Project Management is a daunting task. Whoever has been in this position will tell you that. This job is made of so many different activities that one could easily loose track of them. Easy to run around like a headless chicken!

Susanne Madsen’s book is a great reading for several reasons. Let me explain in this book review.

 

A book for getting better

In the first part of the book, the author goes through a guide to introspection. Why on earth do you want to be a PM in the first place? The question, for simple and obvious, deserves to stop a little while. And Susanne Madsen provides a few elements of possible answers or shall I say example of answers? She is guiding the reader gently on a self conscious thinking state that is the start of any greatness. But she also takes care to never give you the answers. They must be yours.

This principle of getting better is present the entire book long and as such definitely deserves its title “Coaching”.

 

A very pragmatic guide

At the same time, the book is going thoroughly through almost all the activities one can think of when talking about Project Management. As such, this will be an excellent guide for the junior PM who will have a proper idea of where he or she stands on that job. From planning to delivery via the relationship with the team or the sponsors I hardly see any left aside topic. This is definitely a book written by an experienced PM.

So you will be asked to assess yourself on all those topics and later on you will be guided on how to improve those skills.

 

No specific process assumed

There is one point though worth mentioning: this book does not make strong assumptions on the kind of project you are working on. It could be big, medium or small. It does not make many assumptions either on the process used. Several processes are mentioned and quickly defined but the book will not assume anything specific. It is therefore up to you to adapt your reading to your situation as obviously you will not put the same emphasise on each task if you are working in a Waterfall or Scrum environment. The author does not attach activities to specific processes. It is up to you to select how much of each you do in your context. But that’s fine as this book is not about process anyway.

 

Conclusion

I do recommend this book to anyone willing to have a check up on their PM skills. One might be good but want to be better and that what this book is all about: getting better at what you do and therefore loving your job even more. This book is not only about what a PM does but also about what a PM is, and that is making the whole approach even more interesting.

In case you are an experienced PM, this book will come handy on those crazy days when you do so much that you loose track of your goals and tasks. A quick read through and you’ll remember what the next step is and why you are actually supposed to do it.

 

I think Susanne Madsen has done a very thorough job with this book and if you are willing to become a PM or willing to become a better PM, than you should get it and read it.