Top critical review
70 people found this helpful
on 28 September 2010
I bought this book as part of my preparation for the PRINCE2 exams, and read it in conjunction with the PRINCE2 for Dummies book.
Let's be honest, this book is dull - because the subject matter it covers is fairly dull, too. There is nothing exciting in learning about the structure of a Communication Management Strategy or in dissecting the finer points of the Controlling a Stage process. But it covers the material you need for the exams and that, in my opinion, is the main reason why people would buy it. Failing that, you might need it to refer to to from time to time, if your company/client uses PRINCE2 and you don't want to carry this stuff around in your head.
So is it the book or the material it contains that is to blame? In my opinion, it's both, really. This version of the manual is better than previous versions, but that's not saying much. The chapter on quality is dire and confusing and it's perfectly possible to read sections without a single word sinking in. There are, however, some good features, including the Responsibility Matrices at the end of each chapter.
Just as you wouldn't pick up an encyclopaedia and read it from cover to cover, don't attempt to do so with this book - it just doesn't work that way, and you'll be asleep by Page 12.
Similarly, neither this book, nor the PRINCE2 method in general, will tell you how to handle your prime contractor walking out on a job or deal with a stroppy programmer who is behind with his work. But it does tell you how to organise things in general and given that PRINCE2 is still widely used on UK Public Sector jobs, it's pretty much an essential qualification over here. But don't think that knowledge of this book (or the exams) will make you a good Project Manager - for that, you'll need to look elsewhere.