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Reconstructing Project Management [Hardcover]

Peter W. G. Morris
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
RRP: 55.00
Price: 43.40 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

26 April 2013 0470659076 978-0470659076 1
This hugely informative and wide–ranging analysis on the management of projects, past, present and future, is written both for practitioners and scholars. Beginning with a history of the discipline’s development, Reconstructing Project Management provides an extensive commentary on its practices and theoretical underpinnings, and concludes with proposals to improve its relevancy and value. Written not without a hint of attitude, this is by no means simply another project management textbook. The thesis of the book is that ‘it all depends on how you define the subject’; that much of our present thinking about project management as traditionally defined is sometimes boring, conceptually weak, and of limited application, whereas in reality it can be exciting, challenging and enormously important. The book draws on leading scholarship and case studies to explore this thesis. The book is divided into three major parts. Following an Introduction setting the scene, Part 1 covers the origins of modern project management – how the discipline has come to be what it is typically said to be; how it has been constructed – and the limitations of this traditional model. Part 2 presents an enlarged view of the discipline and then deconstructs this into its principal elements. Part 3 then reconstructs these elements to address the challenges facing society, and the implications for the discipline, in the years ahead.  A final section reprises the sweep of the discipline’s development and summarises the principal insights from the book. This thoughtful commentary on project (and program, and portfolio) management as it has developed and has been practiced over the last 60–plus years, and as it may be over the next 20 to 40, draws on examples from many industry sectors around the world. It is a seminal work, required reading for everyone interested in projects and their management.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (26 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470659076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470659076
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 17.6 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 534,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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“Summing Up: Highly recommended.  Upper–division undergraduates through professionals/practitioners.”  ( Choice , 1 February 2014)


Bravo! … a tour de force on the philosophy, methods and practices of project and program management; a feast of PM lore, knowledge and insight… provides the most complete and well–integrated coverage of the evolution of project management written to date… a must–read for teachers, students and reflective practitioners of the art and craft of project management. — Raymond E. Levitt, Kumagai Professor of Engineering, Director, Stanford Global Projects Center, University of Stanford This book has something for everyone – facts, ideas, concepts and theories that will be of interest to students, practitioners and managers alike. Through whatever lens you are looking at project management, whether past, present or future, you will almost certainly find the answer in this book. — Mike Brown, Director of Project and Programme Management, Rolls–Royce plc, Derby For anyone involved in thinking about projects, whether as deliverers, teachers or researchers, this book will fascinate and challenge in equal measure. — Robbie Burns, Regional Director, Western and Wales Region, Infrastructure Projects, Network Rail Every thinking professional in the field should read it; every serious library must contain a copy.  This book confirms Peter’s place as THE world’s leading critical thinker on the increasingly important topic of managing projects. — David L. Pells, Managing Editor, PM World Journal , Houston, Texas  

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, but not an essential purchase 13 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Sadly, the first thing I have to mention when reviewing this book is the price. The publishers want 55 of your hard earned pounds for this book, and it is very hard to see where the costs to justify that price have been incurred. Certainly not in the design - it looks like a text book from the seventies.

Of course the reason the price is so high is that the publishers really don't expect to sell a lot of copies of the book, so need to be able to cover their costs even if fewer than 1000 people buy it. The reason they will be so pessimistic about its sales potential is that, while it is sort of book that is important and valuable, it is not the sort of book that anyone really desperately needs. You will be able to get through a very successful career as a project manager without ever opening the covers of this book.

Given that, you might ask why I have given the book four stars. Because, although you don't need to read it to be an effective project manager, you will become a more thoughtful one if you do. Unless you are an academic, I doubt you really need to bother with the first section of the history of PM (although it is mildly interesting and well written) but the rest of the book is well worth dipping into.

Project management in general tends to be viewed as a rigid set of processes, the point of which is to get the job done (this outlook also applies to far too many project managers of my acquaintance!). The author's approach is one which is much more grounded in the real world. First, he appreciates that the point of project management is not to get the job done, but to deliver value. Secondly, project management is not a body of abstract rational and perfect knowledge but messy and context specific.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Breathing new life into Project Management 16 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Most project management books are cookbooks for the practitioner to implement the same old ready-made recipes. This accessible text by Professor Morris is not that kind of Project Management book.
Project Management has grown bodies of knowledge through practitioners writing what they think are proven best methods. That means the existing bodies of knowledge mainly concentrate on instruments of calculation. This book is a comprehensive manifesto for moving project management out of the machine age and for blending best practices with better theory.
Projects can be unpredictable and deliver wide variations in success, especially at the extremely large such as complex organisational change. This demands that we look at the foundational assumptions and broader cross disciplinary approaches that the contemporary project leader needs that Professor Morris advocates.
I recommend this book to all project managers prepared to think radically about needed reforms to our craft. I am a senior programme director responsible for methods development across a range of major Information Systems change programmes in a global corporation. Viewing this book from a practice perspective I value Professor Morris' analysis and proposals for reform. The messages are pertinent to the present and future of programme leadership and to achieving greater project effectiveness; especially through enabling people to perform in more highly effective teams.
The diversity of influences on project management from sector, enterprise, business unit and programme drive our techniques much more than the bodies of knowledge address. This means a much more diverse and practical range of leadership models are called for.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dissecting & summarising PM methodologies 7 Oct 2013
By Gaurav Sharma VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Projects in all sectors of the economy, large or small, need careful planning and consideration. Over the years, project management has evolved considerably to become a crucial standalone genre of management studies. Perhaps unsurprisingly, literature on the subject has mushroomed. Industry veteran and UCL academic Peter Morris has lent his thoughts via this book, which though intentioned as an academic text - is not bland and dry like some other titles vying with it for attention.

In a book of over 300 pages split into four parts and 22 chapters, Morris has offered his take on project management techniques, modes and methodologies drawing on lessons from the past, current discourse and ongoing trends to chart the road ahead. Part I of the book (Constructing Project Management) discusses the history of modern project management and how it evolved into a standalone discipline. Invariably among the sub-components, oil & gas projects come into view and Morris does justice to the sector by flagging it up early on in one of the chapters. The author then moves on to discuss the development of project management methodology and standards such as, but not limited to PERT, CPM, APM, PMBOK. In order to contextualise and substantiate his thoughts, there are case studies aplenty.

Moving on to Part II (Deconstructing Project Management), Morris discusses management principles, governance and most importantly the impact (and facets) of risk, governance, people and procurement. Part III (Reconstructing Project Management) sees the author come into his element, offering his take on the context and character of project management as we know it (or we think we know it) and join the dots to organisational performance.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars PM Fundementals
Reconstructing Project Management by Peter W.G. Morris is a weighty text book covering the history and development of modern Project Management fundamentals. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything that you needed to know about project management
If a definitive text in project management is what you are seeking, as was I, then I have a feeling you need look no further than this volume by Peter Morris, a recognised expert... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Mr. A. C. Thorne
4.0 out of 5 stars Serious stuff
Alan Sugar's self promotional TV show dressed up as 'edutainment' (The Apprentice) has quite a bit to answer for regarding current British perception of the terms 'Project Manager'... Read more
Published 13 months ago by elmsyrup
5.0 out of 5 stars Text book for PMP Certification EXCELLENT
# can be used, along with separately available additional case studies and the Project Management Body of Knowlege, to self study for Project Management Institute PMP Certification... Read more
Published 13 months ago by artemisrhi
3.0 out of 5 stars Big Price for Project Management
This is a thorough project management book that you can extract a lot of value from so even if you spend 50 on the book, it might save you thousands! Read more
Published 14 months ago by Mr. William Oxley
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting survey
This is not a book about how to be a project manager and I would imagine that its target audience is quite small.
The book is quite pricey. Read more
Published 14 months ago by The Emperor
3.0 out of 5 stars Far from essential
I totally agree with the other reviewer about this text. Normally books of this price have a certain feel and look about them, whereas this one seriously gives the impression that... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Kris
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