1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
In a welcome book, Sharon de Mascia mediates a wide reservoir of psychological research for the task of improving project success. As she argues in the introduction, our current knowledge on the factors that enable project success is inadequate, but it is well understood that the human factor is key -- and generally underprioritised in project management training.
The book applies a series of well-known techniques, such as MBTI, situational leadership and coaching, to project management. None of this is new material: de Mascia cites freely and accurately so that project leaders who wish to go deeper in a particular area can go straight to the source. What is unique here, though, is that a full suite of evidenced approaches is drawn together to enable project leadership.
This is a welcome move away from some of the more sterile project management approaches, such as the OGC's PRINCE 2 methodology, which emphasise process and governance but take little account of motivation, behaviour and team management.
At 201 pages, this book is inevitably brief. It provides a good, clear overview for each of the topics it addresses. The summary, at the book's close, acknowledges that Project Psychology will be no more than a beginning for many project leaders. It helpfully points the way both to practical development and further reading.
Strongly recommended for project managers wishing to develop into project leaders, and for people with existing leadership skills wishing to deploy them in larger projects.
on 23 July 2012
Every year organisations throw trillions of dollars at projects - the majority of them IT based - only to have somewhere between 40 and 70 per cent of them fail due to human factors. A Google search for Human Resources in project management turns up over two million hits, but in the first hundred, less than a handful actually relate to the impact of human behaviour on projects. And much of this small selection merely applies a few management theories to project teams. So it would seem this book is urgently needed and long overdue.
The book covers the essential psychological theory needed to manage the human aspects of project work successfully and considers a wide range of issues including the challenges of multi-site and remote working, how Positive Psychology can be used to build winning teams and the cross-cultural issues likely to impact multi-national projects. In many ways it is best approached not as a stand-alone volume, but an essential appendix to any technical project management manual.
One of the books biggest strengths is the straightforward language which neatly summarises a wealth of knowledge so that it can both act as an introduction for those unfamiliar with psychology or an "aide memoire" for those with considerable knowledge in this area. Insightful questions throughout the book enable both types of reader to focus on the psychological essentials for successful projects.
Writing a book which is likely to appeal to both HR Specialists and technically trained Project Managers is a skill in itself and De Mascia is to be congratulated on her achievement. Much of what she covers is also likely to be of interest to HR and MD specialists operating in more traditional team development settings.
on 25 March 2012
This is a well rounded and very accessible introduction to a critical area in project management: The people dimension and how psychological models and tools can be used to improve project success.
The project management profession recognises the need for a wide range of leadership competencies (e.g. APM Body of Knowledge). Most of what is presented will be familiar to anyone who has undertaken leadership development programmes, CPD around soft skill competencies, etc. The strength of this book is how it brings together psychological approaches to these competencies in the context of project management. It does this well, provding good insight and awarness to the reader, and provides direction to further reading.
If I have one criticism, and accepting each area is a substantive topic in its own right and may require specialist intervention, it is that more practical and usable content (e.g. tools and checklists)could be presented.
on 18 March 2012
A much needed book that takes us away from the processes and procedures of project management, and brings us to the heart of things.
You can't deliver change without people, and the best changes bring out the best in people. Your team, your stakeholders, your customers - they all have a role.
Throughout the book, the following themes come up constantly; Building relationships and shared ownership. Creating a mutual vision and building understanding. Creating harmonious relationships.
De Mascia advocates and provides advice on achieving honesty, openness, active listening, empathy, respect and self awareness.
For new project managers who have yet to get those battle scars and those who have wounds to lick. For those who want their projects to be successful and sustainable - have a read and get into the psychology of your projects.