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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good clear writing - useful second textbook, 21 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Project Management (Paperback)
When reviewing a work like this one must consider the various audiences that may encounter it. I mainly have in mind the requirements of student learners - those completely new to project management - but also those engaged in project management on a day-to-day basis who may occasionally have need of either a reference work to refresh on basic techniques or other, possibly more advanced, material that will help them clarify thinking when faced with a particular problem. In some respects the needs of these two groups are contradictory. However the underlying body of thought is not totally exclusive to each and therefore it should be possible to produce a work which could satisfy the needs of both these audiences. The constraints of book publishing (size, linearity, audience passivity) and the need to keep volumes within a reasonable size may well make the production of such a work in book form practically very difficult. Perhaps in the future the intelligent use of all available media, in conjunction with the book, may make such a goal achievable at last.
On approaching this particular book I am immediately struck by the clear writing. The prose flows easily through the topics making for an easy read. No doubt the un-fussy yet thoughtful typography contributes to this.
Most of the basic topics within project management are well addressed. Someone new to the field will also be guided by the in text chapter outlines and the summaries which are presented at the end of each chapter. The overall structure of the book is clear and corresponds well with the evolution of the project life cycle.
Much of the emphasis is on the strategic element of the project management activity. This is not to say that the day-to-day activities of project management aren't discussed. Rather one gets the sense for this book that the most effective project manager should be conscious of why things are been done as opposed to how things should be done most efficiently, which seems to be the emphasis of most other general project management texts. For this reason I would say this book was ideally suited to existing, that is already trained, Project Managers, or general managers who are not project specialists. Much of the discussion pre-supposes some degree of existing business knowledge and consequently I do not think the majority of undergraduate students new to project management would feel comfortable with the level of this book.
The work also has some minor drawbacks. The work makes extensive use of the explanatory or metaphorical graphics (although not to the same dramatically successful extent as Visualizing Project Management by Forsberg, Mooz and Cotterman). Although this is certainly a welcome trend some of the graphics presented are in fact pointless or are insufficiently specific to make any real impact.
On the whole a good "second text".
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Project Management
Project Management by Dr Harvey Maylor (Paperback - 25 Mar 1999)
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