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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Readable, broad, helpful common-sense business advice
As you might expect from the usually excellent "For Dummies" series, this is an excellent, common-sense led summary of the world of project management.

In general it feels more carefully aimed at people who might be becoming project managers for the first time, though there's some sound advice to be had here even for people who think they'll know it all...
Published on 5 May 2011 by Mr. Stuart Bruce

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book should be quarantined.
I genuinely hated this book. It's well written and presented in the classic Dummies way but boy was a glad to put this thing down.

I know now that projects should have a scope of work which should outline a projects goals, provide an overview of what resources and timings are needed and absolutely no-one will ever read a word you put down.

I learned...
Published 4 months ago by Drew


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Readable, broad, helpful common-sense business advice, 5 May 2011
By 
Mr. Stuart Bruce "DonQuibeats" (Cardiff, UK) - See all my reviews
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As you might expect from the usually excellent "For Dummies" series, this is an excellent, common-sense led summary of the world of project management.

In general it feels more carefully aimed at people who might be becoming project managers for the first time, though there's some sound advice to be had here even for people who think they'll know it all already. Indeed, if my boss had followed some of this advice more carefully, we wouldn't currently be in the land of late night working and last-minute panics, and if there were some subtle way in which I could put a copy of "Project Management For Dummies" in his desk without getting myself fired, I would.

This book is packed with suggested structures and plans with which to approach planning 'a project' (as well as some much-needed clarification on what is, and isn't, 'a project'). It's explained in such a down-to-earth way, with a liberal but not excessive use of anecdotes, that at first it feels like an extended lesson in basic common sense, but gradually as more and more detail is unfolded, the value of the suggested processes becomes very clear. As the authors suggest, this might not be a book best read beginning-to-end in one sitting, rather it might be better as a reference book for when you get stuck with a particular difficulty at some stage of the project.

Apart from some anecdotes, there are very few practical examples, which is in some ways inevitable as almost anything could be considered to be 'a project'. However thanks to a little helping of business-speak and some generalisations, the scope of the book is broad enough to cover almost any workplace situation. It generally assumes office-based projects, but in today's world of the middle manager that's a fairly safe assumption.

Importantly, this is NOT a book for the PRINCE2 methodology, which is the framework for project management favoured quite widely in this country, including by many government organisations. The author Nick Graham has a vested interest in the alternative PRIME system- in fact he's the joint author of it, and throughout this book he rarely passes up the opportunity to criticise PRINCE2 in favour of his own offering. This could have turned into a terrible case of self-aggrandisement but it is just about forgivable as Nick Graham goes to some length to try to justify his reasoning in each case.

This book is likeable, sensible, practical advice for anyone who's got a project that, well, needs managing...
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to basic project management, 23 Mar. 2011
By 
Martin Turner "Martin Turner" (Marlcliff, Warwickshire, England) - See all my reviews
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You probably only need to read one introductory book on Project Management, and this one is pretty much as good as the others I've read.

Essentially, in twenty-two chapter length sections, this book explains what project management is, looks at objectives, and explores the fundamental building blocks of any project: deliverables, stakeholders, resources, risks, management tools, and leadership. It ventures a little further into the world of multi-project management, but does not get as far as programme or portfolio management.

In the same way, while giving a very good account of mainstream tools such as Gantt, PERT and critical path management (CPM), and considers models such as matrix management, it leaves more esoteric systems such as PRINCE 2 as mentions only, referring you rather to the companion bookPRINCE2 For Dummies.

If you like the somewhat zappy style of the 'for Dummies' books, then you will be used to the somewhat scatterbrained presentation though, as befits the subject matter, this book is much more linear and conservatively structured than some of the 'for Dummies' series. At 380 pages there's a lot of reading here, and, again unlike some of the other volumes in the series, this really is a book to work through from start to finish rather than to simply dip into.

Given that project management is being increasingly seen as a core management competence, everyone who is in a management role -- or aspires to be -- owes it to themselves to at least understand project management, even if they are not temperamentally suited to being a project manager. This is a very good introduction, and I recommend it. Likewise, those who have been on Office of Government Commerce PRINCE 2 courses will benefit from reading this book, if only to find out how non-PRINCE 2 managers talk about the project management task.

The only real weakness in this book is the absence of footnotes or a bibliography, which means that those who aspire to take project management further will find it hard to hook-in from this book to other, more advanced works. Therefore, for those who see project management as their future, I would recommend Teach Yourself Project Management which, though older and much more pedestrian, gives you more places to go afterwards.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars new to the job..., 21 April 2011
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This is a really useful book if you're new to project management, or if you've been away from it for a few years and need a reminder. I actually got this book as I was looking to apply for project management jobs and it was a good reminder of the key skills and project elements. Obviously projects vary depending what industry you work in but I think this book covers most of the ground you'd need to be able to either bluff it well or it would give you a place to start. All in all if you're after a really detailed guide I'd perhaps look elsewhere - but if you want a good view of the basics then this book is worth buying.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Intro to Project Mgt, 20 April 2011
By 
Amazon Customer "MjD" (Edinburgh, Scotland. { Kobe, Japan. Saipan. Alabama.}) - See all my reviews
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I currently work as a Project Manager for a leading global Investment Bank, so was interested to find this book available through Amazon Vine. Project Management for Dummies provides a good introduction to an overview of the fundamentals of Project Management. Alone, this book will not make you a successful Project Manager but it will introduce you to the disciplines you need to build on to enable you to strive towards being a good PM. I doubt any book alone could teach you all the skills required, successful Project Management comes through application, improvement and experience.
The book is logically organised into the key sections and covers all the fundamentals that a PM requires, such as identifying stakeholders, planning, documenting, tracking, delivery and closure. Each section contains useful examples, tips, warnings, etc, that help to illustrate what the chapter is discussing. Much of what is written in Project Management for Dummies is fairly unembroidered and simple and most PMs would follow the traits discussed unconsciously. However, if you are new to Project Mgt or looking to learn the basics ahead of blagging through an interview - then this book will give you the basics. It's not going to be your bible if you are a Project Manager and doesn't go into any detail on the high level Project Management methodology such as Prince, etc, but is a good taster to the field and for Project Managers a useful text to refer to occasionally for direction.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction to Project Management, 14 May 2011
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Amazon Customer - See all my reviews
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Before I read this book I didn't know anything about Project Management. This book changed that. Don't be put off by the "Dummies" in the title- this book is good and detailed. I am studying for an MSC and one of my modules is project management and I have found this book a big help in preparing for it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars General PM guide, 28 Mar. 2011
By 
badger (london) - See all my reviews
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This is a good book for project managers. All typical scenarios are covered here from planning to stakeholder management and determining critical path. It will be a good general guide. But if you are looking for Prince II methodology - look elsewhere, this book is not a Prince II manual.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent helpmate, 29 Mar. 2011
By 
P. A. Pendrey - See all my reviews
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This volume takes the reader stage-by-stage through the process of project Management (inception to conclusion, staffing, budgets, organisation etc.,)
It is written in clear and understandable language. Charts and diagrams are clearly labelled and explained.
The use of technology, where appropriate, is discussed.
Icons in the margin are used to highlight important points and there are plenty of examples to give strength to the text.
A worthwhile and useful book for anyone at a junior level in Project Management to those already involved in this work at a more senior point.
RECOMMENDED
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wholesome applied experience and common sense, 23 April 2011
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This book has a very practical tone. It is as much about people management as about the whizzy diagrams which too often proliferate project documentation.

If I were just starting a project in unfamiliar territory I might want this book beside me. Often it would simply describe the things I would do anyway, but actually it's very good to be reminded of how to structure your shopping lists of things to do, and maybe be brought up short about some of the things you might neglect at this stage. Also, having worked with people who seem more obsessed with the form of a project rather than with whether it produces the results needed, its focus on behaviours and the hidden things that can go wrong, seems good to me.

If you are looking for a book that has really complicated critical path diagrams for you to steal from, or impressive examples of risk registers and flow diagrams to scare your manager with, don't look here. This book is for dummies - so it is often about getting back to basics and making sure techies communicate business benefits to non-techies for instance, making it real for the wider business.

I enjoyed this book's occasional sideswipes at PRINCE2 methodologies, but since I am a public sector manager, I should probably really be reading 'PRINCE2 for Dummies'. Try

PRINCE2 For Dummies 2009 (For Dummies (Lifestyles Paperback))
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book should be quarantined., 20 Nov. 2014
By 
Drew (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
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I genuinely hated this book. It's well written and presented in the classic Dummies way but boy was a glad to put this thing down.

I know now that projects should have a scope of work which should outline a projects goals, provide an overview of what resources and timings are needed and absolutely no-one will ever read a word you put down.

I learned more about project management using Basecamp, but if you're going for a job with Clancy Docwra, it might be handy to read this prior to the interview, other than that it's a shame the paper used in this bad boy isn't still a standing tree.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical advice for the newbie, 29 April 2011
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Having little experience of Project management, this book opens up a world that is almost another job that ties together a lot of knowledge and experience you gather when working within a business.

I appreciated the way that the author did not highlight how obvious aspects of project management were, but allowed the reader to get the relevant information from sections they needed. This really isn't a cover to cover book.

I found the idea of resource allocating and time management planning extremely useful, as something that I see isn't a high priority in many businesses and often leads to waste and inefficiency.

In conclusions after reading specific sections interesting to me, I have a greater understanding of the work dedicated project managers do, and hopefully this will help me with a future project tasked to me.
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