Generally, we like to review books that appear to bring some new ideas to the
discipline of project management, program management or project portfolio management.
Upon review we may or may not be disappointed, but every author seems to have
some new insight that is worth capturing. But what about the interests of those
who are just entering into the field of project management, whether as a team
member or as an "accidental" leader? What sort of material are they being offered
and how sound is it? Are we still in touch with the basics or, conversely, are
authors of primers keeping up to date?
Of course there are far too many books out there to do a comprehensive study
but a simple sampling might be useful. So, to test this thought we selected a
couple of books for comparison, focusing on commonalities rather than disparities.
The two books we settled on are: An Introduction to Project Management,
2nd Edition by Kathy Schwalbe and Successful Project Management, 4th Edition
by Gido & Clements. The commonalities are that:
- Authors Kathy Schwalbe and Jack Gido are both respected and active members
of the Project Management Institute ("PMI"),
- Both books are in the 400-500 page range,
- Both books contain extensive examples, questions & answers, and case studies,
suited to both formal training and personal reading,
- Both books are supported by additional materials on a companion web site,
- Both books include a CD containing Microsoft® Office Project 2007, 60-day
trial software, and
- Both books were published in 2009 by the Cengage Learning group.
Given the similarities, we may expect that the differences will be in the quality
of the content and the manner of presentation. One difference from the outset,
however, is that Kathy's book, An Introduction to Project Management, is
soft cover, while Jack's book, Successful Project Management, is hard cover.