Essential Project Management Skills  book cover
1st Edition

Essential Project Management Skills

ISBN 9781138374317
Published September 18, 2018 by CRC Press
220 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.




Table of Contents


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


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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 He lives with his wife and two kids in Southington, Connecticut.