Book presentation: Modern project management - Systematically finding the right process model

(Original title: Modernes Projektmanagement in der Praxis – Mit System zum richtigen Vorgehensmodell)

I have been fascinated by project management ever since I worked as a project manager for international development projects at Philips. The mix of technical and management tasks as well as the creative freedom in the development of challenging content-related and economic solutions ensures that there is never a dull moment.
In addition to this fascination with the operational application of project management, I was interested from the very beginning in the question of why some projects are more successful than others. Is it because of the people, the environment, the methods used or something completely different?
In my book mentioned above, I presented the multitude of project management methods in a sorted and structured way.
In my book mentioned above, I presented the multitude of project management methods in a sorted and structured way.
I have been fascinated by project management ever since I worked as a project manager for international development projects at Philips. The mix of technical and management tasks as well as the creative freedom in the development of challenging content-related and economic solutions ensures that there is never a dull moment.
In addition to this fascination with the operational application of project management, I was interested from the very beginning in the question of why some projects are more successful than others. Is it because of the people, the environment, the methods used or something completely different?
 
In my current work at the Institute for Data and Process Science at Landshut University of Applied Sciences, I am dealing with these and similar questions. It is remarkable to me that, on the one hand, agile working is becoming increasingly popular. On the other hand, many project participants tell me that the environment in their companies is anything but agile. Some see agile projects as an opportunity to implement projects in a creative, customer-oriented and flexible way. Others insist on reliable plans and their implementation.
 
In my previous book "Modernes Projektmanagement - Mit traditionellem, agilem und hybridem Vorgehen zum Erfolg" (Modern Project Management - Success through Traditional, Agile and Hybrid Approaches), I tried to tear down or at least lower the walls between the two opposites of agile and traditional working. The aim was to show readers which project management methods exist and which methods make sense in which situations. The book has since enjoyed some popularity, which pleases me greatly.
 
At the same time, however, I realised more and more, that mere knowledge of methods is not sufficient to carry out projects successfully. Comparable to a high-speed train that only moves slowly on curvy, single-track routes, it requires not only the right methods, but also an underlying sustainable foundation that fits the situation - a rail network for high-speed trains in the figurative sense.
 
Structured approaches are very important to me. In my book mentioned above, I presented the multitude of project management methods in a sorted and structured way. My intention was now to create a similar kind of system for the underlying foundation of project management. I would describe this foundation as a process model: it is the guideline according to which we work on projects. The process model defines how the project is structured in terms of time and content, which internal and external roles are involved in the project and how they interact with each other. Additionally, this process model fulfils many functions, such as quality assurance, synchronisation of (partial) results, measurement and control of project progress as well as knowledge management. Good process models also integrate the right methods at the right stages in the project.
 
My latest book "Modernes Projektmanagement - Mit System zum richtigen Vorgehensmodell" (Modern project management - Systematically finding the right process model) picks up on these considerations. After a brief recap of important project management methods, the main focus lies on the process models. Widely used traditional process models, such as the Waterfall and the V-model, are presented, as well as agile process models, for example Scrum, Kanban and DevOps. The main part is about analysing your own project situation in a well-structured way. Therefore, I present appropriate analysis tools. These tools are supposed to help you finding a suitable process model for your project.
Examples for typical questions are how stable (or volatile) the project environment is or how safety-critical the project object is. These and other questions will help you choose a process model that promotes the projects’ success. In a volatile project environment, for example, iterative process loops can be combined with more targeted elements of project stabilisation from the very beginning in order to reduce uncertainty in the project and achieve a reliable project result. These analyses thus help us to derive recommendations on how to select and fine-tune, also known as tailoring, our own process model.  You will learn in which situations iterative process loops should be integrated, what advantages and disadvantages milestones have and when quality gates make sense to integrate into the process model and how they can be set up. A process model can also be enriched with elements that specifically promote communication and cooperation and ensure that experience gained is saved and taken up by subsequent projects.
 
All modules of process models are presented in approximately 70 fact sheets and explained in detail with the help of case studies. The examples also promote direct applicability, as very different situations are covered. For example, typical development projects, IT projects or other organisational projects are presented in a concise way. Exercises with solutions and a glossary complement the book and help to practice the topics.
 
Would you like to use the book in seminars and lectures? Then you can also obtain supporting teaching material in the form of presentation documents via the publisher's website.
 
About the author:
Holger Timinger studied electrical engineering at the University of Ulm and completed his PhD there.
After several years in the private sector, he became professor of project management at Landshut University of Applied Sciences in 2011. In 2012, he was awarded Professor of the Year in Engineering and Computer Science by UNICUM. In 2014, he founded the Institute for Project Management and Information Modelling and has headed its successor, the Institute for Data and Process Science, since 2020. In this institute, he works together with other scientists on a modern understanding of project management. He is the author of several specialist books, such as "Modernes Projektmanagement" and "Wiley Schnellkurs Projektmanagement", as well as many articles in national and international project management journals.

Key words: Project management, Books, Tips, Field report

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