Thursday, 22 March 2012

Book Review: No Wishing Required

Written by Rob Prinzo No Wishing Required: The Business Case for Project Assurance is a semi-fictional work underpinned by a problem that affects many IT related projects - a lack of solid yet pragmatic project assurance. 

Prinzo’s background is complex software implementation projects for large Corporates and Government Agencies. The lessons he’s learned and experiences he’s had throughout his career are well observed and addressed by the books central characters, Jenny and her manager and mentor Bill Parker.

The book flows well as Prinzo mixes both fiction and non-fiction to great effect. He takes the reader through the reality of managing and implementing enterprise applications technology supporting that throughout by using Bill and Jenny’s on-the-job reality. In order to introduce and explain his collaborative interventionSM approach, Prinzo uses Bill, who’s been there done that and got the t-shirt, to help Jenny understand the Intervention Process Pyramid and the Attributes and Behaviours of the Interventionist ultimately leading her to comprehend the differences between project managers and leaders.

Key Messages:

‘Managing projects to success by addressing failure before it occurs’ writes Prinzo, is the fundamental purpose of project assurance and the underlying principle of collaborative interventionSM. Companies, Managers, Leaders, Project Managers, and anyone in an operational or project role who’s ever been involved in type of IT related project will recognise these key messages covered by the book.
  • Enterprise project implementations are complex. 
  • While enterprise technology changes human behaviour does not.
  • The odds of success can be increased dramatically by addressing failure before it occurs.
  • A collaborative environment of key project stakeholders is crucial.
  • Common denominator of project failure is not technology but people. 
  • Projects need assuring from the beginning.
Start Early:

Prinzo is clear in his message that project assurance must start early while also reminding us that the process of assurance should remain flexible and adaptable thereby providing structure and guidance rather than another layer of bureaucracy. I liked the way Prinzo’s characters enacted this while they audited, understood and reset the path of their derailed project.

This book is a quick enjoyable read and delivers a sound message. It is not however solely targeted at Project Managers. Project Sponsors and those at senior levels responsible for decision making will also gain from reading it. They and their organisations will benefit through a willingness to learn its lessons and openness to hearing both good and the bad news. Only through this will they be in a position to address failure before it occurs. 

Find out more about Rob Prinzo at his website and follow him on Twitter.

Purchase from in paperback or Kindle.

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