“An Introduction to Project Management” Review: A Practical Guide (not only) for Newbies


An Introduction to Project Management
6th edition

  • Author: Kathy Schwalbe
  • Published: 2017
  • 514 pages

Content & Review

Kathy Schwalbe is an author, consultant and an active PMI (Project Management Institute) member. Her first full-time job was as a project manager in the Air Force in the early eighties. Today, she is sharing her knowledge on project management through consultations, articles, and books.

An introduction to project management is the perfect resource to read together with the PMBOK. While the PMBOK gives you the standard concepts and knowledge, this book can help you understand them and provides additional real-world examples that can help not only understand the concepts but also remember them.

This 6th edition had been updated with new researches and statistics, practical examples, tips about the use of the newest software tools. The book also includes useful case studies to illustrate how the tools and techniques can be applied to real projects.

The book is divided into 10 Chapters (plus Appendix A, B, and C). Although the chapters are not gathered in parts, you can identify five areas of learning that correspond to the different phases of project management: an introduction on how to define a project, project planning, project execution, project control, and project closure.

  • The Introduction provides the reader with the basic knowledge about project management: what is a project, who is a project manager, how to become a project management professional.
  • Chapters 2 to 6 focuses on how to initiate and plan the project. In these chapters, you can learn concepts and practical techniques of cost and time management, risk management, communication skills, and anything you need to set up a project.
  • Chapter 7 deals with Project Execution. It contains very detailed and technical paragraphs that cover different aspects of the execution of the project.
  • Chapter 8 is about how to monitor and control the project
  • Chapter 9 deals with the final phases of the project, where you need to know how to draw up a final report, a completion form and other documentation of the kind.
  • Chapter 10 defines Project Management Best Practices and includes several paragraphs about what to expect from the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam and how to use this book to study for it.

At the end of each chapter, you can have access to some material that includes a chapter summary, quizzes, questions, and exercises.

When purchasing An Introduction to Project Management you also get access to a free student website where templates, quizzes, data files, and more resources are available. An instructor website is also available.


Evaluation

Pros

  • The book is an easy read. It is an excellent support to the PMBOK.
  • Topics are organized in a logical way that follows each phase of project management
  • It adds examples and case studies to the standard and theoretical knowledge provided by the PMBOK.
  • Not only it is suitable for beginners, but you can also keep consulting it as you work on your projects.

Cons

  • The book offers a lot of examples and some of them are given in the form of a little comic.
  • Some readers didn’t like this form, and some would have preferred to have them colored (apart from the cover the book is all black and white, comics included).

Final Verdict

An easy-to-read beginner’s guide with practical examples and case studies (incl. MS Project introduction)