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5.0 out of 5 stars HR Skills a Handy Reference for PMs, 5 Oct 2011
This review is from: Human Resource Skills for Project Manager (Human Aspects of Project Management) (Paperback)
Broken down into seven chapters tackling areas such as communication, conflict and negotiation; Verma talks briefly about methods and topics for consideration although nothing groundbreaking and often quite light of interrogation. However, Human Resource Skills for the Project Manager tackles important subjects within project management by bite-size chunks of overview - ensuring the reader understands the context and interpretation before leading into (again) bite size but very poignant subject matter.

The first chapter covers communication, which can be overlooked, such as how to phrase; verbally, written format and body language, touching on NLP. Verma encourages readers to use a pragmatic approach to comms, such as balancing exactly how often project review meetings should be scheduled (tempting to photocopy some parts and leave on a few programme / project managers' desks I know); Finally, it focuses on listening drawn from effective relations with peers and reading the person - not just talking at them. This could quickly become a useful reference book for a number of leaders in the field of project management, as it's like a handy reference book. Unfortunately those who it is aimed at will probably feel they are already good communicators as "the work gets done".

I am not going to give a breakdown of each chapter as this defeats the object as you, the reader, picking it up to read. Instead I am going to highlight a few areas of particular interest to "whet your appetite" and summarise.

I particularly enjoyed reading about dealing with conflict and how to plan ahead of controversy - Verma digs a little deeper with this element and certainly encourages a pragmatic approach to resolving and knowing when to cut your losses. In doing so, it's recommended that one takes a common sense approach while reasoning with risks and promoting that pragmatic approach.

Managing stress also deserves a visit, as again Verma actually takes into consideration an all-encompassing viewpoint which leads you to consider the bigger picture.

This book is one of the few books based on "human aspects" in project management, which manages to consider an overview whilst gently probing your actual situation or working environment and offers some clear and workable solutions to pressing issues whilst also giving a constant "nudge" to keep it real. A pleasure to read rather than a bore - this book deserves a visit from all who work within the project environment as it offers perspective and a refreshing, while not overbearing, viewpoint. This is volume two - now I want to read volume one!

ABOUT OUR REVIEWER: Nicola Caswell-Thorp is a Project Management Recruitment Consultant for Arras People, the project management recruitment people.
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