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The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management Paperback – December 6, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

An updated and revised edition of the bestselling guide to managing projects

For any student or professional responsible for coordinating projects among different departments, across executive levels, or with technical complexity, The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management offers the industry's leading guide to delivering on time and on budget. Free downloadable forms and spreadsheets make it easy to implement the most powerful techniques. The book also serves as a valuable supplement for anyone studying for the Project Management Professional certification exam. If you need to learn Microsoft Project, you'll find it to be the perfect brief overview.

Get the step-by-step advice you need to find the right sponsor, clarify objectives, and set realistic schedules and budget projections. This Fourth Edition of the 200,000-copy bestseller now covers important specialty topics, including software and IT projects, agile techniques, and project selection.

Perfect for beginners or experienced managers needing a refresher, The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management is the authoritative guide.

"If you're looking to get the most out of Microsoft Project, it's essential to understand project management best practices. This book does a good job explaining the techniques, leadership skills, and people management skills that drive project success."
––Arpan Shah, Director of Microsoft Project, Microsoft Corporation

About the Author

ERIC VERZUH is President of The Versatile Company, which provides project management training and consulting to thousands of professionals each year. His clients include major government agencies, small and large companies, and nonprofit organizations in such diverse industries as aerospace, health care, information technology, and education.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 4 edition (December 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118073770
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118073773
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Eric Verzuh (Seattle, WA) is President of the Versatile Company. He and his team have spent over twenty years improving project results for all kinds of organizations, including such major corporations as Adobe Systems, Inc., The Boeing Company, GE Capital, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and Nordstrom.

See his free monthly webinars by visiting his website, www.VersatileCompany.com.

He is certified by the Project Management Institute.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Gabriel Young on January 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
As a project management instructor at a state university and someone who has reviewed countless project management books, I only recommend this book if you are looking for an introduction to project management.

Look, I have an MBA and in my opinion, the only `MBA' thing about this book is that it gives you a high-level understanding of a subject matter. Although I believe the best project managers have natural soft skills, having familiarity with terms and tools can save them countless hours to get to the same result. This book provides some of the former but not nearly enough of the latter.

As a result, if you're a PM looking for tools of the trade, look elsewhere (try Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling). If you work with PMs or manage PMs, this is a decent book to give you a basic understanding of the trade. Lastly, if you are studying for a PM certification, this isn't going to help much (try PMP Exam Prep, Seventh Edition: Rita's Course in a Book for Passing the PMP Exam).
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robin Nicklas on December 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
A decade ago, I heard Eric Verzuh speak at a PMI chapter meeting in Seattle and was immediately impressed by his ability to communicate clearly and simply to a broad audience. At that event, he was selling the first edition of this book. Perusing it, I noticed a series of related charts and tables in which Eric had coalesced a Planning Model that takes the project manager from the WBS, through estimating and network diagraming, scheduling, resource allocation and leveling, and finally budgeting. I bought the book on the spot and since then have advised many hundreds of project management students that if they can produce the artifacts in Eric's Planning Model, they are doing what they need to do. In the new fourth edition (December 2011), the Planning Model is summarized on pages 493 to 501.

Each edition of the book brings new discussions of real-world projects and best practices. In the new fourth edition, Alan Shalloway contributes a discussion of agile software development and Terry Schmidt contributes a section on strategic project selection and planning.

The book is comprehensive. It has excellent chapters on stakeholder management and team building. It addresses risk management and progress tracking, including the fundamentals of earned value analysis.

And, for those of you who like templates, there are several sections of ready-to-use templates.

The best thing: a very reasonable price for the value! This book is consistently a top-seller.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Technical Professional on March 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
I am a technical professional writing about Eric Verzuh's book in program management. I read the third addition to his book early in my career and applied his principals to coordinating technical projects. When consulting this book later in my career, I realized that the material he presents is critical to success in any profession that requires the coordination of resources for projects or events.

This book discusses a number of aspects critical to project success, including:

1. The principals of project management
2. Understanding the needs and requirements for different types of stakeholders
3. Critical documents needed for project success, and the reasons they are required
4. A methodology of assessing risks to the project
5. Breaking the projects into manageable tasks
6. Scheduling and estimation
7. Team building and leadership
8. Communication

I personally found his material very helpful. If you have had little exposure to project management training materials, I am confident you will profit from this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Reader on June 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has been a fantastic guide for me in my marketing career. It has helped me in developing project plans, and learning some great tools in new product planning and how to manage it. Fantastic!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Doreen P. Fagiano on April 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has been one of the two required texts for my class Project Management in the Information Age (a 6cr core course NYU/SCPS MS in Management in Systems) for more than 10 years. Eric takes complex concepts and ideas and presents them in a simple easy to understand manner. He maintains a good balance between the hard skills of PM and the soft skills. I highly recommend this book for people who want a straightforward and practical read on project management. I also recommend it to other faculty -- students love this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul Donovan on December 9, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As I took the train to my new PM job, this book proved a good overview and a nice introduction to the basic concepts of the job.
The examples are solid and are easy to relate to. There are many downloadable examples of documents to use and some good tips on using software to help plan and develop projects.
A good start and some very wise advice about risk management.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeff on April 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
A very long time ago (1999) I read (more than once) the First Edition of Verzuh's book. It was a Michelin Green Guide-sized slim 309 pages of no-nonsense practical tips, tools and techniques spelled out in a clear and spartan way. The intent was to immerse the aspiring PM quickly in project fundamentals with a view toward achieving success even for a first timer.

It sold very well (100,000+) and has now become a grown up version of itself.

The fourth edition weighs in at over 500 pages and solidifies the author's heavy weight reputation. Whole companies have trained legions of PMs using his text; scores of universities and certificate granting institutions have adopted it. Even the Project Management Institute (PMI) made the second edition available in oit own bookstore.

So why does Verzuh's approach sell so many books?

He's a straight shooter, tells the great truths with little embellishment and has added what most authors don't: sterling examples of real life practitioners and the premise that to be a successful PM requires combining the Art of project management with the Science of PM. Recognizing that the Science of PM should inform the Art, Verzuh earnestly believes quality project leadership hangs in the balance. He sprinkles key concepts reinforcing this throughout the book.

The latest edition includes free digital templates, chapters on project proposal and selection (an homage to the business case side of PM), modern IT and communications useful to PMs, enterprise wide applications and project portfolio management. There's a straightforward MS Project section in the rear of the book which is perfect for beginner and intermediate users.
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The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management
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