- Series: McGraw-Hill/Irwin Series Operations and Decision Sciences
- Hardcover: 415 pages
- Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (November 17, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0077356454
- ISBN-13: 978-0077356453
- Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.9 x 10.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 22 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Managing Projects: A Team-Based Approach with Student CD (McGraw-Hill/Irwin Series Operations and Decision Sciences) 1st Edition
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You're inundated with it from the very beginning. Instead of outline what kind of person a project manager should be, or what makes a good human being in the first place, you're given a bunch of tools without an appreciation for why you would ever want to use them, or how they'd improve on common sense. Every chapter has a half dozen or so acronyms, a couple of matrices / 2D graphs (imagine if SWOT had a bunch of kids and its kids had a bunch of kids...), and two or three long bullet point lists (now class, let's brainstorm what makes a good leader). It's hard to imagine that the textbook authors believe their own words; do they really use all these acronyms? I'd hope not.
Much of the content is common sense, packaged under the pretenses of "project management." It's like hiring a tutor on how to breathe; is it really necessary? Couldn't you figure it out otherwise? It's like how water bottlers draw from tap water yet claim their water is more nutritious or tasty than the others - you shouldn't fall for the trickery.
The book is very much geared toward financial considerations; the half-hearted attempts at "diversity" (namely, mentioning non-profit causes) feel like a convenient excuse to return to neverending calculations of net present value. The authors seem to prioritize making a buck over making an impact.
The book also makes some pretty bold and controversial assumptions about human psychology - assumptions that may be disproven with further research. It makes, for instance, the extreme claim that presenting a more difficult proposal before a more reasonable one is more likely to get the reasonable one approved. This "fact" is based on blanket assumptions about how humans behave (universalizing a culture-specific anecdote). And perhaps more troubling, it sees team members as pawns to be manipulated - not trusted, but misled and misinformed. It's a cynical approach for a supposedly team-focused book to take.
I don't find the book to be particularly well-written either; it feels stale and lifeless. If they were presenting more valuable content that might not be a problem, but they're talking about truly yawn-inducing concepts.
Not everything needs to be turned into an acronym. Common sense need not be written down and sold for ransom prices. But more importantly than all these quirks and frustrations, the book lacks a soul. It fails to present a cohesive narrative of Project Manager, the person. It leaves out the most important details - the bigger context of how the pieces fit together. It gets lost in the specifics, the particular techniques, the exact methods. It lacks context.
Don't buy this book.