Book Image

Effective Project Management - Eighth Edition

By : Robert K. Wysocki
Book Image

Effective Project Management - Eighth Edition

By: Robert K. Wysocki

Overview of this book

There are so many things that can fail in a project. Failure to complete on time or maybe failure to stay under budget. Many projects fail to deliver a viable product that satisfies the needs of the customer. These and a multitude of other failures are usually the results of poor project management. Although there are many methods for managing projects, most are inadequately understood. Effective Project Management, Eighth Edition will teach you to use the most up-to-date tools and methods for project management. The book begins by explaining the project management landscape by answering questions, such as ‘what is a project’ and ‘what is a collaborative project team’. Then you’ll learn about traditional project management and its fundamentals as most would understand it from casual conversations and experiences. The final chapters give an in?depth presentation of the contemporary world of project management and five PMLC models, including hybrid project management. By the end of the book, you’ll have learned several techniques and best practices to successfully manage your project and avoid pitfalls.
Table of Contents (12 chapters)
End User License Agreement
APPENDIX A: Terms and Acronyms
APPENDIX C: Case Study: Pizza Delivered Quickly (PDQ)
APPENDIX D: Cited References

Why I Wrote This Book

I am passionate about helping the entire project management community from their time as a student, to the novice practitioner, to the seasoned veteran. My goal is to prepare the student with the skills they will need to take a practical position when it comes to managing projects. Rather than following a pre‐specified project management model, I want the practitioner to think about the project, to consider its unique characteristics, to understand and adapt to the organizational culture and environment, and lastly to consider the market in which the deliverables will have to compete. To take all of this into consideration and to craft the best‐fit management approach is a unique challenge. We claim that projects are unique. They will never be repeated under the same set of circumstances and conditions. So, shouldn't we expect that their management approach would also be unique? You should because it is but you will need the tools, templates, processes, and skills and to be able to align them so you can effectively manage that uniqueness and deliver the expected business value. That is my calling. This book is my contribution to that effort.

I believe a number of professionals and practitioners are looking for some help. I am trying to fill their needs with this book. When scheduled training is not available or practical, my book can help. It is written to be studied. It is written to guide you as you learn about and practice effective project management. It is written to be a self‐paced resource. And most important of all, it is written to be applied out of the box to any project. Let it be your companion through the entire project life cycle.

On a more altruistic level, I have four reasons for writing this eighth edition:

  • I've learned more about complex project management since the publication of EPM7e in 2013. Experience with my clients has made me rethink how we should explain the ever‐changing discipline of project management and how we should approach the education and training of project managers. EPM7e did a good job of that. However, there is much more to be said, and EPM8e fills that gap.
  • To come to the rescue of the discipline of project management. I believe that it is seriously out of alignment with the needs of our businesses. Project managers are trapped and need some alternatives and a working knowledge of their use. The high failure rates of projects are evidence of that misalignment. The problem is that project management is the hammer, and all projects are seen as nails. This is a one‐size‐fits‐all approach to project management, and it simply doesn't work. The nature and characteristics of the project must dictate the type of management approach to be taken. Anything short of that will fail. As I have already shown, projects have fundamentally changed, but our approach to managing them has not changed much. We need a more robust approach to project management—one that recognizes the project environment and adapts accordingly.
  • To further document the Adaptive Project Framework (APF). APF is really a hybrid that takes the best from TPM and xPM. It is an Agile approach that works for all types of projects rather than just for software development projects as do most other Agile approaches. It reaches across the gap between projects with a clearly defined goal and solution and projects where the goal and the solution are not clearly defined. The work that I report here is a work in progress. APF has been updated to the ECPM Framework and presented in Chapter 14, “Hybrid Project Management Framework,” and adopted as the de facto Agile model for several large and small companies. By putting it before my colleagues, I expect that others will contribute to its further maturation and application.
  • My challenge to offer a practical how‐to guide for project managers in the management of all of their projects. My style is applications‐oriented. While the book is based on sound concepts and principles of project management, it is by no means a theoretical treatise. It is written from the perspective of the practicing project manager—me. I offer it to you to be your companion and to be used.

EPM8e was written for four distinct markets: the education market, the training market, the consultant market, and the practitioner market. It has been successful in all four. In this respect it occupies a unique position in the literature of project management.

Education Market

I have maintained a database of all those faculty and institutions that have adopted the EPM materials and with whom I have had e‐mail contact. That database numbers more than 300 adopters. A number of educators have shared their experiences with me. To them I owe a debt of gratitude. I've tried to incorporate their suggestions as best I can. The resulting book is much better because of their inputs. On the EPM8e website ( are files containing a set of slides for each chapter and a collection of class, team, and individual exercises I have used and recommend to you. These are comprehensive and may be modified to meet your specific needs. I encourage you to use them and adapt them to your training and education environment. If you have a need for other training materials to support your project management or business analyst curriculum, please contact me at [email protected].

Training Market

In addition to many adoptions in the higher education market, EPM7e is also used in many training programs and corporate universities. EPM8e will continue to serve that market. All of the instructional materials available to the educator apply equally well to the trainer. I have successfully offered a number of variations of the EPM8e content in training programs of all lengths and configurations. I would be happy to share my experiences with any interested parties. You can reach me at [email protected].

Consultant Market

EPM8e is unique. It is one of the few project management books that simultaneously met the needs of the educator/trainer and the consultant/practitioner. These markets are very different. The business model suggested that the educator/trainer market was much larger than the consultant/practitioner market and so there was a distinct bias in the approach of EPM7e.

EPM8e restores balance to those two markets. That is the primary reason for including the Hybrid Project Management Framework. It is designed to meet the challenges of effectively managing any complex project. These projects account for about 80 percent of all projects worldwide but an effective process for designing a best‐fit Project Management Life Cycle (PMLC) Model has not been forthcoming until EPM8e.

Practitioner Market

EPM1e was written for the practicing professional but when it was published in 1995 I didn't realize the journey that I was starting. More than 20 years have passed and I have maintained my allegiance to those professionals. They are constantly challenged to master the complex and ever‐changing world of projects. On this journey I have added the educator and trainer to my audience. EPM8e has proven its value.