In the tradition of the phenomenal business bestseller The Rational Manager, this comprehensive guide explores and explains the rationale, processes, and tools of successful project management. While The Rational Project Manager covers the nuts and bolts of the discipline, it also offers a unique concentration on the logic and thought processes necessary for successful project completion.
Senior consultants from Kepner-Tregoe, the consultancy whose founders revolutionized organizational problem solving and decision making in The Rational Manager, authors Andrew Longman and Jim Mullins provide one-of-a-kind guidance on problem solving and decision making in project management. Contrary to the litany of excuses heard when projects failfrom "we didn't have enough time," to "we didn't have good enough people"the majority of failed projects are the result of poor planning and poor critical thinking. That's why this book provides such a heavy focus on the vital skills of communication and problem solving.
The authors divide project management into three stagesdefinition, planning, and implementationexploring each stage in depth and showing project managers and contributors how to apply concepts and avoid common mistakes. Setting aside theoretical exploration, complex formulas, and software-as-savior cure-alls, The Rational Project Manager focuses on the fundamentals of why projects fail and offers a proven methodology for making sure they don't.
Practical, straightforward, and comprehensive, this one-of-a-kind resource is the bible for project managers everywhere. Offering unsurpassed insight on the methodology and critical-thinking skills that form the cornerstone of any successful project, The Rational Project Manager helps get work done.
"Change for business today is not a spectator sport. Translating strategic vision into bottom-line results requires discipline, execution, and participationa theme that resonates throughout The Rational Project Manager. Longman and Mullins present a commonsense approach to executing against opportunities that is grounded in logic and resourcefulness."
George W. Buckley Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brunswick Corporation
"The Rational Project Manager provides much-needed insights and tools for leaders at all levels. The bane of any leader's worklife is those initiatives that lack focus, engender poor decision making, and are misaligned with organizational culture and goals. Given the ambiguity, complexity, and change that are the new baseline assumptions in the workplace, The Rational Project Manager's simple, flexible approach fills an important gap overlooked by most books on the subject."
Steve Schloss Vice President, Human Resources Time Inc.
"The Rational Project Manager does a terrific job of dealing with both the art and discipline of project management. It focuses on the critical thinking that is essential to project success and also provides a wide array of tools and techniques for driving up performance."
John Case President and Chief Executive Officer Electrolux Home Care Products North America
"Significant projects frequently are planned and executed by cross-functional teams of people who don't normally work together. For a project to be completed successfully, the team and each team member must quickly develop both goal and role clarity. Kepner-Tregoe's rational process tools, including the project management tools well described in this book, have been critical to improving my organization's ability to execute projects and have become a core part of our culture."
Ray Baxter President and Chief Executive Officer Interbake Foods LLC
"Half the trouble in modern life comes from ambitious projects gone awry. Some were not thought-through before they were embarked on. Others started with good intentions but fell apart when their leaders could not adapt to changing circumstances or keep their team moving toward the proper goal. The sensible principles laid out in this clear and useful book would go a long way toward making both public and private organizations more effective. Personally, I'd start by passing out copies throughout the U.S. government."
James Fallows National Correspondent The Atlantic Monthly