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Alpha Project Managers: What the Top 2% Know That Everyone Else Does Not Paperback – February 15, 2016
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This has to be one of the most under produced books I've ever seen. Crowe essentially self-published on his own Velociteach label. It shows. The graphics are third rate and the cover is pretty bad.
But no matter. The information inside is fascinating. Crowe surveyed over 3,000 project managers and their co-workers/supervisors in order to identify the "top 2%" of project managers ("alpha project managers"). He tried to identify PMs who were consistently rated as excellent by the people they worked with and their customers. Once he found them, he zeroed in on their work habits and PM techniques.
Some of the interesting findings:
# Alphas respond to fewer emails/day and spend less time in meetings than non-alphas, yet people rated them as being more responsive than non-alphas.
# Alphas establish explicit communication expectations, and adhere to them stringently.
# Alphas sent much shorter communications than their non-alpha peers.
# Alphas spent twice as much time in the planning phase of their projects than did non-alphas.
# Alphas used informal networks to get things done much more often than non-alphas (who stuck to formal channels).
# Alphas were much more aware or how their bosses were being measured (ROI, etc.) than non-alphas.
Each of these points (and others) are supported with some useful anecdotes from the PMs themselves. Crowe does a good job trying to help PMs understand these habits and apply them to their own work. This is a text which deserves wider recognition and higher quality production in a second edition.
- Attitude and believe
- Focus and Prioritization
- Relationships and Conflict
- Issue Management
For every area you get the insights about the questions and answers from the Alpha and the non-Alpha ones. Based on these answers the study went back to the project managers and the stakeholders to find answers on the why by additional questionnaires and interviews. Every area chapter ends with an overview what the Alphas know. E.g. Communication: the greatest disconnect between the two groups seemed to be that Alphas were generally aware of how their message was being received by stakeholders. Alphas took the time to understand stakeholder needs in advance, and how they tailored communication to meet those needs. The Alpha group made reliable and predictable communications a priority, even going so far as using this as a tool to manage stakeholders. They set the gold standard by making their information not only very clear and highly concise, but also relevant to their audience.
If you, as a project manager, want to improve your performance and you know your own strengths and weaknesses, this book can be of great help to you to take a next step.
Most recent customer reviews
Unfortunately, the Alpha...Read more
I like the structure, where the focus is on what the top 2% does different...Read more