“Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling” Review: An Extensive PM Compendium

Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling
12th edition

  • Author: Harold Kerzner
  • Published: 2017
  • 848 pages

Content & Review

Project Management by Harold Kerzner is an excellent guide for both students and professionals. It provides guidance to all the aspects of project management without dwelling too much on the tools and methods used at every stage of the process.

The book is written by an authoritative project management expert. His work has been so influential that it inspired the International Institute of Learning (IIL) and the PMI (Project Management Institute) to establish the Kerzner International Project Manager of the Year Award. With his work, he keeps providing professional training and consulting services worldwide.

“Project Management” has reached its 12th edition. It has been updated to reflect the industry changes and additional material has been revised to students, professionals, and instructors. The book can be also used to prepare the PMP certification exam as it links the information provided with the PMBOK Standard Guide. At the end of each chapter, in fact, you’ll find a final subchapter called “Studying Tips for the PMI Project Management Certification Exam”.

The book includes 21 chapters – each one of them includes dozens of subchapters and deals with every topic in detail. This is, in fact, a long and detailed book (almost 900 pages!).

At the end of each chapter, you’ll find a useful case study to give a better understanding of the concepts discussed in the chapter.

With the first couple of chapters, the book provides fundamentals concepts about project management: it defines the different roles and functions, how projects can be classified, and more.

The book goes on with a couple of chapters that deal with the organizational aspect of project management. It teaches you how to organize a project team, what are the different organizational structures and how to choose the most appropriate for the given project.

Chapter number 5 provides an explanation of the management functions (time management, management policies, and procedures, leadership).

If you want to become a successful project manager, you’ll need to develop some personal skills. The following chapters help you understand how to improve your communication skills (and why they are so important for a project manager) and how to face and solve conflicts.

The following chapters all deal with very specific topics:

  • Planning
  • Working with executives
  • Scheduling techniques
  • Pricing and estimating
  • Cost control
  • Analysis in a project environment
  • Risk management, and more.

The final chapter gives an overview of the modern developments in project management.

If you’re studying for the PMP certification exam, you’ll find Appendix E particularly useful. It will help you align the acquired knowledge with the PMBOK Guide standard ones.



  • The book covers each topic in a deep and detailed way.
  • Appendix E is very helpful to align the acquired knowledge with the PMBOK Guide standard ones.
  • It can be very helpful to those who are preparing for their Project Management Professional (PMP) certification exam.


  • It’s a nearly 900-page long book which can be a challenging reading.
  • The book deals with theories and concepts more than the practical tools techniques to be put into practice.

Final Verdict

If you’re willing to read a book of 800+ pages, you’ll be yielded with a both broad and deep project management theory.