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Books available in the style of this Blog

For Project Manager - Be a Better Sheepdog Practical Project Management Guide 

If you find the posts in this Blog useful you may be interested to learn that a practical guide book bringing together my approach to Project Management in the style of this blog is now available on Amazon in printed or e-book format e.g. Amazon UK site , Amazon US site  or search for "Be a Better Sheepdog" in your local Amazon site. 

In a world of many books about Project Management, why should you pick this one?

  1. This book is a practical, focused guide on the skills and the simplified processes needed successfully to deliver projects.
  2. It has been written by an experienced consultant Project Manager with a good track record, who has honed these techniques in 100+ projects and programmes of varying scale in different types of organisational culture over 35 years of doing the job day in day out.
  3. The style of the book is one, which has been used personally to mentor many budding PMs. It uses analogies and proverbs as well as over 70 hopefully humorous cartoons to help you remember the skills and techniques needed. There is scientific research, which backs up what the author has seen in practice about using this learning approach. Rather than learning by rote that Risk Management is really important to apply in your project, it is easier to remember the proverb "Attack the risks before the risks attack you!" especially when under pressure.
  4. I have priced the book competitively to cover costs of production, because rather than aiming to make money I want to improve the performance of the next generation of Project Managers.
Projects - Attack the Risks before the Risks Attack You

Below is the preface from the book:

I have aimed this book at new or improving Project Managers, individuals that may have had some training but not extensive practical experience. As there are so many good Project Management books, why read this one? 

Firstly, I have focused on practical techniques and areas of focus that I have honed over 35 years of running projects. The book aims to simplify Project Management processes and skills to the essence of what you should do, minimising theory along the journey.

Secondly, I realise that such books are a dry read at the best of time, so I have used analogies, proverbs and humorous cartoons throughout the book (well, I hope they at least raise a smile while conveying important messages). I am a great advocate of such approaches over and above keeping you awake during reading, because, as a Project Manager, you are likely to be “time poor” due to the pressures of the project and so retaining key concepts in your memory is important. There is scientific research  which indicates that use of analogies, proverbs and humour through cartoons helps memory retention. 
So rather than learning by rote that you should be mitigating key risks, I believe it is much better to remember a cartoon and proverb “Attack the risks before the risks attack you!”

Ultimately, if I can help my fellow Project Managers improve the chances of a successful outcome for their projects through this book, then the many hours of drafting will have been worthwhile. 

There is a video describing why I produced the book and some more about the contents.

In terms of chapters, the book first examines an important concept which is what success represents in a project before moving onto the key behaviours, softer and harder skills needed by a Project Manager. It finishes with the 3 processes I believe are needed to run a project, Define, Do and Close. The actual chapter names are:

  • The two dimensions of project success
  • Your behaviours, it’s all up to you!
  • Always remember the human side
  • The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place
  • Do the right project BEFORE Do the project right (Business Case)
  • Forget Stakeholder Management at your peril
  • Planning & Estimating, the Bonnie & Clyde partnership of Project Management
  • Attack the risks before the risks attack you! (Risk and Assumption management)
  • Manage External Dependencies or face the risk of a dropped baton in the relay race (Dependency Management)
  • Money makes the project go round (Financial Management)
  • Quality is generally transparent when present, but easily recognised in its absence
  • Configuration Management - boring to some but an important piece of the project jigsaw
  • A pilot doesn't try and fly a plane without instruments, neither should a Project Manager (Monitoring and Control)
  • A problem shared is a problem halved (Issue Management)
  • The Ancient Greeks called it correctly - Everything changes and nothing stands still (Change Management)
  • Process – Define a project
  • Process – Do a project
  • Process – Close a project
3 Step Better Sheepdog process for running a project
The @beabettersheepdog YouTube site also contains video summaries of each chapter, he is a video introducing what I call "Recap to Remember videos" (you may wish to subscribe to this YouTube channel)

For Project Sponsor - Be a Better Sheepdog Project Ownership Practical Guide

I have also produced a second book aimed at Project Sponsors or Owners as I prefer to call them. It may be beneficial for a Project Manager to loan this book to their Project Sponsor.

There is my video explaining why I wrote this second book in the series.

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