Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Information Technology Project Management (with Microsoft Project 2007 CD-ROM)
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This book gives a good overview of the project management process in general with a focus on Information Technology projects. Though structured like a textbook (and obviously intended as one) the general reader, or someone studying for the PMP exam, could also benefit from the information in this text. Regardless, the book probably functions best as a course text (mostly due to the college textbook price). Each chapter includes definitions, discussion questions, exercises, and suggested readings. And a running case study that simulates real-world use of the principles introduced in each chapter pervades the book's 12 chapters. These cases help bring the material to life and animate the sometimes inevitably dry subject matter of project management.

The structure of the book follows the nine Project Management Knowledge Areas introduced in Chapter 1: Management of Scope, Time, Cost, Quality, Human Resources, Communications, Risk, and Procurement. Each knowledge area receives a detailed chapter of its own (which, in a few places, leads to repetition in the text). The emphasis here, understandably, remains on documentation of IT projects and meeting expectations of stakeholders or customers. Though each chapter briefly discusses the use of software tools for each Knowledge Area, and Appendix A introduces the basic functionality of Microsoft Project 2003.

Techies thinking of making the leap to Project Management will likely benefit most from the Cost and Comunication chapters (though all chapters contain useful information). Programmers and Architects don't typically engage in financial analysis, but Project Managers absolutely must know these money-based terms, tools, and techniques to do their jobs. Not only that, communication often gets taken for granted in IT shops (i.e., the "we have e-mail, what more do we need?" perspective). The book tries to undo some of the bad communication habits that at times seem endemic to IT departments. Human Resources can also provide challenges for coders coming out of their caves, and the chapter on HR covers motivational theories and the basics of dealing with other people on a day-to-day basis (something else Project Managers definitely must excel at). By the end of the book, the message rings out: Project Managers do need some technical skills to succeed, but communication and people skills rise far above in importance for successful management of Information Technology Projects. The book does a good job of delivering that message as well as distinguishing Project Management as a unique skill for IT.

IT workers may or may not agree with the author's somewhat opimistic outlook on outsourcing in chapter 12. More of the sunny side of outsourcing gets emphasized here. The subject remains controversial amongst many IT groups and companies, and the author doesn't seem to give a complete picture of the issue. But some readers may welcome the idea that outsourcing isn't a completely negative concept. Lastly, though the book's title page says "2006", the author doesn't talk about the recent growing trend of Project Management outsourcing for IT projects (some IT professionals may look upon Project Management as a shield against being outsourced; this may become less and less true if this trend grows; but it may not).

The book also includes 2 CDs. One includes a trial version of Microsoft Project 2003, and the other contains "Project Management Simulation Software". So it's possible to put to practice (temporarily, at least) the principles learned in this book in software tools.

Overall, the book presents a good overview of IT Project Management. Some of the more advanced topics, such as Six Sigma and Monte Carlo Analysis, receive cursory treatment due to their massive scope and terminology load. But the book gives good introductions to even complex Project Management principles and practices, and will likely inspire readers to prepare for the PMP exam or to examine futher this unique area of Information Technology Management.
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on August 1, 2003
As one can guess from the price, this book is geared to be used as a text book in a University setting. But almost anyone will find this book extremely useful because the book occupies a unique niche in the market on Project Management books.
There are several project management books out in the market that mostly fall into the following categories - General Project Management, Advanced Project Management, PMP Exam Preparation, and PM Software books. The problem I have had with these books is that there are very few that address IT Project Management and even fewer that use Case Studies throughout. I am in IT Project Management and absolutely require Case Studies to learn any subject thoroughly. Especially a practical subject like Project Management.
This book is perfect for an IT Project Manager because it - covers basic project principles, incorporates the IT view on every topic, has plenty of exercises to prepare for a PM exam (like the PMP or CompTIA's ITProject+), has a very decent section on using Microsoft Project 2000, a 120 day trial version of MS Project 2000 software in case you don't have it, plenty of mini case studies, a real-world running case study of the Northwest Airlines' ResNet project, and an excellent reference list at the end of each chapter. It is clear that the book was aimed at being the perfect reference for any IT Project Manager.
The only downside of this book is that it is very light on all the topics and does not address any advanced topics. But that would have doubled the number of pages in the book and potential been a turn-off to anyone new to the subject. It might not have appealed to an Intermediate level Project Manager either. So I don't feel that this is such a big downside and is actually a positive.
After obtaining my PMP, I came across this book when I was given the opportunity to teach Project Management Part-Time on a need basis at the Austin Community College. They use this book as the required text book for their comprehensive IT Project Management class aimed at those new to the field or those looking to gain a deeper knowledge of IT Project Management. I am glad I received a free copy of this book as I would have normally passed it up as too basic a book (since I already have my PMP). But I now realize that I will benefit tremendously by doing all the exercises in the book and strengthen/deepen my understanding of several Project Management concepts. So my immediate future is going to involve devouring this book.
I hope you too benefit from this book and enjoy using it for any one of the many purposes!
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on June 30, 2001
This book is a truly valuable resource if you meet all of the following criteria: (1) you are either a Project Management Professional (PMP), which is a certification bestowed by the Project Management Institute to individuals who meet rigorous screening qualifications for education and experience and successfully pass a comprehensive examination based on the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), or are seeking the PMP certification, and (2) you or your organization primarily uses Microsoft Project.
For those PMPs and PMP candidates who use other tools this book will still be valuable, but not to the degree it is for the first group.
The book's key strengths are: it completely adheres to the PMBOK, takes a teaching approach, and starts with a case study that is used and expanded as each of the nine PMBOK process areas are introduced and explained. This is a powerful approach to teaching because the PMBOK process areas are introduced in sequence and the exercises at the end of each chapter reinforces the material presented in that chapter. For Microsoft Project users this book also teaches some advanced techniques with that package, and does so in a manner that is wholly consistent with the PMBOK. Moreover, it takes into account the unique challenges imposed by IS projects. As an added bonus the accompanying CD ROM comes with a copy of Microsoft Project 2000 that is fully functional for a 120-day trial period (Appendix A also is a quick guide to this software).
Weaknesses: Many IS shops have development methodologies, such as the Rational Unified Process, in place. Although most methodologies, including the Rational Unified Process, can be aligned to the PMBOK this book does not address how to do this in any detail. Another issue is IS in most of the larger enterprises, especially those with mature project management practices in place, use ABT Project Workbench, which is an enterprise-strength project management tool. This diminishes the value of this book to readers who are used to the more sophisticated features of tools designed for the enterprise.
This book is an exceptionally well written and designed tool for teaching the PMBOK within the context of IS projects. If you fall into the primary audience I described above this is a "must-have" book.
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on January 30, 2006
This book provides an excellent overview of the necessary skill set and processes involved in IT Project Management. Starting with the triple constraint of Project Scope, Time and Cost, you'll learn from real-world examples and case studies what has worked for others.

The next section covers management skills required to work with your team to complete successful projects. The final third part of this book will walk you through every phase of a real-world case study, from initiating and planning a project, to executing and controlling your plan and finally closing a successful project.

Whether you intend to get a job as an IT Project Manager, or you are a self-employed IT consultant or developer, this book will get your feet set on the right path.

As an added bonus, this book may be the only book you need to learn the basics of working with Microsoft Project (depending on the depth you need to know this software). I find myself using Project for personal projects with many milestones and tasks; not just for work-related IT projects.

Finally, if you are looking to earn your CompTIA Project+, this is the book you need. It is also a good study aid in going on to earn your PMP Certification from PMI. The information in this book is very up-to-date.

My only complaint is the price. Like most college textbooks, the price is too high for the knowledge contained within. This book is very good, but it is no better than what could be found in a comparable book priced below $50.

A very good detailed overview of IT Project Management skills and tools that comes at an arrogant price.
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on October 17, 2013
I went back to school for another degree, and this book was required for a project management course. Although it does contain some good information, I found it agonizing to read. Most of it is common sense, and they repeat the same concepts over and over. As far as actual material, you could have cut the book down to 1/3 of its total length without sacrificing content. This may be due to my background in this field, but I found it very painful and repetitive.
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on September 26, 2012
Schwalbe is an academic. Maybe she has real-world PM experience, but she tends to focus on theory and it is hard to get through the material.

She also seems to have a problem with IT people. Interesting, for somebody who claims to be an expert in IT project management. Must make for some tension in the workplace. Some of her ideas are laughable. Like this one: "Non-IT business people are now very savvy with information technology, but few information technology professionals have spent the time developing their business savvy." Generalize much? Since that one had a footnote, I checked it out. It was an article from a decade ago whose sources consisted of the opinions of two IT people. There was nothing in the article at all about non-IT people now being "very savvy" with information technology.

You can find a written resource to back up ANYTHING you say. Just slap a footnote on it and you can give even dull and dubious text the appearance of academic credibility.
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on April 27, 2014
I had to use this book for a class and it is terrible. The information in each chapter is abundant yet barely covers any section. The writing is extremely boring and difficult to read. And this is after I've already completed three other classes in Project Management. The author throws in some basic Microsoft Project introduction stuff. The projects in this book are huge and there is no instruction on how to do them. They talk about the theory of something, and then the project just says do it. No step by step, no building block steps, nothing.
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on December 1, 2001
I used this book as a study guide for the CompTIA IT Project+ exam. I passed the exam. This book is very well structured, organized, and well written. However, it is only a fundamentals overview of IT project management: experienced project managers might find it a good review, but this book would likely fall short of providing you with all the tools necessary to practically implement good project management. Fortunately, the book is riddled with references to provide you with sources of further study. Also, this book only briefly touches on concepts specific to software development. This book is really a general project management book with most of the examples taken from the world of IT, and only a few IT specific concepts.
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on September 14, 2007
Information Technology Project Management is the first book any technical project manager should read. It does a great job of laying out the challenges and tools of technical PM. It provides practical common sense examples as well as good historical anecdotes. This book has no fluff and no superfluous chapters, it's all meat. Even if you have been doing PM for years, this book has something to offer.

Reading and understanding this book cover to cover will get you half way to your PMP certification. You will need to get a PMBOK or a PMP study guide and spend another 2 - 3 months of study. But this book is absolutely the right place to start.
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on March 13, 2004
I agree with most of the reviews in general. I have been using this book as a textbook for a class on Project Management. I enjoy reading the chapters and it gives you a good overview of Project Management and the terms used in it but, that is my issue, it's an overview. I like reading the case studies but frankly I think the assignments at the end of each chapter have many that ask for more detail then the overview content of the book gives. I find this to be an issue with many textbooks. They write the book concisely to cover a whole topic in one textbook hitting the highlights, but write the assignments to be done as if you had been studying the subject in depth.
Case in point: Chapter 11 Exercise 5 on page 357. Draft an RFP (Request for Proposal) for purchasing laptops for all students, faculty and staff at your college or university. use the outline provided in Figure 11-4. List all the assumptions you made in preparing the RFP.
Sounds like a great assignment, with the exception that an RFP is a very detailed document. In the outline it is also suppose to include a Statement of Work ( a document that should be prepared before an RFP) and schedule information. To do this assignment you basically have to dream up an entire project and do previous prep work in order to write an RFP. Also, this outline is the only example of an RFP in the whole book. There is no example of a completed RFP, after all, this is an "overview" book. I have been researching on the net for sample RFP documents. I have yet to find one that even remotely looks like this outline or follows the criteria in this book.
I spend hours and hours every week just doing the prep work to get my head around this random assignments.
This book would have been better had it just made the assignments a case study that built from Chapter 1 on, instead of bits and pieces of this kind of project or that. I think I read in the main review that the book uses NWA as a case study to teach, that doesnt even happen till like Chapter 12 or 13. Did this person really read this book??
I don't mind being taught principles of Project Management but don't just hand me terms and principles and sketchy outline examples and expect me to give you the full blown details of a project that I have to make up mostly out of my own head and hope it's right. Projects are team efforts and some of these things asked for would be the product of a whole team's input not just one person yet in assignments it is just the student doing it all as if they were the whole freaking team. This kind of thing annoys me to no end in textbooks.
I could give more examples but I am already a partially dissenting voice among reviewers. I guess I could sum it up as a good book to have and read but it is a LOUSY TEXTBOOK.
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