Industry-specific project management books. Whether you just fell into the role or are hoping to break into it soon, these books will help you nail the basics and ramp up quickly. It was by far the book that came up the most as a recommendation from experienced project managers. Many project managers never take the PMP. They start out in management or another role and end up filling the void to make sure the trains run on time. This is a great book targeted at those who are in traditional management roles who want to get more involved with project management.
Many project managers recommend it for those who manage project managers. It's very well organized and approachable.
Beginner project management books
Written by our very own Director of Education Brett Harned, this book takes the stuffiness out of project management and delivers personal stories and practical advice anyone can use to lead projects to success. For those who have some on-the-job project management experience and the scars to prove it , these books will help you take your skills to the next level.
It covers a lot of fundamentals, such as effective communication, decision-making, planning, and problem-solving. This book packs a lot into a surprisingly quick read. More than just a project management book, it includes an actionable framework for achieving goals and deep thinking. If you find projects go off the rails because not enough time is spent upfront thinking through the details, this book will give you the tools to fix that. This book falls somewhere between beginner and intermediate.
This isn't just a project management book, but a productivity system. As a project manager, you constantly juggle many things and often wear many hats.
Many experienced project managers swear by the GTD method of ensuring they get what they need to get done. Getting Thing Done shows you how to organize tasks using simple lists and structures. Peter Drucker is a legend in management circles. Many authors today credit him as the foundation of the strategies being built today. As a project manager, this book is helpful because it provides a great framework for effectively managing yourself and others.
The book is over 40 years old, and while the examples are a bit dated, the message is still very relevant. The core message is that effectiveness is a habit, not a skill. Effectiveness is "getting the right things done. Even project managers who know it all can find a nugget they can apply immediately in this easy-to-read book.
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At the same time, as project-scheduling models were being developed, technology for project cost estimating , cost management and engineering economics was evolving, with pioneering work by Hans Lang and others. AACE continued its pioneering work and in released the first integrated process for portfolio, program and project management total cost management framework.
Project management can apply to any project, but it is often tailored to accommodate the specific needs of different and highly specialized industries. For example, the construction industry, which focuses on the delivery of things like buildings, roads, and bridges, has developed its own specialized form of project management that it refers to as construction project management and in which project managers can become trained and certified.
Biotechnology project management focuses on the intricacies of biotechnology research and development. It focuses on three important goals: time, quality and budget. Successful projects are completed on schedule, within budget, and according to previously agreed quality standards. For each type of project management, project managers develop and utilize repeatable templates that are specific to the industry they're dealing with.
This allows project plans to become very thorough and highly repeatable, with the specific intent to increase quality, lower delivery costs, and lower time to deliver project results. A study suggested that the success of any project depends on how well four key aspects are aligned with the contextual dynamics affecting the project, these are referred to as the four P's : .
There are a number of approaches to organizing and completing project activities, including: phased, lean, iterative, and incremental. There are also several extensions to project planning, for example based on outcomes product-based or activities process-based. Regardless of the methodology employed, careful consideration must be given to the overall project objectives, timeline, and cost, as well as the roles and responsibilities of all participants and stakeholders.
Benefits realization management BRM enhances normal project management techniques through a focus on outcomes benefits of a project rather than products or outputs, and then measuring the degree to which that is happening to keep a project on track. In addition, BRM practices aim to ensure the alignment between project outcomes and business strategies. The effectiveness of these practices is supported by recent research evidencing BRM practices influencing project success from a strategic perspective across different countries and industries.
An example of delivering a project to requirements might be agreeing to deliver a computer system that will process staff data and manage payroll, holiday and staff personnel records. Under BRM the agreement might be to achieve a specified reduction in staff hours required to process and maintain staff data.
The goal is to increase the flow of projects in an organization throughput. Applying the first three of the five focusing steps of TOC, the system constraint for all projects, as well as the resources, are identified. To exploit the constraint, tasks on the critical chain are given priority over all other activities. Finally, projects are planned and managed to ensure that the resources are ready when the critical chain tasks must start, subordinating all other resources to the critical chain.
Earned value management EVM extends project management with techniques to improve project monitoring. It illustrates project progress towards completion in terms of work and value cost. Earned Schedule is an extension to the theory and practice of EVM. This theory was introduced in In critical studies of project management, it has been noted that phased approaches are not well suited for projects which are large-scale and multi-company,  with undefined, ambiguous, or fast-changing requirements,  or those with high degrees of risk, dependency, and fast-changing technologies.
This becomes especially true as software development is often the realization of a new or novel product. These complexities are better handled with a more exploratory or iterative and incremental approach. Lean project management uses the principles from lean manufacturing to focus on delivering value with less waste and reduced time. The phased or staged approach breaks down and manages the work through a series of distinct steps to be completed, and is often referred to as "traditional"  or " waterfall ".
Many industries use variations of these project stages and it is not uncommon for the stages to be renamed in order to better suit the organization. For example, when working on a brick-and-mortar design and construction, projects will typically progress through stages like pre-planning, conceptual design, schematic design, design development, construction drawings or contract documents , and construction administration.
While the phased approach works well for small, well-defined projects, it often results in challenge or failure on larger projects, or those that are more complex or have more ambiguities, issues and risk. Unlike SEI's CMM, the OPM3 maturity model describes how to make project management processes capable of performing successfully, consistently, and predictably in order to enact the strategies of an organization. Project production management is the application of operations management to the delivery of capital projects. Product-based planning is a structured approach to project management, based on identifying all of the products project deliverables that contribute to achieving the project objectives.
As such, it defines a successful project as output-oriented rather than activity- or task-oriented. Traditionally depending on what project management methodology is being used , project management includes a number of elements: four to five project management process groups, and a control system. Regardless of the methodology or terminology used, the same basic project management processes or stages of development will be used. Major process groups generally include: . In project environments with a significant exploratory element e.
An example is the Phase—gate model. The initiating processes determine the nature and scope of the project. The key project controls needed here are an understanding of the business environment and making sure that all necessary controls are incorporated into the project. Any deficiencies should be reported and a recommendation should be made to fix them. The initiating stage should include a plan that encompasses the following areas.
These areas can be recorded in a series of documents called Project Initiation documents. Project Initiation documents are a series of planned documents used to create order for the duration of the project.
These tend to include:. After the initiation stage, the project is planned to an appropriate level of detail see example of a flow-chart. As with the Initiation process group, a failure to adequately plan greatly reduces the project's chances of successfully accomplishing its goals. Project planning generally consists of . Additional processes, such as planning for communications and for scope management, identifying roles and responsibilities, determining what to purchase for the project and holding a kick-off meeting are also generally advisable.
For new product development projects, conceptual design of the operation of the final product may be performed concurrent with the project planning activities, and may help to inform the planning team when identifying deliverables and planning activities. While executing we must know what are the planned terms that need to be executed. This phase involves proper allocation, co-ordination and management of human resources and any other resources such as material and budgets.
The output of this phase is the project deliverables. Documenting everything within a project is key to being successful.
In order to maintain budget, scope, effectiveness and pace a project must have physical documents pertaining to each specific task. With correct documentation, it is easy to see whether or not a project's requirement has been met. To go along with that, documentation provides information regarding what has already been completed for that project.
Documentation throughout a project provides a paper trail for anyone who needs to go back and reference the work in the past. In most cases, documentation is the most successful way to monitor and control the specific phases of a project. With the correct documentation, a project's success can be tracked and observed as the project goes on. If performed correctly documentation can be the backbone to a project's success. Monitoring and controlling consists of those processes performed to observe project execution so that potential problems can be identified in a timely manner and corrective action can be taken, when necessary, to control the execution of the project.
The key benefit is that project performance is observed and measured regularly to identify variances from the project management plan. Monitoring and controlling includes: . In multi-phase projects, the monitoring and control process also provides feedback between project phases, in order to implement corrective or preventive actions to bring the project into compliance with the project management plan.
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Project maintenance is an ongoing process, and it includes: . In this stage, auditors should pay attention to how effectively and quickly user problems are resolved. Over the course of any construction project, the work scope may change. Change is a normal and expected part of the construction process. Changes can be the result of necessary design modifications, differing site conditions, material availability, contractor-requested changes, value engineering and impacts from third parties, to name a few. Beyond executing the change in the field, the change normally needs to be documented to show what was actually constructed.
This is referred to as change management. Hence, the owner usually requires a final record to show all changes or, more specifically, any change that modifies the tangible portions of the finished work. The record is made on the contract documents — usually, but not necessarily limited to, the design drawings. The end product of this effort is what the industry terms as-built drawings, or more simply, "as built. Construction document management is a highly important task undertaken with the aid an online or desktop software system, or maintained through physical documentation.
The increasing legality pertaining to the construction industry's maintenance of correct documentation has caused the increase in the need for document management systems. When changes are introduced to the project, the viability of the project has to be re-assessed. It is important not to lose sight of the initial goals and targets of the projects.
When the changes accumulate, the forecasted result may not justify the original proposed investment in the project. Successful project management identifies these components, and tracks and monitors progress so as to stay within time and budget frames already outlined at the commencement of the project. Closing includes the formal acceptance of the project and the ending thereof.
Administrative activities include the archiving of the files and documenting lessons learned. This phase consists of: . Also included in this phase is the Post Implementation Review. This is a vital phase of the project for the project team to learn from experiences and apply to future projects. Normally a Post Implementation Review consists of looking at things that went well and analyzing things that went badly on the project to come up with lessons learned.
Project controlling also known as Cost Engineering  should be established as an independent function in project management. It implements verification and controlling function during the processing of a project in order to reinforce the defined performance and formal goals. Fulfillment and implementation of these tasks can be achieved by applying specific methods and instruments of project controlling.