The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management

The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management

by Eric Verzuh


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119148227
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 11/09/2015
Series: Fast Forward MBA Series
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 838,413
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

ERIC VERZUH is President of The Versatile Company, a project management training and consulting firm based in Seattle, Washington. His company trains thousands of professionals every year in the fundamentals of successful project management. Verzuh is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute and the author of The Portable MBA in Project Management, published by Wiley. Contact him at or e-mail him at

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Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables


About the Author


Downloadable Forms

Part 1: Introduction

Chapter 1: Project Management: A Platform for Innovation


Project Management Is Keeping Pace with Global Change

Project Management Is an Essential Leadership Skillset

Successful Projects Deliver Value

The Art and Science of Project Leadership

A Practical Checklist for Successful Projects: How This Book Will Help You

Beyond the Book: Tools for Application and Continuous Learning

Project Management Relies on Other Disciplines

End Point

Stellar Performer: OrthoSpot

Stellar Performer: PM4NGOs

Chapter 2: Foundation Principles of Project Management


Projects Require Project Management

The Challenge of Managing Projects

The Evolution of a Discipline

The Definition of Success

Project Management Functions

Project Life Cycle

Organizing for Projects

End Point

Stellar Performer: Seattle Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center

Chapter 3: Build GREAT Products: Lessons from Agile, Lean Start-Up, and Stage-Gate


Defining Value: A New Lens for Judging Projects Informs the Development Process

Leverage a Consistent Product Development Process

Best Practices for Capturing Requirements Are Integrated into a Product Development Process

A Development Process Is Not Project Management

Innovation Projects Experiment to Discover Desirability and Viability

End Point

Stellar Performer: The Lean Startup Innovation Movement

Stellar Performer: The Agile Approach to Software Development

Stellar Performer: The Stage-Gate System for New-Product Development

Part 2: Defining the Project

Chapter 4: Project Initiation: Turning a Problem or Opportunity into a Project


Project Initiation’s Place in the Project Life Cycle

A Proposal Defines the Future Business Value

Managing Requirements Is Tightly Linked to Project Initiation

Common Principles for Project Initiation

Basic Project Proposal Content

Designing a Realistic Initiation Process

End Point

Stellar Performer: The Logical Framework Approach

Chapter 5: Know Your Key Stakeholders and Win Their Cooperation


Stakeholder Focus Throughout the Life of the Project

Stakeholder Management Is Risk Management for People

Stakeholder Roles: Project Manager

Stakeholder Roles: Project Team

Stakeholder Roles: Management

Stakeholder Roles: The Customer

Affected Stakeholders Can Make Crucial Contributions

Engage Affected Stakeholders

Lead the Stakeholders

End Point

Fast Foundation in Project Management

Chapter 6: Write the Rules: Key Documents to Manage Expectations and Define Success


Project Rules Are the Foundation

Publish a Project Charter

Write a Statement of Work

Statement of Work: Minimum Content

Responsibility Matrix

The Project Proposal Launches the Project

End Point

Fast Foundation in Project Management

Part 3: The Planning Process

Chapter 7: Risk Management: Minimize the Threats to Your Project


The Risk Management Advantage

All Project Management Is Risk Management

The Risk Management Framework

Step One: Identify the Risks

Step Two: Analyze and Prioritize the Risks

Step Three: Develop Response Plans

Step Four: Establish Contingency and Reserve

Step Five: Continuous Risk Management

Unexpected Leadership

End Point

Fast Foundation in Project Management

Chapter 8: Work Breakdown Structure: Break Your Project into Manageable Units of Work


Defining the Work Breakdown Structure

Building a Work Breakdown Structure

Criteria for a Successful Work Breakdown Structure

Work Package Size

Planning for Quality

Breaking Down Large Programs

Contractors or Vendors Can Provide a WBS

End Point

Chapter 9: Realistic Scheduling


Planning Overview

Planning Step Two: Identify Task Relationships

Planning Step Three: Estimate Work Packages

Planning Step Four: Calculate an Initial Schedule

Planning Step Five: Assign and Level Resources

Small Projects Need Smaller Plans

End Point

Fast Foundation in Project Management

Chapter 10: Managing Agile Development with Scrum


Scrum Is a Framework

Managing the Product Backlog

Make the Plan Visible: Task Boards and Burndown Charts

Key Factors for Scrum to Be Effective

End Point

Chapter 11: The Art and Science of Accurate Estimating


Estimating Fundamentals

Estimating Techniques

Building the Detailed Budget Estimate

Generating the Cash Flow Schedule

End Point

Fast Foundation in Project Management

Stellar Performer: Tynet, Inc.

Stellar Performer: Adobe Systems

Chapter 12: Balancing the Trade-Off among Cost, Schedule, and Quality


Three Levels of Balancing a Project

Balancing at the Project Level

Balancing at the Business Case Level

Balancing at the Enterprise Level

End Point

Stellar Performer: Safeco Field

Stellar Performer: Boeing 767-400ER Program

Part 4: Controlling the Project

Chapter 13: Building a High-Performance Project Team


A Framework for Building High-Performance Teams

Leadership Responsibilities

Building a Positive Team Environment

Ground Rules

Team Identity

Team Listening Skills

Meeting Management

Summary of Building a Positive Team Environment

Collaborative Problem Solving

Problem Analysis

Decision Modes

Conflict Management

Continuous Learning

Summary of Collaborative Problem Solving

Job Satisfaction

End Point

Stellar Performer: Habitat for Humanity

Chapter 14: Clear Communication Among Project Stakeholders


Embrace Your Role as a Leader

Creating a Communication Plan

Change Management: Promote Behavior Change in Affected Stakeholders

Communicating Within the Project Team

Closeout Reporting

End Point

Chapter 15: Control Scope to Deliver Value


The Change Control Process

Configuration Management

Change Control Is Essential for Managing Expectations

End Point

Fast Foundation in Project Management

Chapter 16: Measuring Progress


Measuring Schedule Performance

Measuring Cost Performance

Earned Value Reporting

Cost and Schedule Baselines

End Point

Chapter 17: Solving Common Project Problems


Responsibility Beyond Your Authority

Disaster Recovery

Reducing the Time to Market

When the Customer Delays the Project

The Impossible Dream

Fighting Fires

Managing Volunteers

Achieving the Five Project Success Factors

End Point

Part 5: Advancing Your Practice of Project Management

Chapter 18: Enterprise Project Management: Coordinate All Projects and Project Resources in Your Organization


Defining Enterprise Project Management

Three Tiers of Management Within EPM

The Four Components of EPM

Establish Consistent EPM Processes

Technology Enables EPM Processes

The People Who Deliver Projects

Support Project Management: The Project Office

End Point

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Enterprise Project Management Office

Chapter 19: Requirements Engineering: The Key to Building the Right Product
James Rivera and Eric Verzuh


Requirements Engineering and Project Management Are Intimately Connected

Requirement Types Illustrate the Evolving Product Vision

Requirements Engineering Scope and Processes

Requirements Development Activities

Requirements Management Activities

Requirements Documentation Techniques

Requirements Engineering Demands Discipline

End Point

Chapter 20: Project Portfolio Management: Align Project Resources with Business Strategy
Ralph Kliem and Eric Verzuh


The Scope and Goals of the Portfolio

Stakeholders: Roles in Project Portfolio Management

PPM Information Supports Decisions

Project Selection and Prioritization

Ongoing Portfolio Management

Monitor the Results of Projects and the Portfolio

Culture Change

End Point

Chapter 21: PMP Exam Preparation
Tony Johnson


Requirements to Earn the PMP

Top 10 Study Tips for the PMP Exam

End Point

Chapter 22: Microsoft Project: Guidelines for Effective Use


Project Management Software Supports the Discipline

Looking Under the Hood: The Design of Project

Set Up the Project First

Follow the Planning Model in This Book

Task Types: Fix the Duration, Work, or Resource Level

Assigning Resources to a Project

Resource Leveling Your Schedule

Maintaining the Plan Throughout the Project

Communicating with Your Team and Management

Project Server and Project Web App

End Point

Appendix: The Detailed Planning Model




This book is intended to present a realistic look at the challenges of the project environment and the skills you will need to successfully bring a project to fulfillment. On the way, you will learn the tools necessary to achieve each of the five essential success factors. Part 1 lays the groundwork. In addition to simple terminology, it contains global concepts that tie project management to other disciplines, such as quality and product development. Part 1 also includes examples of the organizational changes companies are making to take advantage of project-oriented work.

Parts 2, 3, and 4 present the tools and techniquesthe real science-of project management. Since this is a how-to book, the techniques in these chapters are described in detail. These techniques start with simple examples, then progress to tips for managing larger projects. In these sections, you will learn the major responsibilities of a project manager, what the definition of a project is, and the best ways to plan and control projects. Part 2 deals specifically with setting the goals and constraints of the project. Part 3, "Planning the Project," offers the most effective techniques for managing budgets, monitoring a project's scope, and keeping on schedule. Many of these techniques are features of popular project management software. After reading this section, you will know how to make better use of this software.

Part 4 offers methods for controlling a project and keeping it on track. This section focuses on the many tools used to keep a project on track and bring it to successful completion, regardless of whether everything goes as planned. Together, these three sections provide the tool set every projectmanager needs.

Finally, Part 5 describes how the tools presented in this book can be used by organizations and by project managers. We look at the ways in which project management techniques are being adopted by a growing number of organizations. And, finally, we look at the kind of problem situations that project managers are likely to face-and how to deal with them, using the tools presented in this book.

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The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I started a new job last week, a friend gave me 'The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management.' I am finding it a wonderful resource and training guide. It is easy to read and understand. Plus--as a silly side note--I really like the size. It's easy to carry with me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This one book re-enforced what I have learned in several formal classes. It is very easy to understand and all the information is pertinent. Solid substitive text.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The quality and amount of content in this book is phenomenal, and the format is very well thought out. Many PM books I've seen are a lot of theory, but I really think this one could be the 'bible' for many people learning formal PM for their jobs or personal enrichment. I've bought a lot of business books that are on the shelf somewhere, long forgotten, but this is one I feel the need to act on right away, to integrate it into my own projects. If this volume of 'Fast Forward MBA' is representative, I want the whole set (and I already have an MBA!)I've been to a two-day project management class that didn't cover 1/10 of what's here, and it cost hundreds of dollars. The author and publisher did a fantastic job.