Results Without Authority (2nd edition) by Tom Kendrick is an excellent high level overview of gaining and retaining project control from the outset. It addresses common challenges that all project managers face across industry and is an excellent summation of best practice.
The book commences by examining methods of establishing and exercising control through process, influence and metrics. It follows this with chapters on control techniques for the Project Management Institute (PMI) process groups of initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and control and closing.
The ideal readership of this book will be for those who are new to project management, as much of the book focuses on essential basics, and does not presume pre-knowledge. Having said that, it’s also a good book to refresh and tighten the knowledge of the more experienced too.
I principally took validation from the book, as I found myself agreeing with Kendrick through most of the book, that such techniques are key to driving effective project management.
My chief issue with Results Without Authority was that it tries to cover too much and became something of a ‘shopping list’ of ideas. This meant that key areas where many project managers struggle, such as influence and leadership, were weakened for me, as they lacked enough ‘how’ due to the breadth of coverage.
This book would make an excellent primer for those moving into project management and for those who are new to sponsoring a project, so they can both appreciate how much goes into leading and controlling a project.
The war stories that are listed against each section are insightful and match the content well, demonstrating the learning in action. This can be a very rich source of advanced technique for project managers.
Results Without Authority: Controlling a project when the team doesn’t report to you (2nd edition)
By Tom Kendrick
Published by AMACOM (purchase online)