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Visualizing Project Management: A Model for Business and Technical Success (with CD-ROM) 2nd Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471357605
ISBN-10: 047135760X
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"[The authors'] technical skill and work-environment experience are abundantly apparent in the real-world methodology they bring to the study and understanding of the importance of project management to the success of any organization." -From the Foreword by Norman R. Augustine Chairman of the Executive Committee Lockheed-Martin Corporation Effective project management is an essential skill in virtually every professional and technical setting and, like any skill, it is best mastered through the right combination of in-depth, expert training and hands-on experience. Visualizing Project Management, Second Edition is today's best resource for both. Delivered by a trio of authors whose combined project management experience is unequaled in the field-a team that has been an integral part of the development of project management from the 1950s to the present-the processes and techniques in this landmark book have been confirmed through the experiences of over 30,000 working project managers and over 100 corporations. Profound in its simplicity yet unique in its completeness, the integrated approach presented in Visualizing Project Management focuses on the four essential elements of project management: 1. Common Vocabulary Terms and jargon are defined as they are introduced, minimizing the vocabulary problems that can lead to conflict and undermine otherwise successful teamwork. 2. Teamwork Each of the fundamentals of real teamwork-from common conduct to shared rewards-is discussed, along with strategies to strengthen this vital component. 3. The Sequential Project Cycle Valuable lessons are provided to enable you to develop a template for project-unique tactics as well as achieve project-to-project continuity. 4. Management Elements The authors provide all the techniques and tools you need to guide a project to its successful conclusion-the achievement of stated objectives, within budget and time constraints. Visualizing Project Management shows you how to breathe life into each of these inanimate project elements. The result is a working guidebook for total project management success-and a tangible model for moving your organization and career forward into the exciting new millennium.

From the Back Cover

"The authors' technical skill and work-environment experience are abundantly apparent in the real-world methodology they bring to the study and understanding of the importance of project management to the success of any organization."-From the Foreword by Norman R. Augustine. Chairman of the Executive Committee, Lockheed-Martin Corporation

Effective project management is an essential skill in virtually every professional and technical setting and, like any skill, it is best mastered through the right combination of in-depth, expert training and hands-on experience.

Visualizing Project Management, Second Edition is today's best resource for both. Delivered by a trio of authors whose combined project management experience is unequaled in the field-a team that has been an integral part of the development of project management from the 1950s to the present-the processes and techniques in this landmark book have been confirmed through the experiences of over 30,000 working project managers and over 100 corporations.

Profound in its simplicity yet unique in its completeness, the integrated approach presented in Visualizing Project Management focuses on the four essential elements of project management:

1. Common Vocabulary: Terms and jargon are defined as they are introduced, minimizing the vocabulary problems that can lead to conflict and undermine otherwise successful teamwork.

2. Teamwork: Each of the fundamentals of real teamwork-from common conduct to shared rewards-is discussed, along with strategies to strengthen this vital component.

3. The Sequential Project Cycle: Valuable lessons are provided to enable you to develop a template for project-unique tactics as well as achieve project-to-project continuity.

4. Management Elements: The authors provide all the techniques and tools you need to guide a project to its successful conclusion-the achievement of stated objectives, within budget and time constraints.

Visualizing Project Management shows you how to breathe life into each of these inanimate project elements. The result is a working guidebook for total project management success-and a tangible model for moving your organization and career forward into the exciting new millennium.

An Integrated Approach to Results-Oriented Project Management

Better . . . Faster . . . Cheaper . . .

Today's take-no-prisoners competitive environment has made this the project management mantra for 2000 and beyond. Enlightened project managers know: Unless you can identify accurately the correct benchmark and correctly isolate how to surpass it, your organization will succeed only in producing a better, faster, cheaper failure.

The bestselling Visualizing Project Management first set the standard for effective project management in 1996, and introduced models that have been adopted by over 100 leading government and private organizations. In this Second Edition, the authors have revised the tools and techniques that changed the foundations of project management in order to help you better understand, compete, and win in today's lightning-fast global business arena.

A few short years ago, the insights and ideas in Visualizing Project Management invented the wheel. Now, its pioneering authors refine your understanding of the project management wheel, as they simplify and clarify the complexities of project management and system engineering.

Also includes a dynamic CD-ROM-Visual Project Management (Visual PM)-providing an interactive software version of the book's revolutionary process model, a guided tour of a commercial project cycle, vocabulary definitions, sample document templates, and more.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 355 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (April 24, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047135760X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471357605
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,848,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I received this book as a gift from a colleague/mentor who insisted that I read it. Since I had never been a project manager I glanced through it and stuck it on a shelf where it collected dust. One fateful day I was tasked with producing a project plan and, in a panic, called my mentor who reminded me that the answers to my frantic questions were in the book. Although I was under pressure and in no mood to read a book I gave it a shot.
This is where the value of Visualizing Project Management became apparent. I was able to follow the step-by-step procedures outlined in the book to produce a work breakdown structure (something I didn't know existed), determine dependencies and perform supportable estimations for time and resources. By the time I was ready to plug the tasks into Microsoft Project I had a clear idea of what needed to be done, and a realistic estimate of time and people required. In essence I was using this book as a guide for planning my first project. Each step of the way I was gaining self-confidence while methodically laying out a project that accounted for all necessary tasks and their deliverables, and could be supported from a traceability and cost-estimating relationship viewpoint.
Along the way I learned how to control the project once it was initiated, which was something I had not considered when I was first tasked with planning it. Bear in mind I was simultaneously reading this book and planning my first project, so I am probably not a typical reader. Taking this into account what I liked most about this book is the step-by-step approach to project management. The approach is logical and highly visual (hence the title). Each step, from initial planning to scheduling to controlling the project was put into context and clearly explained.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book explains how to plan, schedule and control projects the right way, starting with a workbreakdown structure through to managing schedule and cost using earned value. While there are other books that do this, Visualizing Project Management presents this information in an easy-to-read and easy-to-understand manner. One of my favorite parts of the book explains how to use "cards on the wall" to portray dependencies and sequence, which is the basis of a good schedule. I also liked how earned value project management is presented. If you want a book that shows in a straightforward manner how to plan and estimate a project with confidence (versus firing up MS Project and starting with a Gantt chart that will aomost surely result in cost and schedule overruns because you did not think through the basics), then this is the book to get. Moreover, if you want to understand how to correctly schedule a project after it has been planned and estimated (using MS Project or your favorite tool), then Visualizing Project Management is must-reading. This book also explains in an easy-to-understand maner how to control a project; i.e., what you need to do in order to proactively manage to budget and schedule. I have purchased 8 copies of this book over the years as gifts to colleagues who were assigned to manage projects - each person loved the book.
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Format: Hardcover
Starting with a work categorization structure through to managing schedules and cost using earned values, this book clarifies the right way to plan, schedule and control projects. The authors clearly explain what needs to be done in order to take the hands-on approach in managing to budget and schedule.
This book also explains in an easy-to-understand fashion the concept of earned value project management. This section that should be considered as mandatory reading by all involved in project implementation. Also don't miss the section on project vocabulary, reiterating the need for clear and understandable communication among all participants.
A key mistake that is constantly made in project management is the assumption that one needs immediately start producing Gantt charts with Microsoft Project from the inception. A far better approach, as outlined by the authors, would be to use the "cards-on-the-wall" method to illustrate roles, sequences and dependencies, forming the basis for a good basic project plan. This results in a well-organized basic plan, which has a far greater chance of success and meeting budgets. There is still ample time to introduce the Gantt chart schedules from Microsoft Project, but as a part of the process.
There is an accompanying CD-ROM that has an excellent presentation of the "spiral" model opening onto the authors' "Vee" model that shouldn't be missed. More visual exhibits that give emphasis to concepts presented in the book are there as well.
Visualizing Project Management should be considered as must reading by not just project managers, but those involved in change control and IT personnel in general.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Rarely do I read a book that is weighty in its simplicity while being exhaustive in its subject treatment. Visualizing Project Management succeeds where many have failed.
The book focuses on the five common elements of every successful project: a common vocabulary, teamwork, a plan, leadership and management.
Starting with the project requirements, it details the correct way to plan, schedule and control projects. These elements do not naturally occur, particularly in complex technical projects. The techniques and tools presented are applicable throughout the project lifecycle.
The book is full of illustrations, which clarify the techniques being discussed. The best idea I found book was the Cards on the Wall technique, which calls for each team member to attach each WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) to a wall and interconnect the dependencies with yarn. The resulting interaction, I found, encourages group thinking and project buy-in, while anticipating the unanticipated.
There is also a great section on Earned Value, a powerful and effective tool for the early detection of slippages and cost overruns. As the authors correctly note, "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it."
Aspiring project managers and executives responsible for supervising it in their organizations should read this book. It will help them successfully understand and apply the project management process in their pursuit of "better, faster, and cheaper."
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