The views expressed in this article are strictly those of Max Wideman.
The contents of this book under review are the copyright property of the respective authors therein.
Published here May 2014

Introduction | About the Editors | Book Structure
What We Liked | Downside | Summary


As we mentioned in our introduction, for the reasons stated we are not a great fan of technical books composed by multiple authors. Indeed, from its very title, this book purports to be a "handbook". However, a handbook is generally thought to be "a concise reference book" capable of being "conveniently carried as a concise reference covering a particular subject". That is: "They are designed to be easily consulted and provide quick answers in a certain area". In this case the certain area is the pursuit of better project management performance by people. To make matters worse, the back cover states: "The Gower Handbook of People in Project Management is a complete guide to the human dimensions involved in projects." (The emphasis is ours.)[8]

So, clearly this is not a handbook as such, nor do we think it is complete. Instead it is an eclectic collection of short lectures on the art of managing people engaged on projects, as presented by a particular selection of thought leaders. There is an extensive index as might be expected on a book of this size.

However, we did find difficulty in double-checking on topics of interest that we found in various chapters but which were not traceable through the index. Thus, researchers might miss some of the pearls of wisdom that can be found in these offerings.

The book has a general theme, but because the book has been written by separate authors, there is no evident consistent thread. Further, there is also quite a bit of content overlap that might otherwise have been avoided in a regularly authored book.

What We Liked  What We Liked

8. We suggest that as a better alternative, the three-volume set of books: The Human Aspects of Project Management" by Vijay K. Verma is much more complete. These conveniently-sized books - Volume One: Organizing Projects for Success (1995); Volum Two (1996); Human Resource Skills for Project Managers; and Volum Three: Managing the Project Team (1997) are available from the Project Management Institute, PA, USA.
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