Project Workout: A Toolkit for reaping the rewards from all your business projects (3rd Edition) Review

Project Workout: A Toolkit for reaping the rewards from all your business projects
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This is one of the few books that covers project management as a coherent process while providing detailed guidance for enterprise-level program management.
The project management processes covered are strikingly similar to PRINCE2 (the UK PM standard), especially with respect to organizational structure.If your approach is aligned to the US standard set forth in the Project Management Institute's PMBOK you discover that you'll have to compensate for gaps between the author's approach and the PMBOK.An example of where such a gap exists is in the chapter on project accounting, where status reporting is not consistent with earned value, which the PMBOK now covers.There are other such gaps in the way process flows are presented.However, this book contains so much valuable information and such a strong approach to managing projects at the enterprise level that the effort to fill in the gaps will be repaid many times over with an approach to project and program management that is absent in the PMBOK.
What distinguishes this book and why I think it's invaluable include:
(1) Strong emphasis on making a business case quantifying project benefits up front, and managing stakeholder expectations.
(2) Focus on deliverables instead of managing to a Gantt chart.
(3) Viable approach for managing project portfolios, which is a true enterprise-approach to program management and an excellent framework for establishing and managing a PMO.
(4) Copious details about the important aspects of project management, including handling issues, quality, and resources.
I particularly like the staged approach to managing projects, which is consistent with PRINCE2, and the use of 'quality gates' as stage entry and exit criteria.I also like the way the book steps you through how to properly set up and manage a single project, then a collection of projects, and finally a portfolio of projects.It is here that the PMO concept starts to become clear and structured, and where the book has the most value to organizations that are struggling with establishing a PMO.
The CD ROM that comes with the book is, in my opinion, more of a novelty than a collection of useful artifacts.The documents are in Acrobat format, making them nearly useless you have the full version of that program, and cumbersome to modify if you do.I would have preferred documents in rich text format, which can be edited by any word processor (MS Word, StarOffice, etc.).However, the forms and checklists are also provided in the book and can be easily replicated.
If your goal is to establish and manage a PMO this book is worth its weight in gold. It's also valuable to project managers who are seeking advanced, proven techniques for single project management.If you fit either of these criteria I also recommend TOTAL PROJECT CONTROL by Stephen A. Devaux, which contains advanced PM and PMO techniques that complement this book nicely.

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Product Description:
Robert Buttrick's book is an invaluable, lucid and practical guide to a crucial area of management, which has been crying out for the treatment it receives in these pages"Robert HellerPut yourself and your business through the Project Workout to direct and manage projects that will deliver results, drive change and improve the health of your business.Supported by the Project Workout Live online resource, The Project Workout shows you how to: *Measure critical success factors in any project *Diagnose and address any potential difficulties of implementation *Master a staged framework for managing a successful project *Develop the soft (interpersonal) and hard (structured management) skills of the project manager *Analyze your project as a single entity, and also manage a portfolio of projects *Assess your resource strategy and management effectively *Improve your project tracking and delivery This 3rd edition of the definitive book on business-led program and project management offers help at every stage, from building a project team right up to reaping the rewards of a timely and successful project.It will be a valuable companion for project managers and executives at any level, and a comprehensive resource for students of project management.Projects are an important strategic management tool and a way of life for every businessperson. But how do you get started and ensure a successful outcome? This book takes the reader step by step through project management, acting as a companion and guide to ultimate project success. "The Project Workout is an important book, taking a lead role in growing a new generation of professional project managers." Oded Cohen, The Goldratt Institute.

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