Monday, 23 September 2013

Book Review - Shortcuts to Success: Project Management in the Real World - Second Edition

This is the second edition of Elizabeth Harrin's excellent book on project management, the first of which I read a few years back.

Whilst I've never been interested in switching disciplines per se, I find it useful to maintain a working knowledge of the Project Management profession, especially as I've worked with so many good PMs over the years, most recently since I've worked in SWG Services.

This is the second PM book that I've reviewed in the past few months, with John Turner's A Project in your Pocket here on the blog back in July.

In Shortcuts to Success, Elizabeth has provided a really useful cookbook for PMs of all levels, whether new to the profession, or experienced practitioners.

This is a relatively short book - ~200 pages - and is chock-full of references, case studies and quotations. Each short chapter is clear and concise, focusing on a specific area of the discipline. It's not quite pocket-sized, but I'm absolutely certain that there's an ebook version for the ebook readers out there.

The covers all the important aspects of project management, from budgeting, through scope and people management, to teaming, collaboration and documentation.

As you can imagine, with my background in collaboration, some of my favourite chapters include those that focus on mentoring, matrix management, collaborative document management, and experience sharing.

Each chapter includes one or more case studies, hence the "real world" title, which are used to illustrate the particular point that Elizabeth is seeking to make.

The book is clearly based upon experience, both of the author and the contributors, which makes it a useful reference into which anyone involved in project delivery can, and, in my view, should, dip.

I strongly recommend this book to anyone working in a project delivery role, regardless of age, discipline and experience.

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