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 author.
Published here October 2014.

Introduction | Book Structure | What We Liked
Downside | Summary


This book, An Insider's Guide to Delivering Projects and Getting Paid by Author Robin Hornby, is one of only a few really practical books born of heartfelt personal experience. That is, not just in the trenches so to speak, but where project revenue must exceed project expenditures, including overheads, for the very survival of the organization. This has a very conscious influence over every action all day and every day.

It also has a very salutary effect on how the project is run. Indeed, the issue of success is very simple. At the end of the day, and that includes cleaning up all the paper work and any fallout from prior project activities, if the project account shows a profit then the project was a success. If it shows a loss, then the project was a failure. It's that simple.

In his book, Robin not only makes this clear, but also over the years he has collected all those practical tips and tricks that provide instant answers to every day issues that consequently save time "on the job". This orientation is born out by the book's Table of Contents. Unlike so many books that focus mainly on project formulation and planning, Robin's chapter on "Executing the Project" is twice the size of any of the other chapters.[1]

Author Robin puts it this way in his Introduction:[2]

"Projects for Profit is about the business of commercial project management. A professional services firm supplies a commercial project manager and a team of practitioners to create a product for a sponsor, following the well known activities of planning, executing and completing a project. And, at the same time, making a profit." (Emphasis added)

He adds that:

"This implies that the commercial project manager must also be a businessperson who operates within a business framework and follows business processes. This book explores the best practices to achieve this: the most effective processes and techniques, essential roles and responsibilities, and professional advice on methods of organization and management."

So this book is about project management viewed from the perspective of working under a formal, i.e. legal, contract that, as a consequence, makes cost management a major consideration. It also makes sense for the flow of the book's chapters to follow the natural lifespan sequence of such a project. Notwithstanding, Robin says that he has "chosen the PMBOK® Guide[3] as the underlying knowledge base for the text and [makes the] assumption that the average reader is familiar with that publication."[4]

Obviously, the best audiences for the book are those who are working on projects, or project components, under contract. However, it should also be of interest to those who are responsible for overseeing project contracts, as a way to understand the motives and perspectives of those with whom they come in contact.

About the author

Robin Hornby holds a degree in Aeronautical Engineering and began his career as a systems engineer with a major computer vendor in the UK. He moved to Canada in 1977, and worked in the telecommunications sector before joining an international IT consulting firm where his interest in project management took shape. In 1997 he set up his own consulting company and enjoyed a variety of senior project engagements, including assignments in several countries overseas. He is the author of Ten Commandments of Project Management . Robin may be reached by Email at and his web site can be found at


1. Hornby, Robin, PMP, in An Insider's Guide to Delivering Projects and Getting Paid, Tempest Management Inc., Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Chapter 10, p viii.
2. Ibid, p1
3. PMBOK® Guide (Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide), Project Management Institute, Newton Square, PA, USA
4. Hornby, Projects for Profit, p2
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