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- Jeb Riordan, Editor, PROJECTmagazine
The Project Manager's MBA: How to Translate Project Decisions into Business Success Print
Throughout the book, the authors illustrate their theories with two practical examples.
The first is a new product development project; the second an internal company project to select and install a new telephone system.

{mosadsense4joomla ad_layout="A"ad_align=""}Dennis J Cohen: partner, senior vice president and managing director of the Project Management Practice at Strategic Management Group, has delivered several papers at the USA based Project Management Institute's yearly symposium and coauthored a chapter in Project Management as if People Mattered, a book by Robert J Graham.
Cohen holds a BA and MA degrees from UCLA, Berkeley.

 Robert J Graham: Independent management consultant and senior consultant with Strategic Management Group, he has held visiting professor positions at University of Bath, UK and University of German Armed Forces, Munich Germany.
Graham holds BS degree, MBA and Ph.D in operations research from University of Cincinnati.

The book is aimed at a wide range of project personnel;
project managers, offering them a set of tools and concepts that will lead them to better appreciate the perspective of upper management;
their managers, who will learn ways to support project managers in improving the contribution of projects to business strategy and economic value;
and project team members giving them a better understanding of how their project work contributes to their company's success.

The authors begin by introducing the business systems approach to project management and explain how, by thinking in terms of business concepts like shareholder value and value added contribution, better decision making throughout the project life cycle results in more successful projects.

Basic accounting and finance procedures are explained in order for the reader to understand balance sheets and cash cycles within companies and within projects.

Business environments are no longer placid. There is more turbulence. Change is inevitable. Organisations undertake projects in less time at greater risk. The authors explain the need to align project strategy with business strategy and they examine the effect of project management practices on the creation of economic value

Emphasising the need for project managers to be more aware of the financial elements of business, the project's outcome is examined along with the way decisions made during the project influence this cash flow. In particular the shaping of the project outcome to maximise market performance.

The authors then focus on costs and factors that influence how much it costs for projects to produce revenue. A break even chart is discussed which shows how and when the project outcome will begin to earn profit.

Delving deeper and deeper into the world of accountancy, the authors explain how projects develop assets that in turn produce a return on investment and also explain several financial concepts including time to reach break even, capital charge and economic value added.

The authors have included an on-line business systems calculator, which can be found at http://www.projectmanagersmba.com/ and they explain how various project management decisions can be evaluated using sensitivity analysis and how the decisions effect the economic value.

The book's content is logically structured, well written in easy to understand english.
However, the proof reader obviously didn't know the subject. At least one "...project of the project..." broke my concentration. I think it should have read "...product of the project..."

Overall this book will open the minds of many traditional-style project managers showing them how todays successful business depend on projects that are aligned to the business strategy.

So, in line with our software review rating,
the Project Manager's MBA gets a PROJECTmagazine rating of


3 out of a possible 5!

The paper used in the book's production feels like one grade up from unglazed toilet paper.
On closer inspection I note that the publishers have used acid and chlorine free paper. Well done, Jossey-Bass books for your ecology sound effort. Which has another side benefit; the hard cover edition, lies flat on the table, open at any page. This helps with reading at the dinner table.

ISBN 0-7879-5256-7
Publishers:Jossey-Bass Inc, San Francisco, USA.


2001 © Jeb Riordan

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