As the market-leading textbook on the subject, Project Management: The Managerial Process, 4e is distinguished by its balanced treatment of both the technical and behavioral issues in project management as well as by its coverage of a broad range of industries to which project management principles can be applied. It focuses on how project management is integral to the organization as a whole. The 4th edition reflects the latest changes found in the practice. Other texts discuss the topics covered in this text but they do not view oversight as the project manager’s operating environment, as does Gray/Larson.
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New Chapter on Estimating Costs: A new chapter on cost estimation further enhances the managerial perspective of the text and better prepares students for a successful project manager's career.
CASES. There are two new cases based on very current issues perfect for the instructor to discuss process and how it fits into organization planning. The material contained within the cases was just released in the summer of 2001 and no other research text will have it. Based on our reviewers input, we've retained the cases our instructors use to great advantage. Cases are the lifeblood of research teaching and our list is comprehensive-many different management arenas, as well as long and short cases-and reflects current research and management issues.
o One reflects the use of data mining by one of the largest U.S. insurers, State Farm, in its Dangerous Intersection initiative, in its strategic positioning of themselves as a safety partner with drivers and transportation engineers.
o One reflects the court-ordered research done for Smith Barney in the settlement negotiated in its landmark sexual harassment suit.
Virtual Learning Modules: New learning modules, placed on the text's dedicated website, teach students how to use Microsoft Project, the most popular project management software available. Students will benefit from the ability to practice with this commercial software.
New 'Snapshot' boxes: Selective updating of the 'Snapshot boxes' insures that students will have the most current, real world examples of project management scenarios available.
Approaches Project Management From a Holistic, Balanced Perspective. The text is developed around a philosophy of a project-driven organization committed to continuous improvement and organizational learning. The text is holistic it directs attention to the needed linkage between projects and organizational strategy. Many project management textbooks emphasize the technical aspects of the subject, while providing scant attention to the human element in projects. This text succeeds in redressing the balance by treating both the technical and the behavioral aspects of the subject in nearly equal parts. Such a balance is possible because of the complementary backgrounds of the authors: Gray, a specialist in project management systems with an operations background, provides strong technical coverage of project management. Larson, whose professional background is in organizational behavior, brings a distinctive behavioral perspective to the subject. This holistic, balanced perspective is an excellent primer for the 45,000 plus PMI members who may be considering taking the Project Management Institute Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) certification exam!
Broad-based generic coverage of industries: Unlike other textbooks on this subject which have focused primarily on one or two types of industries, such as aerospace or construction, this book broadens the scope to include examples and applications from a wide array of manufacturing and service organizations. Such an approach permits the authors to show how project management skills and techniques can be applied in a variety of organizational settings.
Emphasizes Project Management Process: Other project management textbooks focus on what to do and how to do it. Gray and Larson do this but also emphasize why a particular solution should be implemented. As a result, the reader is encouraged not only to master practical skills of implementation but also to understand why the approach will or will not work in their situational environment.
Microsoft Project TM: Each copy of the book is packaged with a student version of Microsoft Project. While there are many project management software options, Microsoft Project is one that the students, as managers, will likely utilize. This software is a nice complement to the book's applied approach. An integrative computer case requiring the application of the text tools and techniques spans steps from defining the project through controlling the project using earned value. The case exercise is sufficiently complete to allow the student to immediately apply the tools and software to their own real world projects.
Selective Coverage of the Tools, Techniques, and Concepts: Gray and Larson have taken care to cover only those tools, techniques, and concepts that have practical relevance to today's project managers. All of the tools and techniques assume the activity-on-node (AON) format used by nearly all practitioners. The transition from the classroom to a working environment should be close to seamless.
'Snapshot From Practice' Boxes: Each chapter features a brief, relevant example that deals with project management issues and challenges. This is one of the many advantages of having authors who have consulted and trained project managers around the world. There are many contemporary examples for the students to read which bring managing projects to life.
Case Studies: There is typically at least one case study per chapter. These short case studies offer a detailed look at specific, relevant project situations and require some critical analysis and response to the issue/problem.
Exercises: The exercises at the end of each chapter provide a project scenario and then ask the reader to offer possible approaches or responses to the scenario situation. This feature is also a nice complement to the applied and practical approach the authors have taken.
Chapter Flow Chart: Each chapter begins with an overview flow-chart; this chart provides the reader with a roadmap for what they have read, what they will read, and how all the parts of the text are linked together.
Updated Version of Microsoft Project: The new edition of Gray and Larson will be packaged with and complimented by the latest version of MS PROJECT-2002. The leading project management software available, the new version will include various interface improvements, providing students exposure to the most widely used Project Management software available.
Professor of management, department chairperson.
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