by Dr Martin Graham

Effective Project Management in Easy Steps (2nd Ed)

Book Review

Book Review

By John Carroll

I like this book, despite having been more than slightly apprehensive when I first saw it.

My first impression was that this was another of those ‘whizz bang, all you have to do is to buy this book and you will be a successful project manager’ books.

This impression was only maintained for the first few pages up to and including where we’re presented with a list of [just] nine steps to becoming a successful project manager, suggesting that it is all so easy.

The whole book adopts a rather jolly and jaunty style, but that is no doubt a part of the plan to make it very agreeable and easy to read while offering an enormous amount of good quality advice and explaining issues very clearly.

This is, in part, again, augmented by its presentation style; short chapters that are very well summarised and punctuated with lots of high quality, colourful, appropriate, informative and occasionally amusing illustrations.

There are also a lot of margin notes, presented as "beware" (illustrated by a snake), "don’t forget" (an elephant, of course) and "hot tips" (a red chilli).

Of the latter, providing a list of potential problems and telling us to "deal with these and your project won’t go wrong" is another example of just how easy it all is but a "Beware" note saying that "there is, of course, no such thing as a typical project" is an example of one of the better (majority) parts of the book.

The work starts very basically with definitions of projects and project management which suggests to me that it could be very useful in training exercises.

For seasoned professionals who might want to skip the introduction chapter, the main body of the book will serve as a good refresher course.

The cover of this book tells us that it is written in "plain English", is "easy to follow" and "fully colour illustrated".

It certainly is and it is packed full with good material, starting with basics, passing through 11 subject areas all supported by illustrations and summary notes.

It closes with a reminder that whereas some of the content is quite serious, project management can also be fun.

That confirmed that; this is my kind of book and I thoroughly recommend it.

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