I’ve spent the last few weeks reading the Fast Forward MBA in Project Management, a great book by Eric Verzuh who is, besides a bestselling author, the president of The Versatile Company, a firm that delivers training on project management topics to thousands of professionals every year.
This is the first best seller on the topic of Project Management I have read, and I do need to say that it is a best seller for a reason.
Reading a book about project management is a welcome sidestep from reading about the Microsoft Project and Project Online tools. This book describes processes, and methodology more than what button you should push next. I hope you’ll like the review on: The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management.
Judging by the cover
Best seller, fifth edition, cool cover design, Online content, PMP study tips. The cover looks very modern, the inside not so much, it’s printed on boring black and white paper. But it has 480 pages of great content and a good amount of diagrams and highlighted areas.
About that great content
The book contains short chapters ranging from 10 to 25 pages, where in the author describes a specific topic within project management. These topics are bundled in five parts that focus on a specific project life cycle moment.
I was particularly impressed with the risk management chapter (chapter 7: Risk management: Minimize the threats to your project). It gave me a great insight on how Risk management plays a huge part in project management. And that championing of Risk Management has been missing in the books dedicated to the Microsoft applications (although the tool does support it).
There is also a great chapter on the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). In the chapter Eric tells us “… If done well, it can become the secret to successful project management. The WBS is perhaps the most powerful technique in this book.”. So be sure to read and understand chapter 8 :-).
Chapter 18 focusses on how to get control over your projects, programs and portfolio as a whole with “The Enterprise Project Management Office” as a holy grail solution. The chapter has a great Stellar Performer case study revolving around the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. And at the end of the book, and in the free downloadable content there is even some attention for the application Microsoft Project, Awesome!
Chapters end with either PMP example questions or Star Performer case studies. The case studies give a nice insight on how theory comes to practice and supports the belief of the author that performing in line with the theory will result in a better performing (project) organization.
The PMP Example questions are a nice challenge for anyone that is considering taking the exam. Of the 55 questions I scored 39 good answers, that is 71 percent, I think that’s not a bad score for a first try.
Eric Verzuh agreed to give away one autographed copy of the book to the winner of a contest in this post. I am a big fan of the chapters describing Risk management, and I’m curious to what extent organizations use Risk reduction techniques in combination with Project Management tools (such as but not limited to Project Server and Project Online).
If you want to win a copy of The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management please describe how your organization is acting on Risks. Be honest and be precise, the best reply will be contacted by me or Eric himself to get shipping address details. This contest is open until the first of September.
I enjoyed reading the Fast Forward MBA in Project Management a great deal. If you are considering grabbing a copy of the book here is a direct link. Learn more about the author by visiting his company website. You can also hear an interesting podcast done by Contriber.
The Fast Forward MBA series of books has a wide range of interesting titles, browse around a bit by visiting this link.