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.
The book may be ordered from
Published here June 2015

Introduction | Book Structure | What We Liked
Downside | Summary and Conclusions

Book Structure

The contents of the book are set out in 14 chapters as shown below, but the relationships of these chapters are somewhat complex, so the author has resorted to a color coding that will be explained shortly.

  1. How to use the book
  2. Projects and project management
  3. Leading project management
  4. Facilitate the management activities
  5. Project preparation
  6. Project analyses
  7. Master project planning
  8. Project anchoring
  9. Project start-up
  10. Detailed project planning
  11. Manage project execution
  12. Ongoing project leadership
  13. Stepwise project follow-up
  14. Project close-out

These chapters are intended to provide a coherent set of principles, methods, and practical hints that can help you to be more proactive when managing your project. Proactive management implies that the management effort takes place before the management challenge arises![8] To perform good project management implies practicing three different areas of competency:[9]

  1. Application of experience
  2. Application of methods, and
  3. Application of leadership behavior

Of these three, it is from the perspective of Application of methods that provides the basis for the concept of the book.[10]

The foregoing list of chapters may be more particularly described as follows:[11]

  • The first three chapters present the basis for planning and evaluating project management - at all stages of the project process, while chapter 4 deals initially with different ways for performing the management roles in a project, and when to apply these roles.
  • Chapters 5 through 8 cover the issues of project preparation/initiation and related activities such as project analysis, master planning and anchoring.
  • Chapters 9 through 12 respectively deal with how to organize a suitable project start-up and perform the detailed planning; how to organize the management of project execution; and how to deal with the challenges of ongoing leadership such as how to maintain participant's attention, or how to perform meetings efficiently, and how to develop participants' competencies.
  • Chapter 13 addresses a classic part of project management, namely the conduct of a step-by-step follow-up of the progress of the project's execution within the agreed plans as well as to clarify any need for new management initiatives.
  • Chapter 14 covers the final phase of project close out with particular attention to doing it in such a way that the participants and partners in the project become even more competent and motivated to enter into future projects.

However, to help get an overview of the book, different color groupings are used as follows. The introductory, cross sectional chapters 1 to 4 and the book's appendices are flagged with the mixed color grey. The other chapters follow the color spectrum with red flagging representing the project management phases for chapters 5, 9, 11 and 14, and blue for the follow-on management work described in chapters 12 and 13. Chapter 6, Project analyses, is flagged by yellow. If that explanation takes some effort to swallow, then the book is probably reflective of the real complexity of project management in practice.

Chapter 8, "Project anchoring", probably requires more explanation especially for western readers who are more familiar with the term "stakeholder management" rather than this term. In this book, project anchoring is defined as:[12]

"The anchoring of the project process in order to ensure that the project is completed with a relevant result and has the necessary resources allocated. Project anchoring is considered an essential management task."

This 7"x10" hardcover book contains 456 well-packed pages many of which are printed in color for added impact. It is well illustrated throughout with charts, flow diagrams, and tables. The book concludes with two foldouts for easy reference, the first illustrates the Fangel Project Management Model, and the second elaborates on the model by cross tabulating tools relevant to both the six project phases and seven management activities.

Introduction  Introduction

8. Ibid, p12.
9. Abstracted from p14.
10. Ibid, p15.
11. Ibid pp 16, 17, 299, 333, 355, 379 & 397
12. Ibid, p236.
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