Pearls of Wisdom
Notwithstanding my criticisms, the book is rife with good advice.
For example: "Don't put the only two people in the whole company
who can't get along together on the same project."
Or "You'll find on some projects you spend as much time planning
the project as you do executing and controlling the project. This
isn't a bad thing."
Or again "The project schedule should be approved and signed
off by the stakeholders and functional managers. This assures that
they have read the schedule, understand the dates and resource commitments,
and will likely cooperate."
If you can manage to get those messages across to senior management
you might just have a winner.
Under Cost Estimating Techniques, we learn that "Sometimes
project managers are not responsible for the budget portion of the
project. This function is assigned instead to a functional manager
who is responsible for tracking and reporting all the project costs."
Very sad but very true. That means that one has authority without
responsibility and the other has responsibility without authority
another serious enterprise management problem.
Kim provides some good practical illustrations. The project manager
of a candy works is responsible for introducing a new product line
into a continuous process. The problem is that the process cannot
be economically stopped, cleaned and restarted every time a product
line is to be changed. So there will inevitably be a period of production
when the new line is likely to be "contaminated" by the
previous line. The solution is to make this production change-over
interval into a "mystery flavor" product line where the
customer can expect to get something of either line.
Although this example is one of risk to product quality, the solution
is a good example of turning a risk into an opportunity. The rest
of the risk sections
provide good information.
I thought that the sections under Developing the Project Team
provided good succinct summaries of the topics referenced in the
PMBOK Guide. In a "Real World Scenario" Kim describes
the case of a catalog change project where the project team has
worked a lot of overtime and weekend work to meet a deadline successfully.
She describes how, in recognizing and rewarding the team for their
outstanding efforts "You've arranged a slot on the agenda of
the next all-company meeting to bring your team up front and praise
them for their cooperation and efforts to get the catalog to the
printers on time. You'll also present each of them with 2 days of
paid time off and a gift certificate for a dinner with their family
at an exclusive restaurant in the city." Tell me, just how
and where do I sign up for Kim's next project?
Kim concludes this section by saying: "Project managers need
to wear a lot of hats. This is one of the things that makes the
job so interesting. You need organization and planning skills to
plan the project. You need motivation and sometimes disciplinary
skills to execute the project plans. You need to exercise leadership
and power where appropriate. And all the while, you have a host
of relationships to manage, including team members, stakeholders,
managers, and customers. It's a great job and brings terrific satisfaction."
Said like a true project manager.
PMP Study Guide p162
25. PMP Study Guide p246
26. PMP Study Guide p261
27. PMP Study Guide p172
28. PMP Study Guide p201
29. PMP Study Guide pp201-222
30. PMP Study Guide pp294-306
31. PMP Study Guide p307