This book, An Insider's Guide to Delivering Projects and Getting Paid
by Author Robin Hornby, is one of only a few really practical books born of heartfelt
personal experience. That is, not just in the trenches so to speak, but where
project revenue must exceed project expenditures, including overheads, for the
very survival of the organization. This has a very conscious influence over every
action all day and every day.
It also has a very salutary effect on how the project is run. Indeed, the issue
of success is very simple. At the end of the day, and that includes cleaning up
all the paper work and any fallout from prior project activities, if the project
account shows a profit then the project was a success. If it shows a loss, then
the project was a failure. It's that simple.
In his book, Robin not only makes this clear, but also over the years he has
collected all those practical tips and tricks that provide instant answers to
every day issues that consequently save time "on the job". This orientation is
born out by the book's Table of Contents. Unlike so many books that focus mainly
on project formulation and planning, Robin's chapter on "Executing the Project"
is twice the size of any of the other chapters.
Author Robin puts it this way in his Introduction:
"Projects for Profit is about the business of commercial
project management. A professional services firm supplies a commercial project
manager and a team of practitioners to create a product for a sponsor, following
the well known activities of planning, executing and completing a project. And,
at the same time, making a profit." (Emphasis added)
He adds that:
"This implies that the commercial project manager must also be a businessperson
who operates within a business framework and follows business processes. This
book explores the best practices to achieve this: the most effective processes
and techniques, essential roles and responsibilities, and professional advice
on methods of organization and management."
So this book is about project management viewed from the perspective of working
under a formal, i.e. legal, contract that, as a consequence, makes cost management
a major consideration. It also makes sense for the flow of the book's chapters
to follow the natural lifespan sequence of such a project. Notwithstanding, Robin
says that he has "chosen the PMBOK® Guide
as the underlying knowledge base for the text and [makes the] assumption that
the average reader is familiar with that publication."
Obviously, the best audiences for the book are those who are working on projects,
or project components, under contract. However, it should also be of interest
to those who are responsible for overseeing project contracts, as a way to understand
the motives and perspectives of those with whom they come in contact.
About the author
Robin Hornby holds a degree in Aeronautical Engineering and began his career
as a systems engineer with a major computer vendor in the UK. He moved to Canada
in 1977, and worked in the telecommunications sector before joining an international
IT consulting firm where his interest in project management took shape. In 1997
he set up his own consulting company and enjoyed a variety of senior project engagements,
including assignments in several countries overseas. He is the author of Ten
Commandments of Project Management . Robin may be reached by Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
and his web site can be found at www.tmipm.com.
Robin, PMP, in An Insider's Guide to Delivering Projects and Getting Paid,
Tempest Management Inc., Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Chapter 10, p viii.
2. Ibid, p1
3. PMBOK® Guide (Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide),
Project Management Institute, Newton Square, PA, USA
4. Hornby, Projects for Profit, p2