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Bedtime Stories for Project Managers

7:58 am IN Best Practices Featured Know how Opinions BY

After reading hundreds of books about project management I often have the feeling that I´ve seen everything and there is nothing new and exciting… However, I was made aware of an exciting new book called “Bedtime Stories for Project Managers and others with trouble sleeping” written by Marisa Silva, a passionate PM Consultant. The book recalls the time when we were read a bedtime story by our parents which caused us to dream and to build a fascinating world with our imagination. Do projects keep you awake nowadays? Marisa´s book isn´t a manual of how to manage projects, it´s rather a simple bedside book of stories and a means of reflecting our day-to-day project management practice.

The book reflects on ten great stories, such as “The Emperor´s new clothes”, “The Six Blind Men and the Elephant” or “The Wolf in Sheep´s Clothing” and transfers their wisdom into the world of projects and project management. For example, like in the well-known story of the Emperor´s new clothes, projects are often not viable, benefits are over-estimated and unrealistic, but the sponsor has so much faith in the project or is regarded as having such authority and credibility in the organisation, that no one dares to confront him with the truth, or in other words: the project is naked! Key learnings are provided for every story and help us to make the wisdom of the old stories available for our daily projects.

And the moral of all stories? Marisa Silva concludes as follows: “A paradigm that views projects not just as investments but also as legacies, that represents a conscious, sustainable project management, and where the success of the project goes beyond the quality, time and cost triangle, but rather is measured by the satisfaction of stakeholders, impact on short and long-term and real value delivery, is wanted. A vision that brings a new tomorrow … It´s time for us to write a new chapter for the discipline of project management.”

- Author of this post

Reinhard Wagner has been active for more than 30 years in the field of project- related leadership, in such diverse sectors as Air Defence, Automotive Engineering, and Machinery, as well as various not-for-profit organizations. As a Certified Projects Director (IPMA Level A), he has proven experience in managing projects, programmes and project portfolios in complex and dynamic contexts. He is also an IPMA Certified Programme and Portfolio Management Consultant, and as such supports senior executives in developing and improving their organizational competence in managing projects. For more than 15 years, he has been actively involved in the development of project, programme and portfolio management standards, for example as Convenor of the ISO 21500 “Guidance on Project Management” and the ISO 21503 “Guidance on Programme Management”. Reinhard Wagner is President of IPMA, past President and Honorary Fellow of GPM (the German Project Management Association), as well as Managing Director of Tiba Managementberatung GmbH, Germany´s No. 1 PM Full Service Provider.

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2 responses to “Bedtime Stories for Project Managers

  1. I agree completely. Many will say that project success is the integration of cost, schedule and scope (technical). Stakeholder satisfaction and the realization of future business is the key to business sustainability.

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