Book Reviews


giovanni salamone
Gianfranco Salamone


FOURTH EDITION Gower Publishing Limited (UK) -­‐ Edited by Rodney Turner


Book reviewer: Gianfranco Salamone






1)        CONTENT

The Handbook of Project Management – Fourth Edition is still intended by the editor, J. Rodney Turner, as a reference book for project management practitioners.

The book consists of four parts.

Part I – Projects

It describes issues that relate to why projects exist, their nature and nature of project management. It also consider why organizations undertake projects, how they contribute to the achievement of corporate strategy, how they adopt strategies for undertaking projects, and the adoption of programme and portfolio management.

Part II – Performance

This part looks at the functions that a project manager has to perform in execution of the project. Organizations undertake project and programmes to achieve beneficial change. In order to achieve that it must deliver some outputs within constraints of time, cost and quality. The project involves risk that must be managed, and particular risks are threats to health, safety and environment.

Part III – Process

It describes the process that needs to be followed in managing the project.

The project goes through a cycle of development from germination of the idea, through initiation, start-­‐up, design, implementation, delivery, commissioning, handover to the client and close-­‐out of the work. As the project comes along the life-­‐cycle, the objectives, the contents, the plans, the design are developed in increasing detail.

Part IV – People

This fourth part describes how to manage the people. The project management is viewed as a

social science, managing the needs of all people involved in the project.

2)        AUTHORS

The authors of the various chapters are 33. About the 70% of the authors have, mainly, an academic background The level of dealing the subject is very different from one chapter to the other.

3)        STANDARD & PAGES

Text is referring mainly to the following project management Standards:  APM Body of Knowledge, PMI Guide to the PMBoK and IPMA ICB. Often, Standard and examples are referring to United Kingdom. There are about 870 pages, organized in 40 chapters.


All the considerations herein reported are done in the following perspective:

  • To have as reference the Project Management Competence Standard issue by IPMA (ICB3)
  • Utility of the content of the book for the people, working within the Business Company and involved in a project with different roles and responsibilities, that want to improve and to enhance their “Competence” in managing projects
  • Utility of the content of the book for the people that want to prepare himself for the IPMA Certification.

5)        HANDBOOK vs. ICB3

The Handbook deal with 34 Element of the IPMA -­‐   ICB3

IPMA Elements not covered are 12:

-­‐   Problem resolution (1.08)

-­‐   Procurement & contract (1.14)

-­‐   Self-­‐control (2.03)

-­‐   Assertiveness (2.04)

-­‐   Relaxation (2.05)

-­‐   Creativity (2.07)

-­‐   Efficiency (2.09)

-­‐   Reliability (2.13)

-­‐   Permanent Organization (3.05)

-­‐   System, products, technology (3.07)

-­‐   Finance (3.10)

-­‐   Legal (3.11)


The Handbook can be very useful for the people that want to study the content reported in the 40 chapters, analyze the different point of view of many authors and deepen the evolution of the issue along the story and the progress of the project management discipline.

On the whole, the book is very useful to broaden the knowledge and the culture on many aspects of project management.

In the perspective reported on point 4, the Handbook can be useful for some issue in order to have a comparison, to increase the know-­‐how and to enlarge the “horizon”. Many issue are dealt with a theoretical approach with lacking of examples taken from business sectors (how to implement them in the real life of a project) or scarcity of real case (very useful in a learning phase, in order to improve and to enhance the “Competence” in managing projects through experiences). Following the perspective above reported the Handbook cover 34 over 46 of IPMA “Elements” and the treatise of many elements is not pragmatic but mainly theoretical.

In conclusion, the book can’t be considered as text of study, but rather as a reference book.