Last month we reviewed Project Decisions: The Art and Science, by authors Lev Virine & Michael Trumper, published in 2008. Therefore, this month it seemed like a good idea to publish a review of The Project Manager's Guide to Making Successful Decisions by Robert A. Powell & Dennis M. Buede published in 2009. The authors of the latter book have observed that successful decision-making significantly contributes to project success but that project managers appear to receive very little education or training focused on the decision-making required to successfully manage complex, large-scale projects.
Indeed, these authors note that in the course of a project's life span, faulty decision-making at any time can have huge financial consequences. That is to say nothing of the negative effects of demoralized staff, wasted resources, and missed opportunities. In the text, as well as a multitude of "failed" projects", the authors also point to projects that were completed successfully, yet the resulting products were not successful in so far as generating the return of intended benefits. One such example is the two-wheel Segway personal transportation system. This little machine worked surprisingly well but failed to catch the public's imagination and went on to become a marketing failure.
Was that a project management failure or a technology management failure? Either way, decisions were involved. Therefore, with this book, the authors set out to provide a resource that helps project managers, and others, become better decision makers in the pursuit of project objectives.
1. Powell, Robert A., & Dennis M. Buede, The Project Manager's Guide to Making Successful Decisions, ManagementConcepts, VA, 2009. Sadly, Col. Powell passed away shortly before this book was published.
2. Ibid, p xiv