“The Fast and Forward MBA in Project Management” Review: A User-Friendly Guide for Beginners and Intermediates


The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management
5th edition

  • Author: Eric Verzuh
  • Published: 2015
  • 528 pages

Content & Review

Project Management is a complex subject that includes a lot of different aspects and areas of expertise: from time and budget management to problem-solving, from scheduling to strategy development, etc… The Fast and Forward MBA in Project Management aims to teach you the knowledge you need to master all the different skills you need to master to become a successful project manager.

The current edition of the book (the 5th) has been revised and updated to reflect the most recent trends in project management. The author wanted to give a step-by-step explanation of different areas of project management (how to find the right sponsor, how to set a schedule, how to create budget projections, and more). He is the president of The Versatile Company, a company specialized in providing project management training and consulting to private and public organizations.

The book is organized in 5 Parts with an increasing level of complexity.

PART 1 is called Introduction. More than an introduction to the book, this part is an introduction to the subject of Project Management. It includes three chapters that deal with the importance of project management in today’s business world and the foundation principles of project management. Since learning from others’ experiences is always a great way to understand what works and avoid mistakes, the third chapter provides lessons from start-ups and successful projects.

PART 2 discusses the project definition: how to initiate a project, how to understand the different roles, what documents you’ll need to draw up (project charters, statement of work…) and how to do it.

PART 3 breaks down the project planning process. This is a very technical part that covers the most important and technical aspects of project management dealing with each one of them in a dedicated chapter (from Chapter 7 to Chapter 12):

  • Risk management
  • How to break your project into manageable units of work
  • Scheduling
  • What is SCRUM and how to use it
  • Accurate estimating
  • Cost management

PART 4 covers all the aspects of controlling the project. Not only it deals with the technical aspects of monitoring the process and measuring success but also with advice about communication between the team members or how to solve the most common project problems.

PART 5, the final part, is the most advanced. In this 5th part, you’ll be able to learn how to coordinate different projects, how to align project resources with business strategy. It also includes a specific chapter on how to prepare for the PMP (Project Management Professional) certification exam.

When purchasing the book, you also get access to a lot of useful resources (forms and templates) that are available and downloadable online.


Evaluation

Pros

  • It provides a user-friendly and practical approach to project management tools and techniques.
  • The book offers a lot of examples to help understand information.
  • Each chapter includes a useful bullet list to highlight the covered topics.
  • Online forms and templates are available.
  • Chapters and topics are organized in a logical way.

Cons

  • Although the book contains a chapter on how to prepare for the PMP certification exam, the book itself can’t provide proper preparation for the task.

Final Verdict

Although a few years old (and thus, refering to a previous PMBOK edition), this book is a practical and user-friendly guide for beginners and intermediates.