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The Handbook of Program Management: How to Facilitate Project Success with Optimal Program Management Hardcover – November 15, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (November 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071494723
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071494724
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #347,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Testimonials about The Handbook of Program Management

"Brown's book captures the essential skills of program and project management. It serves as a "how to" guide for those entering the business, as well as a refresher on the skills and attributes for those ready to take the next step. The book effectively defines the leader's role in creating the team culture and environment for success". - Eugene F. Kranz, Apollo 13 Flight Director, Retired Director NASA Space Operations, Author of Failure is not an Option

"Program management is one of the toughest jobs a person can hold ... and James Brown knows Program Management. Here's a chance to learn from the scar tissue of others rather than your own." - Norman R. Augustine, Retired Chairman and CEO, Lockheed Martin Corporation

"Finally, a pragmatic book that shares the secrets behind successful program management. If I was giving one book to program managers this would be it! Any business leader in today's environment of accelerating change will benefit from this book." - Jack Cooper, Former CIO, Bristol-Myers Squibb

I found Dr. Brown's book to be an excellent treatise on the challenges of program management, and, a very good tutorial on leadership principles to assist Program Managers. - General Lester L. Lyles, Former Commander of Air Force Materiel Command

Customer Reviews

For me, the ordering of topics is very logical and the writing is very clear.
Susan Stahl
I point out this difference, but generally I found myself often shaking my head (vertically in agreement, that is) as I read the book.
Rich Maltzman
An outstanding book/reference for anyone associated with Project/Program Management field and a must for all Project/Program Managers.
Shailesh Thakkar

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By B. W. on January 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I've read the book from cover to cover and it's a excellent pragmatic book that explains how to manage both small and large programs. I can easily see myself using this as a reference for many years to come especially when I find myself trying to figure out how to handle one of the many of situations the author describes in his book.

The chapter on attributes of an effective Program Manager was really helpful to me as I was in the process of assigning one of my staff as a Program Manager. When I read the simple to understand attributes it really helped me to focus in on who on my staff could do the role. Additionally, it was an excellent guide for my selected Program Manager to use to understand what my expectations of him was.

The chapter that covered stakeholder management was another excellent chapter that I have sense asked all of my Program AND Project managers to read. I did this because it's an excellent chapter on helping the Program and Project Managers to understand what stakeholders REALLY expect of them. Additionally he goes over the types of stakeholders that you can run into and simple yet effective methods to work effective with them. For example he talks about the meddling stakeholder which all Program and Project managers run into. Here he guides you though why they might be meddling, such as they recently got burned by a prior project or there is a distrust with the organization. In these situations he recommends on involving them through many tasks and details. They want to meddle great jump in the mud, roll up your sleeves and help, otherwise step back and let those truly involved in the project get the work done while properly informing all stakeholders.
Over all this book is a really good and easy read.

I expect to be referencing for many years to come!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jon Frederick Simmel on March 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you are a program manager, or thinking of becoming one, you will want this book. Dr. Brown shares his wisdom on the program management without overburdening you with methodology. In reading the book, I often felt like I was having a discussion about program management with a knowledgeable and experienced colleague.

Dr. Brown clearly knows what he is talking about. His time at NASA seems to have been a large influence on his perspective of programs. There is probably no better place to learn and experience a program management culture. Dr. Brown seeds the book with "scenarios" from his extensive experience to tie a real life event to the topic under discussion.

A couple of things I really liked about the book:

* Dr. Brown is very well-read, and not just on program management topics. He sites authors such as Dale Carnage and Robert Cialdini. He understands the broad set of skills that are needed by a program manager, and he also consistently returns to the importance of people. He has a lot of charts and "tips", but the management of the people is always in the forefront.
* The book is very well laid out - 10 chapters covering the fundamentals. Each chapter contains advice, tips, and useful tools. Dr. Brown does not stress the tools, rather he uses them as examples or methods of achieving the goals. In the risk chapter he has an example of a 5x5 risk matrix, but goes on to say that a 3x3 or 4x4 will work just as well. He stresses that important point is to perform the risk analysis and management, not get caught up in the details of the tools.
* There are several quotes that really hit home. Early in the book he talks about program management being the place where "operations and project management collide.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Susan Stahl on March 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
It is obvious to me that the author spent a lot of time thinking about this book before he started writing it. I bought this book to use as a reference while studying for the PgMP exam and found it to be very helpful for providing another perspective beyond the PMI standard and the exam preparation book that I bought.

For me, the ordering of topics is very logical and the writing is very clear. Where examples are necessary, examples are provided. Where topics are a bit more obscure, Mr. Brown takes the time to provide explanations to help you understand. I really can't find any major faults with this book.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rich Maltzman on January 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I can tell when I like a PM book after I'm done with it, and I don't mean from a kinesthetic standpoint, I mean from a physical standpoint. When a Project (or in this case, Program) Management book gets to me, it has dog-eared corners, drawings, notes, and yellow highlighter marker all over it.

And this book is one of those that has a whole mess of bent corners, drawings (one of which I actually will share with you), and it caused the demise of my trusty yellow marker. May it rest in peace.

Dr. James T. Brown has written the book to which I refer, "The Handbook of Program Management". As you can tell, I like the book even though I disagree with Dr. Brown on some points. One of those points is the title. First: the word "Handbook". This book was better than a handbook, at least how I think of handbooks. It read very well (unlike my stereotype of a handbook which a choppy, reference guide) and was full of "gems" from real example projects and programs. The other word is "Program". While it's of course true that the book focuses on Program Management, my issue is that it is an excellent book for Project Managers, as well. This is covered in the subtitle, "How to facilitate project success with optimal program management". I know it's long, but perhaps that - or some shorter version of it, like "Project Success through Optimal Program Management" - should have been the title! I guess I just don't want to see Project Managers miss out on the good things in this book - and this is one of the reasons I am blogging about it on a Project Management post.

I really liked the way in which Dr. Brown distinguished project and program management.
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