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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2009
I just completed my Project Management class in college, and it is the first time they have used the expanded version of the book (so far as I know). Robert Wysocki knows how to explain concepts deeply and thoroughly...not only will this help you prepare for your eventual PMP exam (you need 3 years Project Management experience to take that exam), but it will help you avoid the common pitfalls related to not choosing the correct management approach.

Right after our finals, I spoke to a student who took this course earlier (with the older version of the book), and he was lucky enough to actually listen to Robert as visiting lecturer for one class. The man is nothing short of brilliant!

This book is fantastic -- one of the true gems of my collge experience. I do have 2 minor quibbles, however:

1) Robert sometimes goes into an explanation that's far too wordy. He does not confuse, but at times he tends to repeat himself -- over and over, for several pages. Not the whole book, just now and then.

2) There are no review questions of any kind. (Not even a quibble for me, but it may be for you.) At the end of each chapter are scenarios to discuss as a group, if you are so inclined. If you are using this for self-study for certification, this will very likely be a real pitfall. However, you could supplement the vast wealth of Mr. Wysocki's real-world experience with one of the exam study/cram books out there.

This is not the book to "cram" for an exam. It discusses terminology and concepts, but goes into great detail about the hows/whys pros/cons of various project management approaches and processes. You must actually read! This book is in no way designed to skim or cram, and you will not be able to do that with this book (unless you already read *this* book and are just reviewing it).

However, if you want to become a good project manager, or improve your practice, this is the best book!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2009
I used Wysocki's 4th edition to teach my MBA courses. But the newest edition 5 is so well-written that I have expanded my use to include both undergraduate and MBA project management courses. The new edition has updated material, more useful examples and cases, plus a series of slides for the instructor. The book takes a complicated subject and breaks in down into so much detail that anyone can absorb the concepts. Nice work on the latest edition Bob!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2009
Wysocki has worked very hard to update his new edition of this landmark text with new scenarios, ideas, and concepts. Sometimes my learners in the MBA courses I teach ask me, "What is an example of 'knowledge management.' " I suggest to them that they look at what Wysocki has done to make explicit what is almost always implicit knowledge within a project manager or director.

Wysocki has provided an exemplary text that provides an incredibly thorough illustration of the elements, processes, and learning objects comprising project management. Moreover, this reference should be prescribed as the overarching framework that every CIO and CKO requires as part of their teams' methods to success.

cheers...michael

Michael JD Sutton, PhD, Asst. Professor
Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business
MBA and BBA Programs
Westminster College
1840 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84105

Office Phone: (801) 832-2563
Fax Number: (801) 832-3106
[...]
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2011
Mr. Wysocki's has really tried hard to blow live in the dry content of PMI PMBOk. It is indeed a very good point that PMI exposition is not the last word about Project Management. However, there are a few things that have to be improved:
- This book should be a multi-volume work, because of the vast concepts covered. Several times, Mr. Wysocki ends an important topic with referring to another book. Concepts like team-building, calculation of project duration, etc are core concepts and have to be discussed in details.
- The concepts has to be clarified with real-life examples. I am surprised that Mr. Wysocki did not include good examples of his own 45+ years PM experience. Moreover, Mr. Wysocki has also mentioned that he has interviewed 10000 Project Managers. It is clear that there are many good real-life examples available.
- His view of Project Management/Business Analyst is unclear and needs more elaboration. The same is also true for Project Management/System Analyst combination.
- Mr. Wysocki introduces 4 PMLCs: Traditional, Agile, Extreme and Emertxe. I do believe that traditional PMLC can be included in Agile. This PMLC is a special case where number of iteration is 1. I have difficulty to envisage a project without goals or solution and without time and finance constraints. All business people that I have met so far are so sensitive about financials and ROI. I believe by addition of another process group to those already defined by PMI, the issue of Extreme and Emertxe can be resolved. Apparently, PMI defined Scoping Process Group does not suffice for this task.
- I found the structure in each chapter confusing. Sometimes I lost the thread and have to go back and forth in order to find out which topic has been discussed?
Readability of this book is much higher than PMBok and I recommend this book to anyone that wish to have an introduction to project management concepts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I just finished reading this book as part of a doctoral course on project management. I already have an MBA in finance. It is not the first book I have read or used for project management (and probably won't be the last). To give some background, I have worked in government, the private sector, and the not-for-profit sector for the last 18 years which has included a variety of projects in often unusual forms. I have managed and/or planned and executed projects ranging from several thousand dollars to tens of millions of dollars.

General Overview
The book is broken down into four parts: Part I: Defining and Using Project Management, Part II: Establishing Project Management Life Cycles and Strategies, Part III: Building Effective Project Management Infrastructure, and Part IV: Managing the Realities of Projects. The subtopics range from a basic discussion on manning a project to a great discussion throughout the book on different models that could be used to manage projects (e.g., traditional, agile, extreme, Emertxe and various subtypes in between). Major topics also include: Establishing a project management/support office, establishing project scope, planning, launching, monitoring, trouble shooting, closing, and portfolio management. There are a number of other smaller topics as well.

The book is written at a fairly easy reading level (e.g., entry MBA level) so students and others can get a grasp of the information. However, the lack of examples and case studies makes it difficult to relate to or internalize. This is a major drawback for readers with limited experience working in this field or working in industry in a management position. I think a main assumption is that students taking a class with this book or readers that are using it as a reference or for professional development have a background in at least a basic course in management and one in organizational behavior. More than one would be better. I don't recommend this book for undergrads due to their lack of experience and the need for them to have a wider breadth of life and course experience which would help them more fully maximize this book's potential.

This book does have several significant benefits but I found it to be lacking in several areas. The advantages include:
1. Scope discussion. The discussion of scope was well done and emphasized throughout;
2. People focus: Focus on having the right people;
3. The role of client participation;
4. The use of project teams;
5. Good (not the best but good) on troubleshooting problems using eight different methods;
6. Tips and tricks that the author has used in his career. These are are good (more would be better, but other books I have don't have this much at all)

There are also a number of major areas for improvement in this book including:
1. Use of acronyms. There is too much use of acronyms. While the acronyms appear throughout. Being someone that works in a world of acronyms it makes the reading harder because you are always trying to remember what they are in the book. Many acronyms become confusing with ones you may be familiar with elsewhere;
2. Discussion on models. There is too much discussion on the models one can use to do a project which didn't leave room for other important topics;
3. Lack of hands on project meat. It seemed that the discussion revolved around everything but actually getting down to business and doing the project. There was heavy emphasis on client involvement, scope, building the team, and roles of players, but not much on scheduling, developing a plan, estimating, risk management, reducing project duration, leadership, and performance measurement. These other topics are discussed, but unlike Gray and Larson (among others), they are not discussed in detail. If I had only had this book to rely on for training or even this book with a post graduate course, I would not feel confident in doing project management.
4. International project management. There was little discussion about international project management;
5. Weak examples. The book examples were weak. They often focused on technology and IT and were very vague. This book needs a wider breadth of examples;
6. Use of case studies. More case studies are needed to improve this book in order to help the reader understand how the concepts were applied in a variety of settings. There is a case study that students may be assigned to do that runs throughout the book on a pizza firm, but it is very vague and far too repetitive to really be of value.
7. Scope change request process. The section on scope change requests was too thin and needed examples to back it up;
8. Lack of examples. There were many cases where the author would refer to a prior discussion on templates and tools but there was little discussion on how these tools actually worked in a business setting with clear examples. Again, there was too much theory and not enough practical examples.

Overall, I was expecting more meat with hands on project management and less theory and repetition on models. Project Management by Gray and Larson is a better book that will provide more meat. I would use this one as a secondary source that focuses on people and models and Gray and Larson's book (not sure what their new edition is) to actually manage a project. Over all, while the author has a lot of industry experience, I found it difficult to connect the information together into a comprehensive project management toolbox. The lack of examples that tie theory to application, the focus on IT projects in the given examples, and too much of a theoretical approach are the primary reasons for giving it a 3.75/5 which may be a little generous.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2010
This is a clear and realistic description of the project management discipline. More for those who want to be or are project managers and project teams than senior management and leadership. Wysocki takes the combined knowledge of the Project Management Institute, layers in modifications/enhancements based on his own decades of experience in the field, and lays out a process to follow regardless of where one is on the project management spectrum.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 25, 2011
I am not a project manager but as an architect I find I am usually managing a project and the team assigned to it. More often than not, a real project manager is not available.

I bought this book to find out what the latest project management best practices are. I own the 4th edition of this book and really liked it.

This book starts out defining what a project is and what project management is and then it covers the PMBOK Process Groups and Knowledge areas in great detail. After that it covers different types of life cycles like Agile, Extreme, and Traditional. He then covers topics like Portfolio Management and Process Improvement.

What I liked most about the book was the detail he goes into. This book contains a vast amount of information. He does a good job of providing summary overviews of what will be covered and then covering it in detail.

I will admit the quantity of information can become overwhelming at times. There is a ton of it.

One of the things I really like is that the author has created accompanying presentations. They are ready to use for training so your Project Support Office could use them for training across your enterprise.

One of my favorite chapters was Managing Distressed Projects. It offers great insight into how projects become distressed as well as great advice on how to get your head above water again.

On a decent size project I prefer to have a good project manager that I can partner with, it just makes the projects ten times more enjoyable. Mainly because I get removed from a lot of the politics.

Notice I said a good project manager above. I have had my share of bad ones and they can make the project pure misery.

I haven't met many project managers armed with the knowledge and the tools found in this book. I wish there were more. If you are a Project Manager, I beg you to read this book. If you are a CIO, Architect, Developer, or any other stakeholder on project large enough to have a Project manager, it would be good for you to read this book so you know what the project manager is working to accomplish during different phases of the project.

All in all I think anyone involved with decent size software development project should read this book. It will definitely help improve your project's effectiveness accomplishing adding business value.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2011
I want to give anyone who is interested in project management a quick synopsis on my background just so you have a base line on where my opinion and evaluation of EFFECTIVE PROJECT MANAGEMENT 5th edition stems from. I hold an MBA as well as a Masters Certificate in project management from George Washington University. I am also a certified PMP. I am the director of logistics for an office that executes an approximate$260 million project acquisition budget annually.

This book IS the VERY BEST explanation and "how to" text on project management I have ever read ..and trust me; I have almost 50 books in my personal library just on project management.

Dr. Wysocki has managed to capture a very easily readable and understandable book full of information that would actually take decades to put together on your own....... If you were lucky. All the info is delivered in the correct order with insights on agile and extreme project management I'm sure even seasoned project managers have not considered.

I could go on and on - but suffice it to say, whether you're a working PM, a newly assigned PM for a big new project or looking for the best possible sources to study for your PMP this IS the book you have waited for. On the subject of studying for your PMP, I would say the only 2 books you need to prep for your PMP exam are EFFECTIVE PROJECT MANAGEMENT -5th edition and; THE PMP EXAM "how to pass on your first try 4th edition by Andy Crowe.

One interesting note.. I have one copy of EPM5 on my desk at work and one copy at home; that's how much I refer to these techniques and processes.

If you want all your friends and colleagues to think you are a project managing genius- all you need is EPM5.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2013
The traditional project management material was ok, but there are tons of books out there that are better. The agile material was geneneral at best, confusing and detracting at worst.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2011
I'm taking a college course on project management for I.T. and this is our textbook. While the book is definitely pretty thorough, it is a chore to read. I understand that a technical textbook isn't meant to be exciting or break literary grounds, but this author is so redundant as to bore you to tears. In any of the first chapters just pick a sentence on any page and you'll find it's repeated on that page at least 3 more times. This makes it exhausting to read.

Don't get me wrong, I've learned from it. So, ultimately, it has done it's job. All I'm saying is that the next few editions could add some newer methods, but they should really consider focusing their efforts on editing and trimming this sucker down.
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