“Project Management for Dummies” Review: An Understandable & Inexpensive Introduction to Project Management

Project Management for Dummies
5th edition

  • Author: Stan Portny
  • Published: 2017
  • 464 pages

Content & Review

The author, Stan Portny, is an internationally recognized expert in project management and project leadership with almost 30 years of experience in providing training and consultation to over 150 organizations. His work focuses on helping people understand how to control complex projects and achieve maximum results. He is also a Project Management Professional (PMP) certified by the Project Management Institute.

With his book Project Management for Dummies – today at its 5th edition – Stan Portny wants to provide the reader with every skill they need to successfully manage projects from start to finish and achieve personal and professional satisfaction.

The book is aimed at readers with any level of expertise in project management: “senior managers and junior assistants, people who have had significant project-management training and people who have had none”. It introduces every necessary information to plan and manage projects and provides guidelines on how to develop and use such information. It presents tips and hints along with practical guidelines, techniques, and examples on how to successfully manage teams and complex projects.

The book is written in a way that the critical tools and techniques are provided in a simple, direct, and easy-to-understand language so that even the complete beginner can have zero difficulties to follow along.

Project Management for Dummies consists of 20 chapters divided into 6 parts. Its goal is to provide notions in a logical and modular progression. Each chapter is self-contained so you don’t have to necessarily read it from front to end: you can also read only the chapters that interest you most or just start from them.

Each part deals with a different aspect of project management:

  • PART 1 discusses the characteristics of projects, how to define the project’s results and how to determine the project’s work.
  • PART 2 explains how to develop the project schedule and estimate the resources.
  • PART 3 deals with how to identify and organize the work.
  • PART 4 explains how to monitor and analyze the project’s activities and how to bring the project to a successful closure.
  • In PART 5 you can learn how modern technologies can help you plan, organize and control your project.
  • PART 6 gives you tips on how to be a better project manager.
  • A final APPENDIX is also included at the end of the book: it discusses the practical ways in which you can use the information and techniques you’ve learned throughout the book.

The tools and techniques that the author offers in this book are in accordance with the PMBOK, the most recognized reference of project management best practices published by the Project Management Institute (PMI). However, those who are preparing for the Project Management Professional certification should use this book as a companion and not a substitute for the PMBOK.



  • The book is very well-organized: you can read it from front to end or just pick the chapters that most interest you.
  • Information is presented in a clear and easy-to-understand way.
  • The author uses humor to make the reading enjoyable and pleasant.


  • Some reviewers found the paperback to be too expensive compared to the hard copy.
  • The book isn’t suitable to be your main resource when preparing for the PMP certification.

Final Verdict

Like most books of the “for Dummies” series, this is an easy-to read, well understandable and inexpensive introduction to the art of project management. A good read for every project management newbie!