Reinventing Project Management

I just finished reading “Reinventing Project Management” by Aaron J. Shenhar and Dov Dvir and I have to say that I really enjoyed this book.

The full title of the book is “Reinventing Project Management: The Diamond Approach to Successful Growth & Innovation” and, as the title suggests, it covers an approach that the authors call the “Diamond Approach” to determining risks and benefits of a project. The diamond is comprised of the following items:

  • Technology
  • Novelty
  • Pace
  • Complexity

I could spend some time discussing the diamond approach but wouldn’t do it justice and I don’t think that it is the most important take-away from this book. The major take-away for me is that this book says what I’ve been saying for years: Project Management requires a more flexible approach than current methodologies allow.

On page 206 the authors list the “Main Lessons” from the book…lessons that are pure gold for project managers and organizations. I’ve listed a few of the ones that I thought were ‘gold’ and also provide commentary below.

Project Management isn’t about delivering a project on time, on budget and within scope; its about serving a customer and delivering results.

How true. Many PM’s are so focused on staying within the ‘Iron Triangle’ of scope, time and budget that they lose track of the business value that they are (or should be) delivering to their clients.

To succeed in projects you must use an adaptive project management approach, adapting your project management style to the environment, the goal and the project task.

The rigidity of modern PM methodologies causes many problems for those PM’s that try to adhere to them in a strict manner. To lead a project to success, PM’s must be able to think on their feet and adapt the PM methodologies to the ever-changing environment.

Overall, this book is definitely worth the time it takes you to read.

[tags] Project Management, agility, flexbility [/tags]

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