No-Drama Project Management

No-Drama Project Management: Avoiding Predictable Problems for Project Success is a book for project managers who want or need to be more effective. Having a project crash and burn is never a great situation, author Bart Gerardi explains, but it’s not a career buster—unless the failure appears on the short list of recurring, avoidable problems that can and will pop up during any project. If your project fails due to a lack of planning, for example, expect a trip to the woodshed. Why? Your “unexpected problem” was actually both predictable and avoidable.

This book is an exploration of the preventable problems that cause project failures and how to steer clear of them. It includes far more than simple rookie mistakes like trying to please the wrong stakeholder or misunderstanding your role on the team. Those who have been around the block a few times will also find tips and insights that can help them reignite a stalled or meandering career. The sections on managing change adroitly or handling truly unexpected challenges, for example, can get veteran project managers back on track.

There are plenty of books about the science of project management that cover such things as creating a work-breakdown structure or a Gantt chart. No-Drama Project Management is about the art of project management. It contains methods and techniques—illustrated with stories from Gerardi’s rich store of experiences—that’ll help project managers shine and become promotable. This book:

  • Describes the common obstacles that all projects face, and how to defuse or avoid them
  • Explains how project managers can hold a mirror to their own  performance and improve it
  • Shows project managers how to become masters at expecting the unexpected and thereby ratcheting up their success rates

What you’ll learn
This book shows you how to:

  • Understand the problems that every project faces, and how to avoid them
  • Adjust your management style if it causes problems for your projects
  • Determine just what your program manager is thinking, and what he or she wants from you
  • Make sure, if your projects fail, that they do so in interesting and educational ways, not mundane ones
  • Ensure that your projects run smoother, with less focus on the mistakes and more on the challenges
  • Become a top project manager in your company, your field, the world!

Who this book is for
No-Drama Project Management: Avoiding Predictable Problems for Project Success is for project managers who have had projects go awry in the past and don’t understand why. It is for the project manager who wants to think like a program manager and keep from making the kinds of mistakes that will get them in hot water. It is also for program or portfolio managers who need to help train project managers to keep projects on track by managing the “known unknowns.” Finally, this book is for project managers who are ready to think beyond their current projects and look ahead to a job as a program or portfolio manager.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: The No-Drama Project Manager
  2. Project Management Success—“What do you mean ‘expect the expected’?”
  3. Identify Requirements—“Tell me again—what are we trying to do here?”
  4. Prioritize—“Which is higher: critical, must-have, or essential?”
  5. Manage Change—“I’m sure we can squeeze that in without adjusting the schedule.”
  6. Align with the Client—“Hmm . . . I don’t remember talking about that.”
  7. Testing Assumptions—“Well, when we started this project, we were assuming…”
  8. Identify Decision Makers—“You weren’t the one to make that call?”
  9. Communicate Effectively—“I must not have gotten that email.”
  10. Develop a Plan—“Let’s just get started; we know what we need to do.”
  11. Prepare for Problems—“Honestly, we really hoped this wouldn’t happen.”
  12. Establish Metrics—“What’s the score now?”
  13. Know the Roles—“Coach, tell me again where I’m playing?”
  14. Handling the Truly Unexpected—“Uh oh . . .”
  15. The End of Drama

Book Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Apress (December 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430239905
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430239901
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