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Alpha Project Managers: What the Top 2% Know That Everyone Else Does Not: What the Top 2 Per Cent Know That Everyone Else Does Not by [Crowe, Andy]
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Alpha Project Managers: What the Top 2% Know That Everyone Else Does Not: What the Top 2 Per Cent Know That Everyone Else Does Not Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 198 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

About the Author

Andy Crowe is the founder and CEO of Velociteach, a project management training and resources company. He is the author of "The PMP Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try." He lives in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2129 KB
  • Print Length: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Velociteach (15 Oct. 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003ISJBW4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #150,093 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is, to my mind, a great book, it talks about 'what the top 2% know that everyone else does not' and it certainly identifies communication as a key area that top project managers excel at. I particularly support the section on communication.

The book, based on a survey of 5,000 project managers, states in its findings:

'Good communication is comprised of more than how the message is delivered. The information itself, the method used, and the timing with which it is delivered all contributes to effective communication.'

Communication on a project is a two way process. You are communicating out and you are receiving communication back at you and the usual complexities of filters and noise typically confuse the process of giving and receiving clear, accurate and understandable information.

Communication is also sequential, communicated through chains of people, which will add that 'Chinese whispers' effect - either intentional or accidental.

Add to that the sheer volume of communication these days, email, phone calls (landline and mobile), written, presented, verbal and so on, then life can be very tough for project managers to learn what they need to learn and to share what they need to share.

I was taught a truth in my early project management days - reporting is not communicating! The fact that the critical facts and important truths are buried somewhere in a report that the right people may be in possession of does not, in any way, mean that they have received the message.

A recommended read to all project managers - learn to be better!

Peter Taylor

The lazy project manager: How to be twice as productive and still leave the office early
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 47 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Useful Guide to PM Excellence 25 Mar. 2009
By Jason E. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After using his super PMP study guide some time back, I picked up Andy Crowe's `Alpha Project Managers,' published in 2006.

This has to be one of the most under produced books I've ever seen. Crowe essentially self-published on his own Velociteach label. It shows. The graphics are third rate and the cover is pretty bad.

But no matter. The information inside is fascinating. Crowe surveyed over 3,000 project managers and their co-workers/supervisors in order to identify the "top 2%" of project managers ("alpha project managers"). He tried to identify PMs who were consistently rated as excellent by the people they worked with and their customers. Once he found them, he zeroed in on their work habits and PM techniques.

Some of the interesting findings:

# Alphas respond to fewer emails/day and spend less time in meetings than non-alphas, yet people rated them as being more responsive than non-alphas.
# Alphas establish explicit communication expectations, and adhere to them stringently.
# Alphas sent much shorter communications than their non-alpha peers.
# Alphas spent twice as much time in the planning phase of their projects than did non-alphas.
# Alphas used informal networks to get things done much more often than non-alphas (who stuck to formal channels).
# Alphas were much more aware or how their bosses were being measured (ROI, etc.) than non-alphas.

Each of these points (and others) are supported with some useful anecdotes from the PMs themselves. Crowe does a good job trying to help PMs understand these habits and apply them to their own work. This is a text which deserves wider recognition and higher quality production in a second edition.

Recommended. 197pp.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read 27 Jan. 2008
By John - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I don't think this book on its own is going to help anybody become an Alpha project manager, but it is interesting and gives you some ideas to start with. This is a non-scientific study, and in a few places you can tell, but for the most part it was well researched and the extrapolations are pretty convincing. It's not an overly long book, so you don't need to invest several weeks of free time to get the major learnings out of it. Recommended for project managers or people who want to be project managers.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful read critical to any PMs evolution 21 Mar. 2010
By Sam Motes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I had the pleasure of seeing the author Andy Crowe discuss the findings of this book at the March Tampa PMI meeting so I picked up the book. The theme of the book to me can be summed up from a quote from near the end of the book when Crowe points out that "Professional sprinters often finish within hundredths of a second of each other, yet the ones who win do so consistently". What he is saying is that what separates the Alphas from the average is a kaizen approach to constantly making fine tuning adjustments in how they manage projects. My key take aways from the book where: Alphas take ownership of the project and don't wait for it to be given to them, Alphas focus as much a leading the project as on merely managing the project, Alphas possess a big picture view of how their projects fits into the overall goals and strategies of the company, Alphas take active ownership of the relationships with stakeholders to the project as well as key players throughout the organization, and finally Alphas do more than just manage their projects by taking an active domain intensive value add role on the project as well.

The book was a short but very concise read packed with statistical findings from the research that was performed. The gaps in perceptions between what the Project Manager believed and what the stakeholders believed was very eye opening. I highly recommend this book to any Project Manager interested in surviving and thriving in their career.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Towards Alpha or stay a non-Alpha 7 Feb. 2010
By H. P. Portman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Alpha Project Managers from Andy Crowe is based on The Alpha Study, a survey of over 5000 project managers and stakeholders. This study took a careful look at the practices and attitudes of 860 project managers against thousands of stakeholders. The purpose of this study was to understand what the top performers do that sets them apart. The book gives us a short biographical sketch of the 18 Alphas. You will get insights why those 18 Alphas differ from the rest of the group and how that influences project success. The following eight major areas are explored where top performers stand apart from everybody else:
- Attitude and believe
- Focus and Prioritization
- Communication
- Approach
- Relationships and Conflict
- Alignment
- Issue Management
- Leadership
For every area you get the insights about the questions and answers from the Alpha and the non-Alpha ones. Based on these answers the study went back to the project managers and the stakeholders to find answers on the why by additional questionnaires and interviews. Every area chapter ends with an overview what the Alphas know. E.g. Communication: the greatest disconnect between the two groups seemed to be that Alphas were generally aware of how their message was being received by stakeholders. Alphas took the time to understand stakeholder needs in advance, and how they tailored communication to meet those needs. The Alpha group made reliable and predictable communications a priority, even going so far as using this as a tool to manage stakeholders. They set the gold standard by making their information not only very clear and highly concise, but also relevant to their audience.

If you, as a project manager, want to improve your performance and you know your own strengths and weaknesses, this book can be of great help to you to take a next step.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Flawed in so many ways 18 Jan. 2009
By Ray V - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am not sure where to start but here are some major flaws that I see in this book:
* The study includes 860 participants and only 18 are considerred Alphas! My guess is that if they broadened the study to have 5% or 10% alphas, the differences would be even more miniscule than they already are in the book.
* There are so many comparisons that are simply weak, like the amount hours Alphas and non-Alphas seek training. Can you imagine the difference betwen 38 hours for non-alphas versus 45 hours for alphas. It is just utter non-sense to even include this as one of the key differences. The author was clearly trying to fill some extra pages of the book here. This issue alone causes pause about the credibility of the study and the author's understanding of the topic.

* Are the top 2% more confident and optimistic and happier about their jobs? We don't need to buy a book to know this, as these are rhetorical questions. It is almost sad that the author attempts to give validity to his study by presenting percentages and comparative data on such things
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