When I started reading Successful Project Management: Applying Best Practices and Real-World Techniques with Microsoft Project, I was actually a bit confused for a short while. The reason? I was expecting to read about how to do project management with Microsoft Project, but instead there was nothing about it at all. And why so? Because the author did something very interesting: focusing on the methodology from the PMI (Project Management Institute), and only bringing in Project where required! This means that you will first get to learn about the theory of project management, and only afterwards you get to see how to do it in MS Project. In my opinion, this is a quite useful approach for PM beginners.

Which brings me to the next point: this book is for beginners only, not for experienced PMs. If you’ve been managing projects for a while already, there might not be much useful for you in this book. If you’ve just started with project management, however, this book is definitely an interesting read. It goes through the different phases of a project, following the standardised and proven PMI methodology. The book goes through all the important phases of a project (getting approval, building a WBS, building a schedule, budgeting, executing, managing change, and so on), however without going too deep into it. You’ll get to understand the basics of each topic, however don’t expect to much information that explains it much further.

My opinion of this book: I was struggling a bit whether I find this book only average or better than that. In the end, I thought hard about the target audience for this book and how useful it is for them, and came to the decision that it’s a solid book for junior project managers, or anyone working on a project for the first time, and that I would give it a rating of 4/5.

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