Everyday Project Management

Everyday Project Management

by Jeff Davidson


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Everyday Project Management is a practical guide for anyone new or needing to learn more about project management. Unlike many other books, it does not rely on arcane concepts and terms, and simply tells it like it is.”
—Todd C. Williams, President of eCameron, Inc., and author of Filling Execution Gaps and Rescue the Problem Project

Everyday Project Management provides the direction you need to apply project management’s time-tested tools for keeping things on time and under budget. It introduces the wide variety of tasks you will have to tackle, including assembling a team, mapping out a plan, monitoring progress, keeping your team motivated, and using appropriate planning tools, such as project management software or wall charts. In addition, you’ll gain a clearer picture of the project manager’s role in the conception, planning, execution, control, and completion of a project.

Each chapter offers essential bite-sized nuggets of wisdom that will help you succeed, outlining the kinds of challenges you’ll encounter, the interpersonal issues that will arise, and ways to stay on time and on budget in pursuit of the desired quality outcome. You’ll learn how Gantt charts can keep your project on schedule, how the critical path method can be used to conserve resources, and how to juggle multiple projects, bosses, and reporting structures. 

Whether you are managing one project or many, this quick and easy guide to the tasks, tools, and skills of project management will carry you from project launch to project completion. Most importantly, you will learn why having a work-life balance is vital to project managers who seek long and prosperous careers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781523085392
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Publication date: 09/03/2019
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 1,240,804
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Jeff Davidson is a certified management consultant, award-winning author, and professional speaker. He is the holder of the trademark "The Work-Life Balance Expert." Davidson speaks to organizations and groups who seek to enhance productivity by improving the work-life balance of their people, such as IBM, Cardinal Health, Lockheed Martin, American Express, and Wells Fargo. He is the author of numerous books, including Dial It Down, Live It Up; Simpler Living; Breathing Space; and The 60 Second Self-Starter.

Table of Contents

Contents at a Glance xi

Preface xv

Introduction 1

1 Project Management in a World of Overload 6

Success, to What End? 6

The World as We Found It 8

Overwhelmed and Underserved 19

Balance Begins with the Basics 20

The Quest for Work-Life Balance 21

A Brave New World 25

Quick Recap 27

2 Industry Norms-Should You Conform? 28

Quiz Question 28

Modern Origins 30

Ensnarled by Jargon? 31

The Agile Attitude 33

Institutional Pitfalls 36

Underlying Concepts Count 37

Fundamentals Matter 39

Dependency Is Not Pretty 40

Interpersonal and Technological Skills 42

Quick Recap 43

3 So, You're Going to Manage a Project? 45

The Elements of a Project 45

Project Planning 51

Project Implementation 53

Command 54

Players and Their Roles 55

Quick Recap 56

4 What Makes a Good Project Manager? 57

A Doer, Not a Bystander 57

Many Hats, All the Time 58

Principles to Steer You 60

Ways to Succeed as a Project Manager 65

Ways to Fail as a Project Manager 68

Quick Recap 70

5 What Do You Want to Accomplish? 72

The Technical Side and the People Side 72

Key Questions 73

What Are We Attempting to Do? 74

Tasks Versus Outcomes 76

Telling Questions 77

The Wide Application of Project Management 78

Quick Recap 80

6 Laying Out Your Plan 81

No Surprises 81

From Nothing to Something 83

A Journey of 1,000 Miles 84

You and Me against the World? 85

The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) 86

In Many Forms 87

Maintaining a Project Outline 89

The Functional WBS 91

More Complexity, More Help 93

What Should We Deliver? 94

It's Results That Count 96

Supporting Tools 96

Bounce Your Plan off Others 97

Quick Recap 98

7 Assembling Your Plan 100

The Critical Path for Completing the WBS 100

The Chicken or the Egg? 101

Is Planning Itself a Task? 102

What about Your Own Hours? 103

Internal Resources Versus External Resources 104

Helping Your Staff When It's Over 105

What Kinds of Tasks Constitute the WBS? 106

Keeping the Big Picture in Mind 108

The Big Picture Versus Endless Minutiae 109

From Planning to Monitoring 110

Quick Recap 112

8 Keeping Your Eye on the Budget 113

Money Still Doesn't Grow on Trees 113

Distorted Expectations 115

Hidden Costs 116

Crises Will Happen 117

Traditional Approaches to Budgeting 117

Traditional Measures 118

Predictable Reverberations 122

Systematic Budgeting Problems 122

Estimation Sand Traps 124

Quick Recap 126

9 Gantt Charts 127

Chart Your Progress 127

Variations on a Theme 130

Embellishments Offer Detail 131

Your Project, Back on Track 133

Thinking Ahead 134

Quick Recap 135

10 Critical Path Method 136

Complexity Happens 136

Enter the CPM and PERT 138

Great Utility 140

What If Things Change? 144

I Feel the Need, the Need for Speed 145

Let's Network 146

Me and My Arrow 147

Don't Fall in Love with the Technology 148

Quick Recap 149

11 Choosing Project Management Software 150

With the Click of a Mouse 150

Leave a Good Thing Alone 151

Whose Choice and Whose Job Is It? 152

What's Your Pleasure? 153

Dedicated PM Software 155

How Will You Use PM Software? 156

Checklists and Choices 157

Making a List, Checking It Twice 160

Quick Recap 161

12 A Sampling of Popular Programs 162

Swiftly Flow the Days 162

Armed and Online 163

Low-Cost Options 177

No Perfect Matches 182

Quick Recap 183

13 Reporting Results 184

More Communications Channels, Less Accessibility 184

In-Person Communications 185

Informal Person-to-Person Meetings 186

Telephone Contact 187

E-mail 188

Memos and Informal Notes 189

Formally Composed Documents 190

Teleconferencing 190

Web-Based Presentations 191

Oh, Them Golden Bullets 192

Incorporate the Thoughts of Others 193

Quick Recap 194

14 Multiple Bosses and Multiple Projects, and Staying Balanced 195

Multiple Projects at a Time 195

Complexity Happens 196

A Tale of Two Offices 197

Extravagance Not Required 198

Reporting to More than One Boss at a Time 199

Workaholic for Hire 201

Stand Up for Yourself 201

Asserting Yourself in Dire Situations 202

Quick Recap 203

15 Real-World Project Management Results 204

Helping Site Managers to Be More Effective 204

Let's Assign It to a Project Manager 205

Armchair Analysis Versus Onsite Observation 206

Tower of Babel 207

Slowly but Surely 208

After the Handout 211

Quick Recap 212

16 Learning from Your Experience 214

Life Is for Learning 214

Master the Software 216

Keep Your Eyes Open 217

Preparing for the Next Project 218

Quick Recap 221

Glossary 223

Further Reading 231

Acknowledgments 235

Index 237

About the Author 251

Customer Reviews