Most helpful critical review
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Easy read, but limited scope
on March 31, 2013
This book is easy to read, rather entertaining, simple and to the point. This is of course good for a book aiming to be practical and applicable. To this extent, "Project Management for Profit" has achieved its goal.
Practitioners will probably enjoy Parts 2 and 3. It systematically lays out in simple terms what is already known by reasonable PMs.
Part 2 presents how to organize a reporting system indicating timely and accurately your project's current completion and spending status. The system introduced is simple, robust and down to earth.
Part 3 of the book introduces how to create documentation and to communicate around notions developed in Part 2. Again, this is presenting simple and practical tools.
So, will all Project Managers enjoy the book? Well, in my opinion, probably not!
Let's go back to Part 1.
The first part of the book presents as a revelation the necessity to have, in order to manage properly a project, a clear vision of current spending and current job completion. I wonder which PM needs this book to discover this truth! Even the most in-experienced PM or even a student with the most basic PM training should have gleaned this fact of life. Also presented as a big secret being disclosed, profit generated by a project is not directly proportional to the spending! Anyone who needed this book to discover that should have been removed long ago from any managerial position.
Likewise, in my views, the reporting system described is basic and can be easily developed without this book (if not already done by any PM who wants to keep visibility on his project). It is simple tracking and accounting. The communication system described in Part 3 is also relatively classical. Transparency, team involvement and accountability are not really new in a PM's tool box.
More worrying, "Project Management for Profit" ignores many topics of importance regarding profitability, such as cash flow management (how to generate profit if the project is bankrupted soon after starting) and indirect costs (overhead, insurances, currency risk, agency costs, etc.), just to list the most obvious. Some of the anecdotes presented are obviously oversimplified - too bad for the learning experience! In this respect, the book is obviously not for beginners, as it might trap them by its reduced scope and oversimplification.
No other aspects of project management are developed in the book (time management, risks, etc.), which might be a choice by the authors, in order to put more focus on their main message.
I have a mixed impression of this book. Messages are clear and simple, and presented in an easy way, pleasant to read. But, this book throws basic truisms at readers as if they were extraordinary ground breaking information, and presents the simplest tracking system as if it was rocket science. Who should read this book? The level of PMs targeted by this book is below any reasonable professional standard regarding costs and cash flow recognition. It could save you time if you are about to start your first ever project, or gives you an easy read, reinsuring about what you already know if you have more experience.
I gave 3 stars because it is not a bad book. It just has a limited scope and some overstatement in its presentation.