Thursday, 11 July 2013

Book Review - A Project In Your Pocket

This is a shortened version of the review that I've submitted to the British Computer Society which, I hope, will be published in their monthly IT Now journal.

The review covers A Project In Your Pocket by John Turner 

As advertised, this short ( 96 pages ) book fits in one's pocket, as advertised. The size has positive and negative consequences; for me, I found that the size sometimes made the illustrations hard to follow; perhaps this is where I need the ebook variant, with the zoom option.

The book is easily digestible in short chunks; perhaps a chapter per day – although it could be quite easily consumed cover-to-cover in an hour or so

It does not assume that the reader is experienced in Project Management or delivery. I, for one, am involved in project delivery, but have no formal training as a Project Manager – however, this was not an inhibitor. John gives good background on the concepts that he introduces, and assumes nothing.

As the title suggests, the book introduces a new project management discipline; Snappy Projects ( which is also the name of John's company.

Each chapter covers one aspect of a nine-step programme, ranging from Branding, through Who?, What?, How? and ending with Sell.

John also makes frequent use of quotations - I especially like Joseph Priestley's wise words - "The more elaborate our means of communication the less we communicate."

The introduction is excellent, setting the scene by comparing and contrasting two of the most often used Project Management methodologies, waterfall ( via PRINCE2 and Agile ).

Throughout the remaining chapters, John introduces each of the nine steps, using examples tied back to the case study. At the end of the book, he provides illustrations of each of the project artefacts. Again, due to the book's size, some of these are unreadable – another potential benefit of an ebook.

In conclusion, this is a very useful book for anyone involved in the realm of Project Management, whether an experienced PM or a "mere" project team member. I'll keep a copy in my pocket or, at least, in my kit bag.

John finishes by recommending that the reader also look at other, non PM-related, books. I'll be taking him up on his suggestion.

For the full review, please look out for a future edition of IT Now.

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