Posted by: Guest Author
Book Reviews, Project Management
Member XENOPHON22 offered to review Cisco’s PM Crash Course for IT Professionals. Interested in free technical books of your own to review, or would like to suggest a book we have our readers review? Send me a note at Michael@ITKnowledgeExchange.com. Looking for a second opinion on this book? Read MShen’s review.
PM Crash Course for IT Professionals was an enjoyable read as far as text books go. I am in a position where upper management is expecting project details from inception through completion and onto review. While having learned some project management when I was in college, the book not only touched base on things I had forgotten, but also added some viewpoints I had not considered.
From real scenarios to open-ended exercises for review, the author was able to make most chapters applicable to the atmosphere I am currently working in. In particular were the chapters discussing project development and salvaging a project which has gone awry.
Regarding the former, I (although taught to do so) had let it escape me to include all management personnel which were affected by the projects I was doing. This does not mean handing over the reins; but rather, obtaining their input and gaining a clear understanding of what they expected out of the project. How can one meet expectations when one does not know them? The book provides some nice approaches to this which worked quite well in practice.
I think that most personnel who have worked in IT know what it is like to be handed a dying project, a project without focus, or an unsavory situation. The chapter on saving these projects was not only entertaining but gave me insight into things I had not considered. I decided to break up a dying project with a vague goal into several projects which finite goals and deadlines. Management was a little confused at first but the progress since then has convinced them otherwise. In doing so I not only helped revive the project but also made it easier to manage.
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It is a light read and after reading the first chapter you can quickly pick up the tone of the author. The chapter breakout and format allow the reader to move around without feeling like they needed to read all previous chapters. I would recommend this book for anyone looking to gain a little more insight into project management, even if it lies outside the IT field.