Easy guide to manage projects

Book: Manage Projects

Book: Manage Projects

Authors: Andy Bruce and Ken Langdon

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley

Reviewer: Victor Mecoamere

Project management is not the preserve, qualification or occupation of a select, elite few.

Anyone can study and master project management at their own pace and in their own space, and the difference is the level of knowledge and understanding, appreciation and application to which people are prepared to commit themselves.

At the most basic level it is important to read as much as possible about this key area of personal development.

Among some of the easy-to-read, follow-and-comprehend handbooks is Andy Bruce and Ken Langdon's heavily-summarised version; Manage Projects, subtitled Meet your deadlines and achieve your targets.

Bruce and Langdon say project management is no longer the preserve of the engineer.

Today's organisations know that any series of activities aimed at several objectives should be considered a project, and should be managed accordingly, they say.

Motivational speakers and teachers of personal goal-setting share the same sentiment, and say that people should run their lives the same way they run their work-related activities, projects and programmes.

Formulating and implementing feasible project management plans to achieve organisational effectiveness and efficiency, Bruce and Langdon unravel their tutorials across five main topics.

These are: creating a vision, planning a related project, implementing a related plan, leading a team on the vision, project and plan, and then monitor the performance and progress of the project.

Manage Projects can easily be used by an individual or group because it employs quizzes, tips, quotes by famous philosophers, project planning experts and project-tracking diagrams and highly informative case studies.

The authors attempt to simplify project management for the reader, or user, by highlighting related techniques that can be practised, starting with setting clear, measurable objectives.

"You can practise this in many other areas of your life," they write.

"For example, when planning a holiday with your family, get your family together to plan the break and identify their objective for a holiday.

"Ask the individual members to list their particular objectives; negotiate a set of objectives that everyone agrees on; and, after the holiday, establish whether or not the family's objectives were achieved by comparing them against the holiday experience."

Seemingly, the rationale is that if one can lead your family on a simple family holiday, you can lead a more complex group, such as underlings or contemporaries in a work situation - as long as the necessary skills, tools and temperaments are in place.

For its easy to follow, relaxed and almost self-explanatory style, this book is a welcome addition to your list of self-help or study collection at the office or in your study at home.