The Complete Idiot's Guide to Project Management

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Managers will no longer dread the word “project.”

Fully updated and revised, this guide covers the tools and processes of project management, complying with the standards of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and The Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK). Packed with examples, case studies, and expert opinions, this book includes essential information on implementation strategies, setting up ...

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Managers will no longer dread the word “project.”

Fully updated and revised, this guide covers the tools and processes of project management, complying with the standards of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and The Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK). Packed with examples, case studies, and expert opinions, this book includes essential information on implementation strategies, setting up schedules, troubleshooting, and more.
—Perfect for the new project manager—or the re-learner
—New, updated information on software, PMBOK facts, the PMP exam, and integration management

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592575985
  • Publisher: Alpha Books
  • Publication date: 2/6/2007
  • Series: Complete Idiot's Guide Series
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 7.34 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Sunny Baker, Ph.D. runs a consulting firm specializing in marketing and business development for companies of all sizes. Clients have included Intel, Microsoft, Apple Computer, Sprint, and Arizona State University. Baker has co-written more than 25 business and lifestyle books and are regular contributors to a variety of management publications.
G. Michael Campbell, P.M.P., is director of the Institute for Change Leadership and a managing director with the Houston firm Holland and Davis. He is also the co-author of Bullet Proof Presentations.

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Table of Contents

Project Management Power     1
Linking Projects to Strategy and Performance Results     3
Projects Meet a Business Need     4
Viewing Change from a Different Perspective     5
A Balance Among Time, Resources, Results, and Perceptions     6
Defining Project Success     7
The Next Step     10
What Does It Mean to Be a Project Manager?     11
The Business Connection     11
What Are My Responsibilities?     12
What Do You Need to Do?     12
Learn to Plan and Act     13
Focus on the Project's End     13
Be a Manager and a Leader     13
The Leadership Roles of the Project Manager     14
Interpersonal Roles     14
Informational Roles     15
Decisional Roles     15
The Other Business Management Roles     16
The Seven Traits of Good Project Managers     16
Enthusiasm for the Project     16
The Ability to Manage Change Effectively     17
A Tolerant Attitude Toward Ambiguity     17
Team-Building and Negotiating Skills     17
A Customer-First Orientation     17
Adherence to the Priorities of Business     18
Knowledge of the Industry or Technology     18
Be the Best Leader You Can Be     18
The Rules of the Project Game     21
Universal Project Success Criteria     22
Project Failure: The Reasons Are Simple     22
Twelve Golden Rules of Project Management Success     23
Thou Shalt Gain Consensus on Project Outcomes     24
Thou Shalt Build the Best Team You Can     24
Thou Shalt Develop a Comprehensive, Viable Plan and Keep It Up-to-Date     25
Thou Shalt Determine How Much Stuff You Really Need to Get Things Done     26
Thou Shalt Have a Realistic Schedule     26
Thou Won't Try to Do More Than Can Be Done     27
Thou Will Remember That People Count     27
Thou Will Gain the Formal and Ongoing Support of Management and Stakeholders     28
Thou Must Be Willing to Change     28
Thou Must Keep Others Informed of What You're Up To     29
Thou Must Be Willing to Try New Things     29
Thou Must Become a Leader     29
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize     30
The Nine Knowledge Areas of Project Management     31
Project Integration Management     32
Integration Management as Part of Planning      32
Integration Management During Project Execution     33
Integration Management of Project Changes     33
Project Scope Management     33
Project Time Management     34
Time and the Schedule     34
Controlling the Schedule During Execution     35
Project Cost Management     35
Financial Issues Outside of Your Control     35
Competing for Funds with Other Projects     35
Project Quality Management     36
Project Human Resource Management     36
Organizational Planning     36
Staff Acquisition     31
Making Them a Team     31
Project Communications Management     37
Project Risk Management     37
Project Procurement Management     38
Starting Off on the Right Foot     39
The Project Life Cycle     39
Project Phases and the Project Life Cycle     40
Project Life Cycle versus Product Life Cycle     42
A Case Study: All-Star Cable     43
The Project     44
The Project Manager (That's You)     44
Project Definition Phase     45
Preparing the Leadership     46
How Involved Should the Leadership Be?     47
Also Focus on the Project Team     48
The Project Definition Phase     49
Identifying Stakeholders and Defining Their Roles     51
Start by Identifying the Stakeholders     52
The Customer     54
The Project Sponsor     54
The Steering Committee     56
Functional Management     57
The Working Committee     57
Key Stakeholders for the All-Star Cable Case Study     58
Working Together: The Magic Success Formula     61
Stakeholder Questionnaire     61
Scoping Out Project Success     65
Start with the Business Case     66
What Should Be Included in the Business Case     66
Conducting a Feasibility Study     66
Developing a Feasibility Study for Movies-on-Demand     67
Clear Project Goals Make Sense to Everyone     68
The Primary Goals of Every Project     69
Six Criteria for Setting Great Goals     70
Goals Must Be Specific     70
Goals Must Be Realistic     71
Goals Must Have a Time Component     71
Goals Must Be Measurable     71
Goals Must Be Agreed Upon      72
Responsibility for Achieving the Goals Must Be Identified     72
Establishing Goals Step-by-Step     73
Developing the Statement of Work (SOW)     74
Putting It Down in Writing     74
The Components of the SOW     75
Seeing Eye to Eye     77
Managing Risks and Constraints     79
The Three Types of Risk     80
Risk Areas     80
Don't Forget Business Risks     81
The Ultimate Risk: Acts of God     82
Taking Risks Stage by Stage     82
Risk Tolerance     83
The Basics of Risk Management     84
Track Risks with a Risk Log     87
Constraints vs. Risks     88
Constraints to Consider     88
The Budget     89
The Schedule     89
The People     90
The Real World     90
Facilities and Equipment     90
Risky Business     90
The Project Planning Phase     93
The Breakdown of Tasks: What Really Needs to Be Done?     95
Breaking Your Project into Bite-Sized Pieces     96
The Work Breakdown Structure and Your Project     96
Organizing the WBS      100
Five Steps to the Work Breakdown Structure     102
Criteria for Ensuring Quality Work     103
Give Yourself Plenty of Time     104
Defining Your Deliverables     105
Refining the WBS     107
The Network Diagram: A Map for Your Project     109
What's a Network Diagram?     110
Why Do You Need a Network Diagram?     111
The WBS and the Network Diagram     111
Precedence Relationships in a Project Network     112
Concurrent (Parallel) Activities     112
Complex Time Relationships for Critical Projects     115
When Is Enough Enough?     117
Three Major Network Methods and Others You May Encounter     117
Circles or Boxes? Who Cares?     118
AOA and AON     119
Tried and True Networks     120
Project Start to Finish: Establishing the Time to Get Things Done     121
The Schedule or the Budget: Which Is First?     122
The Schedule Synchronizes the Project     122
Estimating Time: Your Best Guess at Effort and Duration     125
Who Should You Ask?     125
Representative Team Members for Each Part of the Project     126
Outside Vendors and Service Agencies      126
Experienced Managers or Experts     126
Management and Other Project Stakeholders     126
Weighing the Risk     127
A Compromise Between Best and Worst Case     121
The Confidence Factor     128
Details, Details     129
Applying Calendars to a Resource     130
Putting It Down on Paper     131
Schedule Charting Pros and Cons     131
More on Gantt Charts     132
Other Considerations as You Build the Schedule     133
Revisions and the Schedule     134
Learning Takes Time     134
The Heat Is On     134
Team Member Estimate Errors     134
The Just-in-Time Strategy for Scheduling Resources     135
What Happens When They Want to Rush Me?     136
Determining the Critical Path and its Impact on the Schedule     137
How to Determine the Critical Path on Any Project     138
Not Just Floating Around     139
The Different Views of Critical in Project Management     139
Establishing the Critical Path     140
Myth or Reality?     141
Use the Critical Path Worksheet to Calculate Path and Float     141
Normalizing the Schedule     144
Loading Up and Leveling Out     145
The Reallocation Questions     145
Ready for Leveling Out     147
Options for Adjusting the Schedule     148
Adjusting a Schedule to Meet a Forced Deadline     149
Chart the Final Schedule and See If It Works     149
Budgeting and Cost Control Options for Your Project     151
How to Avoid the Classic Budgeting Mistakes     152
Three Levels of Accuracy for Estimating     153
Other Sources of Data for Building the Budget     153
Direct and Indirect Costs     154
Building a Budget     156
Get Expert Opinions     157
Types of Budgeting Methods     158
Bottom-Up Budgeting     159
Top-Down Budgeting     159
Phased Budgeting     159
Refining the Budget     159
Adding a Little Insurance Money     161
Master Budget Control     161
The Time Value of Money     161
Cash Flow Analysis     162
Payback     162
Net Present Value (NPV)     163
Internal Rate of Return (IRR)     163
Building a Winning Project Team      165
The First Step     166
Building the Core Project Team     166
The Complete Implementation Team: Where Most of the Work on the Project Is Done     168
Matching Skills to Tasks on the WBS     169
Where Will the People Come From?     171
Your Own Staff and Other People from Your Department     171
Staff from Other Departments     172
Contracting with Consultants and Temporary Agencies     173
Hiring and Training New Staff     174
Deciding What You Need and Assigning People     175
A Survival Resource After the Project Starts     176
The Best of the Best: Making Your Selections     176
Sometimes You Have to Compromise     177
The Problem of Imposed Team Members     177
Getting What You Need: Supplies, Equipment, and Other Things     179
The Additional Resources You Need     180
Planning for Outside Vendors, Contractors, and Suppliers     181
Determine What Kind of Contract to Use     182
Get an Estimate     182
Working with the Purchasing Department     186
The Final Steps in Procurement     187
Putting It All Together: Getting the Plan Approved     189
Reasons to Plan in the First Place     190
The Reality Check Before Approval     190
What to Do If Discrepancies Appear     192
Other Last-Minute Issues to Consider     192
Putting It All Together     193
Write the Draft Project Plan for the Review Process     196
Conduct a Peer Review     196
Review the Plan with the Key Stakeholders     197
Presenting the Project Plan     198
Plan Approval     199
From Plan to Action, Finally     200
The Execution Phase     203
Getting Started on the Right Track     205
Always Get Your Own Act Together First!     206
Do It Now and Do It Right     206
The Formal Kickoff     207
It's a Go     207
Between Kickoff and Team Meeting: Use the Time Wisely     208
The First Project Meeting     209
One-on-Ones: The Individual Starting Events     211
Setting the Right Expectations     212
Information Everyone Needs to Get Started     213
Managing Global Projects     214
Schedule     215
Budget     215
Technology     215
Quality     216
Human Resources      216
Procurement     216
Leadership: Taking the Bull by the Horns     219
The Importance of Establishing Your Leadership     220
Wearing the Big Shoes     220
A Style That Gets the Job Done     221
How to Lead Change     222
Building a Case for Change     223
Competing with Other Projects for Attention     229
Communication Lines     229
Where Do Projects Fit Together?     229
Critical Path Conflict     230
Keep Your Project Front and Center     230
Leading a Technical Project When You Don't Have Expertise     231
Being All Things to All People     232
What an Organization!     233
No Easy Task, but Someone Has to Organize These People     233
The Human Drama: Personality, Politics, and Corporate Culture     234
Give Them a Script     235
Avoid Casting Catastrophes     235
The Proud, the Few...the Project Team     235
On Becoming a Team: The Basic Ways to Organize People     236
The Functional Project Organization     237
The Pure-Project Organization     239
The Matrix Organization     241
The Mixed Organization     244
Which Structure Should You Use?     245
Using a RACI Chart     245
Matching the Organization to Fit the Project     246
Managing the Working Committee     247
Operating Guidelines: Setting Up to Get Things Done     249
The Project Processes in Each Phase     250
Project Processes vs. Project Procedures     251
Project Processes and the Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle     251
The Things That Need to Get Done     252
Handling Business Process Changes     252
Start with the Project Team     253
Now It's Time for the Working Committee     254
Making the Decision     255
Escalating the Decision     255
Set Up a Work Authorization System     256
Administrative Procedures That Won't Hurt     256
The Reports You May Need     257
Simple Forms to Create Useful Reports     258
Every Report Needs a Purpose     258
Ask Two Final Questions Before You Start     259
Why You Should Keep a Project Diary     259
The Bottom Line     260
Making Your Communications Count     261
The Basics of Communications: It's All About Perceptions      262
What Does a Communication Plan Look Like?     263
Stakeholder Analysis     263
Sensitivity Analysis     264
Information Needs     265
Media Requirements     265
Delivery Personnel and Power Bases     266
Timing Requirements     267
Common Definitions     267
Feedback Loops     268
Macro and Micro Barriers     268
Jargon and Acronyms     269
Execute the Communications Plan     269
Communications and Leadership     270
Developing Effective Messages     270
Listening Is Part of Communicating     271
The Controlling Processes     273
Monitoring and Controlling Schedules and Expenses     275
Taking Charge and Getting Control     276
Success Criteria for Project Control     276
What Should You Monitor?     278
What Monitoring Should Accomplish     280
Using Earned Value Analysis to Determine Project Status     280
Using Gantt Charts to Control Your Project     282
The Project Review Meeting as a Control Process     282
The Project Audit     283
The Project Peer Review      284
Monitoring and Controlling the Budget     284
Putting It All Together     285
Preparing Operations for the Project Deliverables     289
Five Requirements for Operations Integration     290
Create and Communicate the Conclusion     290
Have the Skills to Use the Deliverable     290
Give Users Incentives     291
Help Users/Operators Make the Transition     291
Let Stakeholders Know the Schedule     292
Developing the Training Plan     292
Symptoms That Operations Is Not Ready     294
Overcoming Resistance to Change     295
Fear     295
Feelings of Powerlessness     296
Discomfort     297
Absence of Self-Interest     297
Changes, Changes, and More Changes     299
Develop a Process for Change Control     300
What Might a Change Process Look Like?     301
The Rules of Change Control     302
Understanding and Estimating the Impact of Changes     304
The Balancing Act     304
Comparing Changes with Trade Off Analysis     307
Communicating a Scope Change     307
When Conflicts Occur     308
Create an Issues Log     309
Quality Management: Making It the Best It Can Be     311
What Exactly Does Quality Mean in a Project?     312
Planning for Quality Is the Starting Point     312
Quality Planning Tools and Techniques     313
Cost/Benefit Analyses     313
Benchmarking     314
Cause-and-Effect Diagrams     314
Quality Assurance: The Real Proof     316
Quality Control: It's All About Results     317
Common Project Problems: Get Them Before They Get You     319
Recognizing All Problems, Large and Small     320
The Floating Start Date     320
There's Not Enough Time, or They Need It Faster     321
The 90-Percent-Done Syndrome     322
Moving Target Objectives     323
The Key Person Always Quits     323
Costs Spiral out of Control     324
The Staff Has More Enthusiasm Than Talent     324
The Impossible Remains Impossible     325
Politics, Politics, and More Politics     326
Management by Best-Seller     326
Taking Care of Yourself to Remain Sane     327
A Parable of Last Resort     327
The Close-Out Phase     329
Will the Last One Out Please Turn Off the Lights?     331
Is There Life After Project Termination?     332
Why Is a Close-Out Phase Necessary?     332
The Final Shutdown     332
Closing a Small Project     334
Closing a Large Project     334
Write Out Your Lessons Learned     335
Some Additional Details for Project Shutdown     336
The After-Implementation Review     339
Three Ways to Release a Workforce     339
Give It Up!     340
The Final Evaluation: The Short and Long of It     343
Evaluating Your Project     343
Meet with Core Team Members     344
Compare Goals to Achievements     344
Writing the Final Report     345
Packaging Options for the Report     347
The Political Impact of Final Reports     348
Who Accomplished What and How Well?     348
The Bottom Line and You     349
The Organization and Tools to Make Project Management Prosper     351
The Project-Enabled Organization     353
Understanding the Benefits of Formalizing Project Management     354
Is Your Organization Ready to Be Projectized?     354
Define the Organizational Boundaries First     356
Now Come the Standards     358
Where Do Standards Come From?     359
Establish a Life Cycle Standard     359
Manage Projects Like an Asset for Your Future     361
Putting a Project Office in Place to Support the System     362
In the End, It's Leadership That Makes It Work     363
Software for All Projects Great and Small     365
Software That Simplifies the Details     366
What Can Project Management Programs Do?     366
The Virtual World of the Project Needs Virtual Tools     369
The Power of Networking     370
So What's in It for Me?     370
Simple vs. Complex Projects and the Software They Need     371
The Types of Project Management Programs     371
Single-Project Programs     372
Corporate-Level Programs     372
Mega-Project Programs     373
How Do You Choose?     373
Pricing     373
Total Number of Activities and Resources     374
Direct Cost Assignment and Tracking     374
Resource Scheduling and Leveling     374
Flexible Calendar Functions     374
Import and Export Functions      375
Infrastructure Requirements     376
Documentation and Support for the Program     376
Reputation of the Product Manufacturer     376
Word-of-Mouth Experience     376
Technical Support     377
Things Project Management Software Can't Do     377
Go Get Yourself Some!     379
Web Resources for Project Managers     381
Index     383
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2008

    A must read

    Don't let the name insult you. Idiot's guide mean light reading. However, it covers an enormous amount of info for a variety of situations a PM will face. I recommend this to those who are thinking aobut PM. This is great for anyone in a active leadership role in an organization or a short term projet.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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