Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Dissecting & summarising PM methodologies

Projects in all sectors of the economy, large or small, need careful planning and consideration. Over the years, project management has evolved considerably to become a crucial standalone genre of management studies.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, literature on the subject has mushroomed. Industry veteran and UCL academic Peter Morris has lent his thoughts via Reconstructing Project Management, which though intentioned as an academic text - is not bland and dry like some other titles vying with it for attention.

In a book of over 300 pages split into four parts and 22 chapters, Morris has offered his take on project management techniques, modes and methodologies drawing on lessons from the past, current discourse and ongoing trends to chart the road ahead. Part I of the book (Constructing Project Management) discusses the history of modern project management and how it evolved into a standalone discipline.

Invariably among the sub-components, oil & gas projects come into view and the author does justice to the sector by flagging it up early on in one of the chapters. He then moves on to the development of project management methodology and standards such as, but not limited to PERT, CPM, APM, PMBOK, etc. In order to contextualise and substantiate his thoughts, there are case studies aplenty.

Moving on to Part II (Deconstructing Project Management), Morris discusses management principles, governance and most importantly the impact (and facets) of risk, governance, people and procurement.

Part III (Reconstructing Project Management) sees the author come into his element, offering his take on the context and character of project management as we know it (or we think we know it) and join the dots to organisational performance. The final Part IV of the book contains a summary and the author's concluding thoughts.

Overall, it’s a good read and a written work likely to retain its value for another couple of decades if not more. The only caveat the Oilholic would like to flag up as an industry observer (and not a practitioner) is that this book is not the meatiest volume out there on project management.

For an outside-in look, what’s here is more than sufficient but some practitioners may beg to differ and demand more detail. Nonetheless, there is strength and uniqueness in brevity too when it comes to tackling such a detailed subject. Hence, this blogger is happy to recommend it to those interested in or involved with project management.

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To email: gaurav.sharma@oilholicssynonymous.com

© Gaurav Sharma 2013. Photo: Front Cover - Reconstructing Project Management © Wiley 2013

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