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The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management: Quick Tips, Speedy Solutions, and Cutting-Edge Ideas





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About the book:

Until the early 90s, Project Management was definitely located somewhere near the unsexy end of the business spectrum. But now with the rise of downsizing and outsourcing it has become one of the hot disciplines. Professional membership of the U.S.-based Project Management Institute has quadrupled in the last decade and Microsoft claimed recently to have over two million users worldwide of its project management software. The reasons for this growth are simple. Project management is about managing "projects", that is one-off pieces of work (as opposed to on-going operations). Downsizing, outsourcing and the accelerating pace of change have meant that increasingly work is carried out on an ad hoc, one-off project basis. Publisher John Wiley has cannily spotted this and has now added Project Management to its "Fast Forward" MBA series. It is designed as an advanced textbook for businessmen with a grasp of the basics and insufficient time (or inclination) to go back to school to learn more. Written by Eric Verzuh, president of the Versatile Company, a leading project management consultancy, and co-author of Accelerate Your Career as a Project Manager, this is not a heavy academic text.

Like the rest of the series it is designed to let the reader extract maximum information in minimum time. There is a strong use of graphics with tables, charts, cross heads and bullet points. Important passages are flagged in bold or emblazoned with the words "key concept." When you read it, you realise that there is nothing magical about project management, just the application of careful common sense. The book covers all the basic stuff like planning, time tabling, quantity and price estimation, resource allocation and scheduling. But it also acknowledges that there is inevitably a political dimension to every project, no matter how small. So it has important sections on how to ensure that all the stakeholders in the project are kept "on board" and the importance of communications.

As Verzuh states in his introduction: "Every project participant from part-time team member to executive sponsor, becomes more effective once he or she understands the basics of project management." Really this is a book about management that every manager should read, whether they have a project or not. --Alex Benady

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