A quick, comprehensive guide to successful project management.

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BABIES & BUILDINGS

MANAGE TO DELIVER

Osman offers tips and strategies in this manual for project managers.

An experienced project manager who has worked on many construction sites, debut author Osman never uses the word “problem” for the hurdles that come up during the building process. He prefers the term “issues,” because to call something a problem is to expect someone else to solve it, and a project manager has no such luxury. With this book, Osman seeks to explain the role of the project manager and to offer strategies for those who fill that role. He has a favorite metaphor for his field: “the construction site itself can be seen as a kind of ‘delivery room.’ ” The building’s architect is the doctor; the client is the father; the contractor is the mother. The project manager, whose responsibilities are the focus of the book, is the equivalent of the delivery room nurse “in their ability to monitor events, and to identify issues that require immediate solutions, find those solutions, and implement them.” Osman includes basic managerial philosophies, such as the superiority of matrix team structures over traditional vertical management structures and the importance of hiring team members who are more knowledgeable than the project manager in their specific areas of expertise. He then runs through a series of situations in which various construction-related problems arise and walks the reader through ways to fix them. By keeping a cool head and falling back on fundamentals like foresight, planning, and creative thinking, a manager can always keep the project on schedule and on budget. Osman is a patient, lucid writer, explaining each point and scenario with clarity and examples. He perhaps leans a bit too heavily on his delivery-room metaphor (and even spends several pages early on musing on the metaphor’s limitations), but his advice is rational and easy to follow. The book is written specifically for project managers working in the construction industry, but the fundamental managerial skills are applicable in any situation that involves a large team and accountability to a third party. At about 100 pages, the book is concise and informative.

A quick, comprehensive guide to successful project management.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 107

Publisher: Dog Ear Publisher

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

ECONOMIC DIGNITY

Noted number cruncher Sperling delivers an economist’s rejoinder to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Former director of the National Economic Council in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the author has long taken a view of the dismal science that takes economic justice fully into account. Alongside all the metrics and estimates and reckonings of GDP, inflation, and the supply curve, he holds the great goal of economic policy to be the advancement of human dignity, a concept intangible enough to chase the econometricians away. Growth, the sacred mantra of most economic policy, “should never be considered an appropriate ultimate end goal” for it, he counsels. Though 4% is the magic number for annual growth to be considered healthy, it is healthy only if everyone is getting the benefits and not just the ultrawealthy who are making away with the spoils today. Defining dignity, admits Sperling, can be a kind of “I know it when I see it” problem, but it does not exist where people are a paycheck away from homelessness; the fact, however, that people widely share a view of indignity suggests the “intuitive universality” of its opposite. That said, the author identifies three qualifications, one of them the “ability to meaningfully participate in the economy with respect, not domination and humiliation.” Though these latter terms are also essentially unquantifiable, Sperling holds that this respect—lack of abuse, in another phrasing—can be obtained through a tight labor market and monetary and fiscal policy that pushes for full employment. In other words, where management needs to come looking for workers, workers are likely to be better treated than when the opposite holds. In still other words, writes the author, dignity is in part a function of “ ‘take this job and shove it’ power,” which is a power worth fighting for.

A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7987-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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