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New SME Book Helps Readers Avoid Learning from the "School of Hard Knocks"

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

DEARBORN, MI — The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) announces the release of “Concept to Customer: Portfolio, Pipeline, and Strategic Project Management,” a book that gives a broad, comprehensive perspective of project management.

A step-by-step approach, supported by tools, techniques and examples, is used to illustrate each important aspect of project management. Readers will find thorough explanations of portfolio and pipeline management techniques, project planning tools, risk management tools, contingency planning and tradeoff analyses and leadership techniques. Insights into the project team, mistakes made by project managers and teams, preparing an effective project proposal, the importance of “under committing and over delivering” and aligning project expectations with the project team’s ability to deliver are also covered.

Author Michael J. Termini cleverly uses case studies from companies to illustrate the application of various project management strategies as well as strategic and tactical planning tools. Novice and seasoned project managers alike will gain insight into real-world, practical applications from his more than 40 years of hands-on experience. The techniques explained are proven, the approach sound and the results measurable and significant.

“This book clearly and concisely lays out the fundamentals as well as detailing how even the most experienced project managers can improve their performance to successfully meet customers’ expectations and respond to rapidly changing market dynamics,“ says Alan Gerwig, PE, president, Alan Gerwig & Associates Inc.

Readers will also find information on the following:

  • Results-oriented performance metrics
  • Effective acquisitions planning
  • Budget planning and cost control
  • Process control techniques
  • Communications planning and the importance of documentation
  • Quality management techniques
  • Tactical project planning utilizing work breakdown structures (WBS)
  • Critical path method (CPM)
  • Program evaluation and review technique (PERT)
  • Graphical evaluation and review technique (GERT)
  • Gantt charts
  • Cycle time management techniques
  • Concurrency to reduce project cycle time and costs
  • Setting up and managing the project management office (PMO)

John P. McGrath, PhD, corporate vice president, quality, Edwards Lifesciences LLC, says, “One of the most valuable concepts is the ‘12-month rule’ on project duration and the reduction in the ability to influence project success as time passes. Many of us have learned this through the ‘school of hard knocks.’ Discussions on risk management and case examples provide for a rounded learning experience.”

“It is more effective to learn about others’ mistakes and missed opportunities through reading rather than from direct experience,” McGrath adds.

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