Successful Project Management

Successful Project Management

analysis and using the Field Map to segment competitive operations. The third chapter, also exceeding a third of the book, focuses on analyzing the co...

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analysis and using the Field Map to segment competitive operations. The third chapter, also exceeding a third of the book, focuses on analyzing the competitor from the perspective of specific businesses. Sections deal with the competitor’s strategic focus, his environment, and his operating behavior. More distinction or emphasis might have been placed on the difference between the corporate and business perspective, as well as how the two perspectives must be integrated. Direction for this integration can flow from the top down (where corporate directs business planning analysis) or from the bottom up (where corporate planning becomes the summation of individual business planning efforts). The fourth chapter shows the importance of studying the competitor’s personality or corporate culture. And the fifth chapter presents a stepwise approach for integrating the complete competitive analysis process.

Rosenau, Jr. Milton D., Successful Project Management, Lifelong Learning Publication, Belmont, CA, 266 pp. Successful Project Management is intended to reach a target audience of beginning project managers in such diverse fields as engineering, science, architecture, computers, and general management. It is designed as a step by step approach to successfully managing a project and as such the book achieves this goal to a very high degree. A project manager could use this book throughout the course of a project and his supervisor would probably be very impressed with his performance. The book is highly recommended to new project managers (for which it is written) but experienced project managers could equally become more adept in project management using the book. It covers “all the bases”, through the use of many tables, charts, diagrams, and examples that make the concepts of project management very understandable and relatable. The author stresses a logical, orderly step-by-step approach to project management and the book follows the same guidelines. It is divided into the five phases that a project manager should anticipate in a project; Definition, Planning, Implementation, Control, and Completion. These phases are then subdivided into 18 chapters, with each chapter presenting one step towards the successful completion of the project. A project manager

The Appendix includes a broad collection of data sources for obtaining specific industry and competitor information. Included are sources for corporate financial information (annual reports, Form IOK, Form 1OQ, Prospectuses, financial reference manuals, and on-line data bases), private firms, foreign firms, and a variety of other items. The Appendix also list the names of leading securities analysts for over thirty different industries. Private research firms, associations, and government sources are also listed. The Appendix is, by itself, a very valuable resource to the industrial marketing planner. I have used most of those listed and have a very difficult time thinking of other sources. David E. Baker Manager, Business Planning and Research Stanley Hardware, Division of The Stanley Works

would be well served to use each chapter as a guide for each of the steps he needs to accomplish to successfully complete his particular project. The book contains highlights at the end of each chapter as a summary and a sample project (SUPROMAC), dealing with typical project situations, is discussed in many of the chapters as a means of tying several of the project concepts together into an understandable, practical example. The reference section at the end of each chapter also is well done in that each suggestion for further reading has a summary of how the reference information relates to the material in the chapter such as “This is a classic, brief article that summarizes . . .” For once, the reader is given some insight into the merits of the reference material, The author has also included other devices to increase the usefulness of the text, for instance, he has included sample quizzes at the end of each chapter to help in the readers’ understanding of the concepts with the appropriate answers in the back of the book. The author has even provided a list of commonly employed project management terms and their abbreviations (RFP, RFQ, FFP, CPIF, etc.) at the beginning of the book for easy reference. Each term is then detailed in specific chapters. In general, then, I would recommend this text as one of the finer books written on project management. As far as the specific chapters are concerned (notice how the author has me writing this review with a very systematic approach!), they tend to be short yet well 55

directed with well documented references for those who want additional information. The material in general is clear and concise with the exception of the matrix management organization discussion which could be more adequately described. The Definition phase contains well written concepts on “The triple constraints” of specifications, schedules, and budgets as well as a discussion of how to acquire winning projects through the use of various strategies which even include typical proposal authorization forms and proposal submission approval forms. The chapter on Negotiarions and Cuntructs is a good example of how few assumptions are made on the author’s part, rather, all concepts are defined and discussed in necessary detail. The Planning phase, chapters 5-9 is particularly well done. The author divides planning into 3 dimensions; performance, time, and costs (as was done in previous chapters.) Each dimension is then discussed in detail which makes for an in-depth understanding of the procedures and attributes of planning. The chapter on Scheduling is particularly well done with a very comprehensive discussion of various scheduling techniques. The PERT and CPM network examples are very practical and the reader who has struggled through other books on these subjects will find this material very rewarding and understandable. The Orgunization phase contains a very good presentation of the roles of project members and support members. As in most of the chapters it is logical and orderly and the material carries from one item to another in a very systematic way. An example of this is the author’s discussion of personnel assigned to projects; those who report directly to the project manager or are administratively assigned to someone else; those who work full time or part time; and those who work on the project from inception to completion or only for a portion of the project. Chapter 12 The Role of the Project Munuger discusses

Saaty, Thomas L., Decision Making ,fur Leuders, Lifetime Learning Publications, Belmont, CA, 251 pp. There is no question that the need for this type of book exists. Marketing decision makers at all levels of the firm are faced with complex situations that strain existing problem solving methods. This book presents a method developed and used by the author to solve those com56

managerial behavior but it could be expanded to include more practical examples of a project managers interpersonal relationships and the need for continued motivation. The Control phase chapters discuss various control techniques such as planning devices, .reports, and reviews. Among these the chapter on Reports is sparse but the Reviews chapter is particularly well conceived and presented. The section on how to ask “why” questions during a review is very useful. Problem Solving is treated in the classical sense of problem definition, gathering facts, defining alternative solutions, evaluating each and selecting the best solution. A well done discussion of each including the use of decision trees then transpires. One refreshing example of the need to consider several alternatives is presented in the form of a question “Consider the series of numbers 1,2,3,4,_,_. What numbers go next in the series’?” Naturally one solution (1,2,3,4,5,6) stands out but two other very interesting solutions are explained (in the back of the book!) This, to me, is a good example of how the author keeps the readers attention which in turn makes the book very readable and understandable. The Completion phase is short. But an intensive and comprehensive Case Study is presented in the last chapter which ties many of the concepts of the book into one thought provoking project. As with all the questions and problems presented in the book the solutions are also provided for easy reference. In summary then, this book on project management is one of the finer books that have been written on the subject, keeping in mind that it is intended for the “new” project manager. It is highly recommended to those who want to be aware of a pragmatic, comprehensive approach to project management. Kevin J. McDermott Prqfessor qf Industrial and Management Engineering New Jersey Institute of Technology

plex, ill-structured or nonstructured problems marketers often face. The method, called the analytical hierarchy process (AHP), provides logic and consistancy to handling such problems. Marketers will find the approach most applicable to complex strategic planning and obstinate resource allocation questions. The approach can be utilized in most of the decisions faced by marketers. Thomas Saaty has written an ambitious book and he should be commended for his effort. AHP approaches the