Project Think

Lev Virine and Michael Trumper

Published by

Gower

ISBN

9781409454984

RRP

£45.00

Reviewed by

A P Sutcliffe, PG Dip, MBCS

Score

9 out of 10

It is often suggested that far too many projects experience problems; they overrun on time, on budget, or generally fail to achieve the primary goals set out for them.

Over the years, there has been a considerable body of work created that relates to the theory and implementation of project management and how to avoid many of the issues.

Yet despite all of the material available, so many projects continue to fail despite all of the best practices, proven tools and use of specialist advice.

Conventional thinking would suggest that there will have been a failure in one or more of the stages; in the definition of requirements, by scope creep or by poor management at various stages. However, the primary fault is not always obvious and can sometimes be the subject of considerable inquiry.

This book looks at this topic from a slightly different perspective: it focuses on the thinking functions behind the decision-making processes used by the project manager and stakeholders and suggests that poor choices are often unavoidable due to the pressures being placed on various participants at the different phases and that, all too often, project managers are unaware that their thinking is flawed in any way.

It seeks to analyse the reasons behind many of those processes, understand why they occur and then find a way to address them before they create the problems. It discusses some of the psychological imperatives as well as the burdens created by the various stakeholders and puts forward a series of arguments designed to show how these can be dealt with or alleviated.

This is a really interesting book with a great deal to offer. The authors have set out to make it a valuable resource and I believe that they have achieved this by providing a different way of understanding how and why the various stakeholders make the decisions that they do and why these can sometimes seem so illogical.

It’s an extremely well presented book with a layout that makes it easy to follow the key arguments, and there are a number of appropriate case studies along with some example material that help to highlight the points made in an enjoyable and interesting way.

There is also a considerable body of reference material, which provides additional reading to validate the conclusions, as well as a number of appendices, which add weight to their opinions.

I found the book a fascinating read that makes a number of really valid points, and I think that it could be a something of tremendous value to anyone involved at any stage of a large-scale project.

Further information: Gower

November 2013