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

Summary and Conclusions

In this review, we have been captivated by the chance to read about the basic philosophy and tools of project management described from a practical and quite specific perspective that boils down to taking the initiative and leading the project. As a result we have touched on only a few of the tools and advice provided in Morten Fangel's book and therefore only scratched its surface. Every chapter is derived from Morten's personal experience and is rife with bulleted checklists, examples, graphics, recommendations, and short illustrative anecdotes.

For example, early on Morten warns against overkill by suggesting:[18]

"It is important to adapt the management effort in your project to what is needed in your current project. In this book we talk about to 'scale' the management effort. I have chosen in most of the chapters to give proposals for method application related to three levels for the management effort in a project.

  • Management Level 1 — Low level with limited application of project methods and relatively limited time spent on project management. The project manager is the main executor of the project and handles project management as an additional task.
  • Management Level 2 — Medium level with modified application of methods and moderate time spent on project management. The project manager handles the management of the project along with other tasks within and in addition to the project.
  • Management Level 3 — High level with almost consistent application of project methods and relatively large amount of time spent on project management. The project manager has the management of the project as his/her main task."

In another instance, the whole of chapter 6 is dedicated to Project analyses. It consists of seven subsections as follows:[19]

  1. Introduction to project analyses generally
  2. Introduction to your current project
  3. Analysis of the project situation
  4. Analysis of the potential project results
  5. Analysis of the potential interested parties
  6. Analysis of the potential project risks
  7. Scaling the application of the analyses findings

As Morten explains:

"The aim [of project analysis] is to establish a solid basis for (further) planning as well as anchoring of the project towards the determining parties. Performed properly, the analyses are also a vital means for informing and motivating the project participants and parties [during the course of the project]."

Note, however, that as a conclusion to the chapter, Morten describes subsection 7's valuable advice this way:

"As a summing up of this chapter, we will now consider when it is relevant to use the analysis methods, in what scope they could be recommended, with which degree of involvement — and how the outcome of the analysis is best applied."

Similarly, the whole of chapter 10 is dedicated to describing how to perform Detailed project planning. That is:[20]

"What should be done to achieve a shared understanding of the practical implementation, and to achieve a suitable basis for the project follow-up. The issue is what do you need to plan, how much, with whom — and which tools to use."

We do have to conclude by observing that we found very little discussion about project budgeting, tracking, and controlling project costs. However, aside from the question of proper project accounting, if the project is properly run following the suggestions provided in Morten Fangel's book, then the costs should largely look after themselves.

R. Max Wideman
FICE, Fellow PMI

Downside  Downside

18. Proactive Project Management: Abstracted from p20.
19. Ibid, p135
20. Ibid, p299
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