Project Management Books: Practical Learning

Learning for Professionals

Dick Billows, PMP, originally developed our textbooks and courses for his project managers when he was a program and portfolio manager in Industry.  The books and courses all use a “shadowing a PM” approach so professionals learn all the tools and techniques as well as how and when to use them. Dick developed the materials to train his project managers when he was a VP in a Fortune 200 company and as a partner in the fourth largest professional firm. The books and courses have been evolving  every since.  Here’s what Dick did.

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We offer personal, 1-to-1 instruction over the internet with courses and books based on “shadowing a PM” through real world projects. There are no academic theories or formulas to memorize. In our courses, you work with your instructor on a real world project when it fits your schedule. You have as many video conferences and e-mail exchanges as you need. Our courses are industry-specific: IT, Construction, Healthcare, Consulting, Business. They are tailored to your skill level and career goals.

Sample our “Shadow a PM” Project Textbooks

Our project management books are rich in practical skills that are explained in “real world” detail. It’s like you’re right there next to the expert project manager. You’ll read the initial conversation where the PM asks the executive what result he wants the project to produce. You read how the PM asks the right questions to define the project scope and measure of success. Next you “sit in on” the PM’s interviews with the managers involved in the project. You’ll learn how to ask the right questions to gather all their requirements.  Then you learn the PM’s techniques for working with the team members to estimate costs and hours of work. That data is used to create a schedule using MS Project® or Gantter® software. You’ll see every click and step so you learn how to do it. Next you read how the PM presents the plan and schedule and answers the kind of questions executives always ask.  Finally, you see how to track and report the project progress. You’ll learn how to enter weekly data from the team members and present the results in a status report. The reporting process includes identifying problems and recommending solutions.

Our Courses Cover the Following

Planning – You learn how to assess a project situation and ask the right questions of management to clearly define what they want (the scope).  In a project case study, you practice asking the right questions of management (role played by your instructor).

Work Breakdown & Estimating – With the scope defined, you learn how to work with your team to create their assignments and the sequence of all the tasks in the projects.  Next you and your team members estimate how long each task will take and the risks they face.

Scheduling – You learn how to use project management software tool: Microsoft Project®or the free version of Gantter®. Our scheduling methodology lets you build and maintain professional schedules for small and medium projects.  At each step, you can review and revise your schedule (coached by your instructor).

Tracking – Your case study team starts their assignments and sends you status data each week.  Using that data, you update your schedule and analyze the variances. You plan for corrective action to get the project back on schedule.  When your instructor approves your work, you are ready to present it to the sponsor (role played by your instructor).

Reporting Using the template we provide, you prepare your status report and a Powerpoint or Keynote presentation.  You make your live presentation to the project sponsor (role played by your instructor) and answer his questions.  

You learn this methodology and the techniques in our project management basic courses and textbooks.  In our advanced project management courses and textbooks, you’ll learn additional techniques for risk management, advanced estimating, earned value analysis and conflict management. Our courses are customized for each participant’s industry specialty (IT, Construction, Healthcare, Consulting and Business).

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9 thoughts on “Project Management Books: Practical Learning”

  1. Those are really some of the best guides I have seen for project management. Personally I lack skills of time management which essentially leads to poor project management. Hopefully these will help in my time management skills too.

    Sushant @

    1. Sushant

      Yes we do. Good project managers need to learn to manage their own time as well as the team’s time. Our methodology will teach you what to spend your time on and what to take a pass on.

  2. Excellent post. I was checking constantly this weblog and I am inspired!
    Very helpful info particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such info a lot.
    I was seeking this certain information for a long time. Thanks and best of luck.

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