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Project Management in the Real World [Paperback]

Elizabeth Harrin
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Nov 2006
Ninety seven percent of successful projects are led by an experienced project manager. But getting experience takes time. Until now. Project Management in the Real World is a short cut to this experience: it summarizes over 250 years' of experience from professional project managers. Presented in a quick and easy to read format, it contains a wealth of knowledge that can be practically applied in a short period of time. Anecdotes and tips are backed up with theory and references, along with case studies from the US, Holland, France, Australia as well as the UK. Filled with snappy, 'how-to' tips and ideas, project managers will benefit from solid, innovative ideas and learn tricks from professionals to help them deliver projects more successfully.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: British Computer Society; Ill edition (1 Nov 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1902505816
  • ISBN-13: 978-1902505817
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 24 x 16.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 812,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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[The author] tries to focus on the use of standards within project management not for their own sake but for the betterment of the project and its delivery. Good comment sense stuff. - Health Informatics Now --Health Informatics Now

About the Author

Elizabeth Harrin is a project manager for AXA and was previously with American Express. A PRINCE2 Practitioner, she is trained in the Six Sigma process improvement methodology as a Black Belt. An alumnus of the universities of York and Roehampton, she currently lives and works in Paris.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read on project management 12 Dec 2008
Elizabeth Harrin has outlined what project management means by highlighting the terms of budgetary constraints, project ownership, project scope, change management, version control, post-project reviews, risk identification, requirements analysis, understanding team culture, stakeholder analysis, motivating the team to keep performance levels high and identifying the project's critical path.

I found the requirements analysis chapter interesting. The Mental Model Mismatch has been included whereby the understanding of what the user requires should be perfectly aligned with the designer's and architect's perceptions provided communication is effective between these three individuals User --Interface--> Designer --Interface--> Architect. The chapter on risk identification is also interesting with a risk impact matrix shown as part of risk assessment. The chapter on stakeholder analysis highlights the importance of mapping each stakeholder interest and influence from where it is currently standing to where it should be taken i.e. Averse-->Uncooperative-->Indifferent-->Supportive-->Enthusiastic.

Harrin has portrayed a well-organised list of important points on what project management is really about. In addition, Harrin discusses certain PRINCE2 processes as well as making those important points more informative by bringing in examples from experience. However, a big part of the various project management methodologies the book addresses appeals to IT professionals from all over the world.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good overview - useful reminders 15 April 2007
A good overview of project management in the real world. The examples are okay and up to date. Not exactly the best book to get to grips with project management as a first timer but useful to read once in post for some time. Nothing new here for experienced project managers. If you've completed a few projects and are perhaps unsure on your next assignment (large or more complex) then this book is probably for you to help you bring more rigour to your project management.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of tips 15 Mar 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has a lot of specific good ideas gathered from a wide range of projects.

It is one of the few PM books coming from an IT organization that focuses more on the soft side of project management than on system development life-cycles. The material addresses the people factors of projects without becoming preachy. Each chapter provides an anecdote as an example, discusses the issue, and provides specific tips and ideas on how to handle the situation.

One rather unique chapter deals with self-promotion and office politics. Much as we hate this aspect of work, it is what it is. There are few texts that pack even a tenth of the useful observations on this subject in their entire volume as this "chapter" - really 4-5 pages - contains into such a small space.

This book differs greatly from Rita Mulcahy's "PM Crash Course", which walks through the PMBOK skills. As the author notes from the beginning - this is not an entry-level text for project managers. It is the kind of book where you shake your head as you go through the anecdotes, thinking "been there, done that"; the proposed resolutions are practical and do-able. Probably the closest analogous text I can think of is "The Project Manager's Survival Guide".

This is a fast read, and written in a fairly entertaining manner. But this is not designed to be read at a sitting and absorbed. Consider it as a job aid when you are in a tricky situation, so you can pull out this book instead of pulling out your hair.

The book is published by a British professional association. Amazon says it may take up to a month to deliver this book and that is about what I experienced.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget the Standards, Focus on the Soft Skills 11 Jun 2009
By Dave Garrett - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In this book, Dr. Harrin teaches the reader what every project manager eventually learns through experience. These are the the bits of advice you don't expect to find in a book, but more of what you would hear from a mentor. So, mentors - give this to the Project Managers who are learning the ropes from you. For those who are just getting started (and are confused and bored by most of the PM books out there), read each chapter and take it to heart. Putting the author's tips into action will allow you to manage like you have 5 years experience after that first year of practice.
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