People in Projects Review

People in Projects
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A friend who is an experienced PM once remarked that there are three stages to becoming an enlightened project manager: (1) learning the techniques, (2) realizing that it's really about people, and (3) Epiphany - it's about ensuring that someone else gets the blame if things go wrong and 1 & 2 are core skills in achieving this.
Regardless of how true his theory is, this book will certainly get you to the second stage of enlightenment, and also provide you with the knowledge and skills to manage stakeholder expectations, use effective intervention methods when things do get off track, and to maintain high project team morale.
The nine chapters in this 305 page book systematically cover all aspects of the people part of the equation.It starts with an accurate description of key management skills and duties required of a PM.It then addresses the basics of organizational planning, which focuses on roles and responsibilities.From personal experience I can attest that establishing roles and responsibilities is essential to project success.
Chapter 3, Human Resource Theory and Charts, sets the tone for the chapters on Staff Acquisition and Kickoff, and Team Development, both of which provide refined techniques for managing people and teams.
I particularly liked the chapters on resolving conflict (something that PMs deal with daily) and managing change, which is a constant.Since I work with multi-cultural teams that are international (mainly in India and the Middle East) I also liked the chapter titled Worldwide Teams and Cultural Issues.
The chapter on project closeout and evaluation is a good reminder that there is a shutdown phase to projects, and this chapter provides guidance for how to perform this step in a structured manner.
Although this is a book on the PMI approach to project management, the material is also applicable to any project management methodology, including the UK standard (PRINCE2) and CompTIA's IT Project +.

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Product Description:
Project management is fortunate in possessing a rich andgrowing body of tools and metrics that aid in helping us to moreeffectively run our projects. However, that is just what they are:tools and metrics. Project management is no less prone than any otherdiscipline to the problems inherent in managing people. In fact, astrong argument could be made that project management offers far morepeople problems than other forms of corporate activity because it caninvolve so many levels of tasks, deadlines, cost pressures, the needto accomplish work through teams, and the well-known challenge ofhelping employees who have great technical skills also develop theirpeople skills.
This important book, People in Projects, focuses on one of the nineknowledge areas of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge(PMBOK® Guide) - 2000 Edition: human resource management. It is acollection of some of the most important writing relating to thepeople side of project management that the Project ManagementInstitute has produced in the last six years. The authors areacknowledged experts in their fields; the topics are far ranging andare divided into the following nine chapters:
-Key Management Skills and Duties
-Organizational Planning: Identifying Roles, Responsibilities, and Relationships
-Human Resource Theory and Charts
-Staff Acquisition and Kickoff
-Team Development: Individual and Group Skills
-Resolving Conflict
-Closeout and Evaluation
-Worldwide Teams and Cultural Issues
-Managing Change
Project management is also about leadership. The challenges to allleaders working in project management today include how to create andnurture a vision; empower others; be persuasive; exhibit integrity;and coach and motivate their teams to achieve results. It is withthese very challenges in mind that the Project Management Institutecreated this book. Whether you are a seasoned professional or abeginner, you will find a wealth of information on every page to helpyou effectively manage one of the most important aspects of everyproject-people.

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