1st Edition

Essential Project Management Skills

By Kerry Wills Copyright 2010
    220 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    224 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    In today’s business world, project managers not only have to be diligent in project planning and execution, but also need to have skills in persuasion, communication, and relationship management. Reflecting the changing landscape of projects today, Essential Project Management Skills empowers project managers to master the skills necessary to succeed in the current environment.

    Real case studies clarify concepts

    Divided into four sections by chapter and enhanced with tables and diagrams, the book begins by introducing the concepts related to the changing project landscape and their impact on projects. It then delves into the details of several trends within the project landscape, describes the challenges created by these trends for project managers, and provides illuminating case studies that elucidate each trend and its impact. Next, the book outlines the skills required to be successful in this new environment and offers techniques that can be applied to fully master them. Each of these skills is aligned with a case study in which the skills and techniques are used and the outcomes discussed. Finally, the book ties together the evolution of the project landscape, the challenges posed, and the new skills required to manage projects successfully in today’s environment. The book also provides a checklist of the skills and techniques in the context of different project scenarios.

    Written by an expert in project management

    Written by an expert with a career of hands-on experience in the project management field, this volume is invaluable for project managers who have a fundamental background in project management principles and want to augment their toolbox of skills and techniques around the delivery of projects in today’s complicated business environment.





    Changing Project Landscape

    Trend 1— Reduce Cost
    Trend 2 — Increased Complexity
    Trend 3 — Additional Rigor
    Trend 4 — Changing Workforce

    Reduce Cost: Outsourcing
    Additional Attention

    Reduce Cost: Shared Services
    Competing Priorities
    Additional Steps
    Resource Skills

    Increased Complexity: More Technology Layers
    Additional Planning
    Different Skill Needs

    Increased Complexity: Enterprise Focus
    Standards and Fit
    Broader Requirements

    Increased Complexity: Third-Party Vendors
    Loss of Some Control

    Additional Rigor: Demand Management and Governance
    Additional Planning
    No Slack

    Additional Rigor: Process and Tools
    Additional Planning

    Changing Workforce: Specialized Resources
    High-Demand Resources
    Missing the Big Picture

    Changing Workforce: Mobile Resources
    Losing Key Resources Impacts Success

    Summary of Impacts

    The New Project Management Skills

    Additional Rigor
    Consultative Approach
    Managing Information

    Additional Rigor
    Diligent Project Planning
    Use a Standard Methodology for Delivery
    Use Resources Intelligently
    Diligent Project Management
    Use Metrics Appropriately
    Improve Competencies

    Consultative Approach
    Relationship Focus
    Political Savvy

    Managing Information
    Proper Communications Planning
    Gathering Information: Visibility
    Presenting and Sharing Information

    Leading the Team
    Motivating Team Members
    Empower the Team
    Be a Champion for the Team
    Handling Conflicts and Difficult People


    Tying It All Together
    Planning Is an Investment
    Constant Diligence
    Making Time for the Right Things
    Recognizing That People Will Make the Project Successful
    Be Conscious
    Situational Adaptation

    Summary of Techniques and Skills



    Kerry Wills has worked as a consultant and as a project manager for Fortune 500 companies on multi-million-dollar technology projects since 1995. During that time, he has gained experience in several capacities: program manager, project manager, architect, developer, business analyst, and tester. Having worked in each of these areas gives Kerry a deep understanding of all facets of an information technology project. He has planned and executed several large projects as well as remediated several troubled projects.

    Kerry is a member of Mensa and has a unique perspective on project work, resulting in eight patents, published work in project management journals and books, and speaking engagements at more than twenty project management conferences and corporations around the world. He is a passionate speaker who has a reputation for delivering entertaining presentations combined with vivid examples from his experiences. He runs a project management blog called "Adventures in Project Management" at http://kerrywills.wordpress.com. He lives with his wife and two kids in Southington, Connecticut.