Project management is much more than sum of project manager activities; it involves all the actions performed by team members in project planning, managing or closing phases. It is fair to say that it takes more than successful project manager to have successful project, that everyone in project team contribute to its success.
"The Art of Project Management" written by Scott Berkun is a book every project manager should read, presenting all important project aspects and not focusing on any specific project management methodology. It is packed with author's personal project management experience providing insight into all the aspects which make project management the art. For someone as me who have more than 10 years in PM, it was great to read book about this topic that is not tiresome like most on the market.
Divided into three parts (Plans, Skill and Management), the book's organization provides a logical flow although the chapters can be randomly accessed which is also author's recommendation. In book's first part, "Plans", author started with short history of project management and discussion about projects' common elements in order to help avoiding common errors from the past. Afterwards planning, project requirements and creation of project vision are discussed. Author presented three planning perspectives - the business perspective, the technology perspective and the customer perspective. Lot of space is dedicated for discussions about creativity, for author examination of all ideas, good or bad, is essential to creativity. It is great, though uncommon to see such amount of design-related topics in a project management book.
In the second part, "Skills", author provided many practical topics, even for experienced PM as I like to think about myself. The advices can be found about writing proper project specifications, ways of decision making and even about efficient e-mail communication.
The final part of the book, "Management" is more about some general issues of project management. Author manages to touch the softer side of project management, speaking about importance of trust and ever-present political games in many projects.
What sets this book different from all other project management books is personal tone which is in other books often replaced by fully technical and impersonal theory. As it can be expected for book about project management it it's thick, nearly 500 pages long, book but due to writing style it can be read very quickly.
The book great add-on is the excellent annotated bibliography providing reader an additional source for other helpful project management titles.
Scott Berkun's "The Art of Project Management" is different book about project management. This comprehensive guide, written with heart and lot of experience, succeeded in presentation of all aspects of this interesting profession, picturing best practices as well as those that should be avoided. It is recommended read for project managers but also to those who are trying to become or understand one.