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Project Management Absolute Beginner's Guide, 4th Edition

Project Management Absolute Beginner's Guide, 4th Edition

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  • Copyright 2017
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/8"
  • Edition: 4th
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-465389-0
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-465389-1

Succeed as a project manager, even if you’ve never run a project before! This book is the fastest way to master every project management task, from upfront budgeting and scheduling through execution, managing teams through closing projects, and learning from experience. Updated with more insights from the front lines, including agile approaches, dealing with security and privacy priorities, and leading remote/virtual teams, along with the latest on Microsoft Project and PMI standards and certifications and a special bonus chapter on preparing for the PMP certification. This book will show you exactly how to get the job done, one incredibly clear and easy step at a time. Project management has never, ever been this simple!

Who knew how simple project management could be?

This is today’s best beginner’s guide to modern project management… simple, practical instructions for succeeding with every task you’ll need to perform! Here’s a small sample of what you’ll learn:

• Master the key skills and qualities every project manager needs

• Lead projects, don’t just “manage” them

• Avoid 15 most common mistakes new project managers make

• Learn from troubled, successful, and “recovered” projects

• Set the stage for success by effectively defining your project

• Build a usable project plan and an accurate work breakdown structure (WBS)

• Create budgets and schedules that help you manage risk

• Use powerful control and reporting techniques, including earned value management

• Smoothly manage project changes, issues, risks, deliverables, and quality

• Manage project communications and stakeholder expectations

• Organize and lead high-performance project teams

• Manage cross-functional, cross-cultural, and virtual projects

• Work successfully with vendors and Project Management Offices

• Make the most of Microsoft Project and new web-based alternatives

• Get started with agile and “critical chain” project management

• Gain key insights that will accelerate your learning curve

• Know how to respond to real-life situations, not just what they teach you in school

Sample Content

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 2 and Index)

Table of Contents


Part I Project Management Jumpstart

Chapter 1 Project Management Overview

What Is Project Management…Exactly?

    What Is a Project Exactly?

    Managing Projects

    An Academic Look

What Is the Value of Project Management?

Why Are Projects Challenging?

Growing Demand for Effective Project Managers

Trends in Project Management

Additional Resources

Chapter 2 The Project Manager

One Title, Many Roles

Key Skills of Project Managers

Qualities of Successful Project Managers

15 Common Mistakes of Project Managers

Chapter 3 Essential Elements for Any Successful Project

What Exactly Is a Successful Project?

Learning from Troubled Projects

Learning from Successful Projects

Essential Project Manager Toolkit

Part II Project Planning

Chapter 4 Defining a Project

Setting the Stage for Success

How Does Defining a Project Relate to Project Planning?

Project Definition Document

    Required Elements

    Additional Elements to Consider

Project Definition Checklist




    Project Approach



Chapter 5 Planning a Project

Key Project Planning Principles

Important Questions Project Planning Should Answer

Building a Project Plan

Summary of Supplemental Project Plan Components

Project Plan Checklist

Chapter 6 Developing the Work Breakdown Structure

What Exactly Is a WBS?

    Isn’t WBS Just Another Name for the Project Schedule?

    Key Differences Between the WBS and the Project Schedule

    Different Types of Breakdown Structures

Why Is the WBS Important?

The Process of Building a WBS

    Getting Started

    Guidelines for Effective WBS

    Knowing When to Stop

Chapter 7 Estimating the Work

Next Step in the Schedule Development Process

Managing the Risk, Managing the Estimates

Reasons for Estimating Woes

Powerful Estimating Techniques and Methods

Best Practices

Chapter 8 Developing the Project Schedule

The Impact of the Project Schedule

The Goal of the Schedule Development Process

Key Inputs for Building a Schedule

Creating a Schedule

    Determining Task Relationships (Sequencing the Work)

    Building the Preliminary Schedule

    Perform Reality Check

    Shorten the Schedule

    Walk Through the Schedule

    Presenting the Schedule

Chapter 9 Determining the Project Budget

The Impact of the Project Budget

Principles of an Effective Budget

Creating a Project Budget

    Sources of Project Costs

    Developing an Initial Budget

    Finalizing a Budget

Common Budget Challenges

Part III Project Control

Chapter 10 Controlling a Project

What Is Project Control?

    PDA: The Principles of Project Control

    Components of Project Control

Management Fundamentals for Project Control

Powerful Techniques for Project Control

Performance Reporting

Variance Responses

Leveraging Earned Value Management Concepts

Common Project Control Challenges

Lessons from Project Recoveries

Chapter 11 Managing Project Changes

What Exactly Is a Project Change and What’s the Big Deal, Anyway?

    Project Change Types–More Than Scope

    Relation to Configuration Management and Organizational Change Management

Fundamentals for Managing Project Change

What Causes Unplanned Scope Changes?

Essential Elements of a Project Change Control System




Powerful Techniques for Minimizing Project Changes

Common Project Change Control Challenges

Chapter 12 Managing Project Deliverables

“Managing Project Deliverables” Means What, Exactly?

Why Do This? It’s Too Much Work

Identify, Protect, and Track: The Principles of Managing Work Products

Best Practices

Configuration Management Plan

Common Challenges and Pitfalls

Chapter 13 Managing Project Issues

The Goals, Objectives, and Principles of Project Issue Management

Key Features of Issue Management Systems

Options for Issue Log

Best Practices

Some Special Situations

Chapter 14 Managing Project Risks

Key Risk Management Principles

The Essential Process for Managing Project Risks

    Risk Response Options

    Key Risk Management Tools

The Common Sources of Project Risk

Typical Problems

Powerful Risk Control Strategies

Are You Sure It’s a Risk?

Chapter 15 Managing Project Quality

What Is “Project Quality”?

Unique Aspects of Managing Project Quality

Principles of Managing Project Quality

Powerful Tools and Techniques for Project Quality

Powerful Quality Strategies

Typical Quality-Related Challenges

Part IV Project Execution

Chapter 16 Leading a Project

More Than Managing

Where Is Leadership Needed on a Project?

Twelve Keys to Better Project Leadership

Power of Servant Leadership Approach

Chapter 17 Managing Project Communications

What Are Project Communications?

The Importance of Project Communications

Why Communicating Can Be Tough

Seven Powerful Principles

Best Practices of Effective Project Communicators

    General Communications Management

    Communications Options

    Tips for Email (and Other Text-Only) Communications

    Status Reporting


    Interpersonal Skills

Chapter 18 Managing Expectations

Value of Reviewing Stakeholder Expectation Management

Critical Aspects of Expectations

    Balancing Reality and Perception

    Not Just Scope Management

Seven Master Principles of Expectation Management

Essential Elements of Managing Expectations

    Project Planning and Control Elements–A Quick Review

    Leveraging Kickoff Meetings

    Requirements Management–The Difference Maker

Chapter 19 Keys to Better Project Team Performance

High-Performing Teams

Ten Key Management Principles

Proven Techniques for Better Team Performance

Special Situations

Chapter 20 Managing Differences

Five Key Principles

Proven Techniques for Leading Cross-Functional Projects

Proven Techniques for Leading Cross-Cultural Projects

Proven Techniques for Leading Virtual Projects

Chapter 21 Managing Vendors

First, Let’s Clarify a Few Terms

Ten Proven Principles of Vendor Management

Twelve Tips for Buyers

Seven Tips for Sellers

Twelve Key Project Management Skills for Better Vendor Management

Stuff You Need to Know About Contracts

    Conditions for a Legal Contract

    Key Contract Elements

    Primary Contract Types

    The Impact of Each Contract Type

Chapter 22 Ending a Project

Three Key Principles

Project End Checklist: 13 Important Steps

Common Project Closing Challenges

Methods for Ending a Contract or a Project

    Terminating a Contract

    Terminating a Project

Part V Accelerating the Learning Curve…Even More

Chapter 23 Making Better Use of Microsoft Project

Understand This…and It All Becomes Easier

Need-to-Know Features

New Project Best Practices

Keys to Making Resource Leveling Work

Powerful Reporting Secrets

More Insights to a Better Project Schedule

Project 2010–The Game Changer

What Do I Need to Know About Project 2013, Project 2016, Project Online, and Office 365 Planner?

    Project Online

    Project 2013

    Project 2016

    Office 365 Planner

Chapter 24 When Reality Happens

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

What If I Can’t Develop a Detailed Schedule?

What If I Must Manage to a Hard Milestone Date?

What If I Have Difficult Resources?

What Can I Do About Turnover?

Tips for Managing a Selection Process

Tips for Managing a Testing Process

Chapter 25 The Fun Never Stops

Agile Approaches

HIPAA, Privacy, and Security

Project Management Offices

    Traits of Successful PMOs

Portfolio Project Management

Governance Processes

Critical Chain Project Management

Web-Based Project Management and Collaboration Tools

Requirements Management Tools

Mind Mapping Tools

Value of Certifications

Project Management Training

Chapter 26 Powerful PMP Exam Tips

Common “Context” Differences

Common “Experience” Differences

Common Terminology Differences

What’s Important to PMI?

Key PMI Assumptions and Themes

What Is the PMP Exam Like?

Exam Topics Not Covered by PMBOK

Exam Preparation Strategies

Exam-Taking Tips

9780789756756   TOC   1/13/2017


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