Constanta Bodea Review

 Project Management, Tenth Edition

Author: Dennis Lock

Gower Publishing Limited (UK), 2013

Book Reviewer: Constanta Bodea

General information

The first edition of the book was published 45 years ago, containing 11 chapters. The actual edition of the book (the tenth edition) is a comprehensive approach of project management, including 29 chapters and 574 pages. With every new book edition, the author added additional chapters, extending the coverage area of the book and the degree of detail for the addressed topics. What it is even more relevant for the evolution of this book is that the author has kept the book content synchronized with the project management domain evolution.

The book was already translated in several languages, for example in Romanian language, being used by teachers and trainers from different countries as a basic textbook in project management. The acclaimed status of the tenth book edition is as a standard work for managers and students alike.

The book’s author, Dennis Lock has an extended experience in managing projects in electronics, defense systems, heavy engineering and international mining. He also is an experienced author, who wrote over 50 books.

The book content

Preface to the tenth edition; Introduction to project management; Factors for project success or failure; Defining the project; Estimating project costs; First steps in planning the timescale; Financial appraisal and the business plan; Managing project risk; Project authorization; Project organization structures; Organization and initial conduct of management change and IT projects; The project manager and associated roles; Project breakdown structures; Detailed planning: an introduction to critical path networks; Detailed planning: critical path networks in practice; Scheduling resources, part 1: principles; Scheduling resources, part 2: practical advice; Scheduling project cash flows; Computer applications; Managing project start-up; Introduction to project contracts and purchase orders; Managing procurement and the supply chain; Managing progress; Managing changes; Managing project costs; Earned value analysis and cost reporting; Managing multiple projects, programmes and portfolios; Implementing business change projects; Managing project closure; Corporate managers’ support for the project manager; Bibliography; Index. The accompanying CD-ROM includes Power Point presentations that teachers can use as a resource for their courses.

Comments about the book

The book content is organized, following the project life cycle. This is why, the students can easily understand the connections between concepts and the dynamics of the project management processes.

One of the most important contributions of the book is presenting extensive real life case studies, taken from author’s experience. These case studies provide a practical context for the concepts defined in different sections of the book. I would like to explicitly refer to the case studies included in chapters 10, 13, 14 and 18. Each of them covers four-five pages at least and includes extended explanations.

The book also contains many short examples, used by the author to illustrate and explain different methods of project management. I would like to mention the examples provided by the author for scheduling cash flows (figures 17.2, 17.4 and 17.5, which are available at pages 277-280). Some of these case studies and examples are revisited in chapter 18, when the advantages of the computer applications are discussed.

The writing style is clear and accurate. The text is supplemented by graphical diagrams, varying from simple charts to complex screenshots taken from different software system reports).

Relation of the book with IPMA ICB standard

The book is complement with the IPMA ICB. The author does not generally refer to the project management standards in his book. The topic of the professional certification in project management is shortly addressed at page 169, in only ten lines. Even so, I consider the book as being very useful for the preparation of project management certification, in relation to technical and contextual competencies. It is not the case for the behavior competences, which are only tangentially referred in the book, at page 166.