manufacturing business, these might be: Purchasing (supply materials), design, production, distribution, marketing and sales.[16]


"Projects are the activities that change the business to ensure it is sustainable, and successful, in the mid and long term. They differ from daily operations in the following ways:

  • Projects are one-off investments designed to achieve predetermined objectives.
  • Projects are restricted in terms of time and budget and are staffed with temporary team members.
  • Projects need different types of resources[18] than operations. Project leaders need to work across sectors to bring different views together and thus require diplomacy and negotiating skills. They also need to be good at managing uncertainty, because large strategic projects are unpredictable."

In the case of project management, Antonio notes that two elements should be born in mind. The first is a focus on the so-called hard-technical elements of projects, which is to manage such things as scheduling, scoping, finance and risks. The second is the softer elements of project management, which is to manage people, behavior, culture, communication and change.[19]

What We Liked  What We Liked

12. Ibid, p xi
13. Ibid, p xii
14. Ibid, p4
15. Ibid, p7
16. Ibid, p8-9. There are typically a few more such as a "Legal Department", but the list is a good start.
17. Ibid, p10-11
18. Author Antonio might have added here that in the case of "human" resources, people with a different attitude, outlook and dedication are required.
19. Ibid, p14-15
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