Quality Progress, Volume 34, Number 11 (November  2001)

Project Management For Dummies

The yellow covers of the For Dummies books seem to be on the bookshelves everywhere these days, although few are found in the business library that do not apply to software or the operation of electronics.  This one focuses on project management from start to finish.

The three parts of any project - planning, organizing and controlling - are covered in depth along with all the issues associated with being the leader of a project in a business environment.  The five phases of a project - conceive, define, start, perform and close - are well-documented, with examples to show how events may evolve during the project.  All sections are thoroughly discussed from different viewpoints.  The author offers plenty of tips and the proper context in which to apply them.

If there are any weaknesses in this text, they are the depth and amount of detail given.  The volume of information may frighten novices away from the opportunity to effectively complete their undertaking, even though not all the information is applicable to every situation.  Clarification on what is appropriate for which projects could be a little more straightforward.

Because of a preconceived notion of the purpose of the book and the indicated audience (dummies), I had expected this book to be (un)thorough, incomplete and lacking.  What I found was a book that takes a complicated subject and much needed set of skills and distills them to their essence.

Usually, the books I review are placed in the company library for others to use.  This one is not leaving my office!  The information and checklists are too valuable to lose, even for a short period of time.

Marc A. Feldman

Solvey Interox Inc.