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Absolute Beginner's Guide to Project Management, 2nd Edition

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Absolute Beginner's Guide to Project Management, 2nd Edition


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  • Copyright 2009
  • Edition: 2nd
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-7897-3821-X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7897-3821-9

Why learn project management the hard way?

Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Project Management, Second Edition will have you managing projects in no time! Here’s a small sample of what you’ll learn: 

  • Key concepts and fundamentals behind best-practice project management techniques
  • The mindset and skill set of effective project managers
  • Project techniques that work in any industry, with any tools
  • The common elements of successful projects
  • Lessons from failed projects
  • The value and importance of project leadership versus project management
  • How to manage growing project trends and tough project types that first-time project managers are likely to encounter
  • How to make better use of Microsoft Project
  • How to respond when project reality does not match textbook scenarios
  • Expert insight on key project management concepts and topics

 You’ve just been handed your department's biggest project. Absolute Beginner's Guide to Project Management will show you exactly where to start–and walk you step by step through your entire project! Expert project manager Gregory Horine shows you exactly what works and what doesn’t, drawing on the field’s proven best practices. Understand your role as a project manager...gain the skills and discover the personal qualities of great project managers...learn how to organize, estimate, and schedule projects effectively...manage deliverables, issues, changes, risks, quality, vendors, communications, and expectations...make the most of technology...manage virtual teams...avoid the problems that trip up new project managers! This new edition jumpstarts your project management expertise even faster, with all-new insights on Microsoft Project, challenging project situations and intriguing project management topics of the day.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Absolute Beginner's Guide to Project Management: Essential Elements for Any Successful Project

Sample Pages

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Table of Contents

Introduction     1

About This Book     1

Who Should Read This Book?     3

How This Book Is Organized    3

Conventions Used in This Book     4


Chapter 1   Project Management Overview     7

What Is Project Management…Exactly?     8

What Is the Value of Project Management?     12

Why Are Projects Challenging?     13

Growing Demand for Effective Project Managers?     15

Trends in Project Management     16

Chapter 2   The Project Manager     21

One Title, Many Roles     22

Key Skills of Project Managers     23

Qualities of Successful Project Managers     25

15 Common Mistakes of Project Managers     27

Chapter 3   Essential Elements for Any Successful Project     29

What Exactly Is a “Successful” Project?     30

Learning from Troubled Projects     31

Learning from Successful Projects     34

Essential Project Manager Toolkit     36


Chapter 4   Defining a Project     43

Setting the Stage for Success     44

How Does Defining a Project Relate to Project Planning?     44

Project Definition Document     45

Project Definition Checklist     49

Chapter 5   Planning a Project     55

Key Project Planning Principles     56

Important Questions Project Planning Should Answer     58

Building a Project Plan    59

Summary of Supplemental Project Plan Components     66

Project Plan Checklist     69

Chapter 6   Developing the Work Breakdown Structure     71

What Is a WBS Exactly?     72

Why Is the WBS Important?     78

The Process of Building a WBS     79

Chapter 7   Estimating the Work     85

Next Step in the Schedule Development Process     86

Managing the Risk, Managing the Estimates     88

Reasons for Estimating Woes     88

Powerful Estimating Techniques and Methods     90

Best Practices     92

Chapter 8   Developing the Project Schedule     97

The Impact of the Project Schedule     98

The Goal of the Schedule Development Process     100

Key Inputs for Building a Schedule     101

Creating a Schedule     102

Chapter 9   Determining the Project Budget     113

The Impact of the Project Budget     114

Principles of an Effective Budget     115

Creating a Project Budget     116

Common Budget Challenges     120


Chapter 10  Controlling a Project     125

What Is Project Control?     126

Management Fundamentals for Project Control     129

Powerful Techniques for Project Control     130

Performance Reporting     133

Variance Responses     135

Leveraging Earned Value Management Concepts     136

Common Project Control Challenges     139

Lessons from Project Recoveries     141

Chapter 11  Managing Project Changes     145

What Exactly Is a Project Change and What’s the

Big Deal Anyway?     146

Fundamentals for Managing Project Change     149

What Causes Unplanned Scope Changes?     150

Essential Elements of a Project Change Control System     151

Powerful Techniques for Minimizing Project Changes     154

Common Project Change Control Challenges     156

Chapter 12  Managing Project Deliverables     159

“Managing Project Deliverables” Means What Exactly?     160

Why Do This? It’s Too Much Work     161

Identify, Protect, and Track: The Principles of Managing

Work Products     162

Best Practices     163

Configuration Management Plan     167

Common Challenges and Pitfalls     169

Chapter 13  Managing Project Issues     171

The Goals, Objectives, and Principles of Project Issue Management     172

Key Features of Issue Management System     173

Options for Issue Log     175

Best Practices     176

Some Special Situations     178

Chapter 14  Managing Project Risks     181

Key Risk Management Principles     182

The Essential Process for Managing Project Risks     183

The Common Sources of Project Risk     187

Typical Problems     190

Powerful Risk Control Strategies     192

Are You Sure It’s a Risk?     193

Chapter 15  Managing Project Quality     197

What Is “Project Quality”?     198

Unique Aspects of Managing Project Quality     199

Principles of Managing Project Quality     199

Powerful Tools and Techniques for Project Quality     201

Powerful Quality Strategies     203

Typical Quality-Related Challenges     205


Chapter 16  Leading a Project     211

More Than Managing     212

Where Is Leadership Needed on a Project?     214

Twelve Keys to Better Project Leadership     215

Power of Servant Leadership Approach     218

Chapter 17  Managing Project Communications     223

What Are Project Communications?     224

The Importance of Project Communications     225

Why Communicating Can Be Tough     226

Seven Powerful Principles     227

Best Practices of Effective Project Communicators     230

Chapter 18  Managing Expectations     239

Value of Reviewing Stakeholder Expectation Management     240

Critical Aspects of Expectations     240

Seven Master Principles of Expectation Management     245

Essential Elements of Managing Expectations     246

Chapter 19  Keys to Better Project Team Performance     255

High-Performing Teams     256

Ten Key Principles     256

Proven Techniques     259

Special Situations     263

Chapter 20  Managing Differences     267

Five Key Principles     268

Proven Techniques for Leading Cross-Functional Projects     271

Proven Techniques for Leading Cross-Cultural Projects     273

Proven Techniques for Leading Virtual Projects     274

Chapter 21  Managing Vendors     279

First, Let’s Clarify a Few Terms     280

Ten Proven Principles of Vendor Management     280

Twelve Tips for Buyers     283

Seven Tips for Sellers     285

Twelve Key Project Management Skills for Better

Vendor Management     286

Stuff You Need to Know About Contracts     286

Chapter 22  Ending a Project     293

Three Key Principles     294

Project End Checklist–13 Important Steps     294

Common Project Closing Challenges     296

Methods for Ending a Contract or a Project     297


Chapter 23  Making Better Use of Microsoft Project     303

Understand This …and It All Becomes Easier     304

Need-to-Know Features     306

New Project Best Practices     313

Keys to Making Resource Leveling Work     316

Powerful Reporting Secrets     318

More Insights to a Better Project Schedule     323

Chapter 24  When Reality Happens     327

What If I’m in a Project Management “Lite” Culture?     328

What If I Can’t Develop a Detailed Schedule?     330

What If I Must Manage to a Hard Milestone Date?     331

What If I Have Difficult Resources?     333

What Can I Do About Turnover?     334

Tips for Managing a Selection Process     335

Tips for Managing a Testing Process     340

Chapter 25  Intriguing Project Management Concepts and Topics     345

Agile Approaches     346

Project Management Offices     348

Portfolio Project Management     351

Governance Processes     353

Critical Chain Project Management     353

Web-Based Project Management Software     356

Mind Mapping Tools     357

Value of Certifications     358

Project Management Training     359

Index     363


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