Haines provides a how-to for managing the execution of business projects.
While many business books emphasize broad, overarching management principles, Haines focuses squarely on the brass tacks of getting things done. Haines divides his book into five parts—planning; implementation; monitoring, measuring, adapting; reinventing the wheel or revising the plan; and “execution to die for.” The book concentrates on listing specific “barriers” to reaching goals and explains how they undermine progress; a typical planning barrier may have occurred because “there was no Action Program that set out the objective of each action, who was to be responsible for it and its completion date.” Haines offers specific tactics and techniques to counter such obstacles. The bulk of the book, Part 2, revolves around implementation, or “making it happen,” as Haines calls it. Here the author addresses organizational alignment, change management, leadership, teamwork, employee engagement and communication. Many chapters include charts and illustrations that support the text. Haines is a bit overly fond of gimmicks; abbreviations as mnemonic devices seem to run rampant at times. Still, the content is solid, and the book presents a level of organizational expertise that in itself is an example of just how to execute a project. The author uses a conceptual framework he calls “the Wagon Wheel” that illustrates aspects of project management. Marketing, products, activities, competitive strategy and competitive advantage are at the hub of the wheel; relevant support functions, such as finance, customer and distribution make up the wheel’s outer rim. Haines provides a real-life example of the wheel in action so readers can relate it to their own work environments. Ultimately, the book provides a carefully sequenced road map that guides the manager through the entire implementation process, with plenty of guidance and specific examples.
A serious study of project planning and implementation.