Corporate project managers and their superiors will find basic and advanced strategies in this debut book.
The insights of a seasoned professional in any field can be valuable, but in the world of project management, they can be of vital importance. This is because these managers have the awesome responsibility for implementing some of the most mission-critical projects in their companies. With over three decades of experience, Marks focuses her attention solely on this key position in her lucid book, with an emphasis on the creation of a Program Management Office, an addition most appropriate in larger organizations. Early on, she writes that her intent is to share many ideas, but she recognizes they can’t all be implemented at once: “Look for the quick wins, recognize that change happens slowly in some companies, and take the time to plan and pilot all implementation activities and measure the outcomes of the early initiatives that you select.” In 14 succinct chapters the author covers a variety of subjects, including project variables, prioritization, metrics, and outsourcing. Along the way she discusses handy tools to facilitate more effective management. Perhaps most useful, however, is the author’s ability to address decidedly human issues that, if not overlooked in day-to-day project management, may be neglected in favor of the urgency of deadlines. Several chapters, such as “Project Managers— People First,” “Relationships/Stakeholders,” “Mentoring,” and “Networking & Self-Development,” concentrate on personnel management and interrelationships. Marks uses relevant examples of actions she took to improve efficiency and morale by reducing the number of job descriptions and training modules in one organization. She also offers a helpful suggested personal interaction plan between a manager and subordinates that includes a well-thought-out series of meetings, focus groups, and training sessions as well as the implementation of a “PMO Buddy System.” The chapter “Best Practices” should be especially valuable to project leaders; here, the author outlines via bulleted items those concepts that proved most successful to her in training, communications, governance and prioritization, teamwork, and self-management.
Concise, authoritative, and well-targeted to the project management audience.