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 February 2015

PART 1 | What We Liked – Part 3: Reconstructing Project Management
Downside | Summary


In the first part of this paper last month, we introduced Peter Morris and his book; an outline of the book's structure; What We Liked in its Part 1: Constructing Project Management; and What We Liked in its
Part 2: Deconstructing Project Management.

Also in Part 2 of his book, Peter goes on to deal in some detail with a number of topics. These include: Control; Scope Management, Configuration management, Scheduling; Cost management; Organization, including the importance of the Sponsor; Governance and Strategy; Procurement; Risk and Benefits management; People, leadership and Teams. Along the way, he provides many useful bulleted lists of items for the practicing reader to adopt or avoid as the case may be.

However, one thing in particular caught our eye:[1]

"... project managers – project leaders etc. – will often have to adapt their style to fit a whole raft of factors – not just the nature of the project but the form of contract, the characteristics of the people being managed, and above all, the nature of the tasks being undertaken. This will mean for example that the style of management and leadership required for the front-end will almost certainly be substantially different from that required for downstream execution.

Yet in practice the discipline is too often judged as relevant or not by the appropriateness of the style of project management being displayed (and project management usually behaves as execution management à la Kotter). This is the tail wagging the dog. In fact the discipline requires that the style of management should adapt to the needs of the project task being managed. Few project managers, in my experience, even acknowledge this, let alone do it. And in truth, for many it is a very difficult thing to do." (Emphasis is the author's.)

We think the last two sentences are open to question, but otherwise we heartily agree with both sentiments. Interestingly, we wrote several papers relating to this subject back in 2002, see for example: "Dominant Personality Traits Suited to Running Projects Successfully" This fourth of six papers focuses on four dominant personality styles in project leadership, and how these relate to project work and the project life span.[2]


1. Ibid, pp200-201
2. See
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