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The Human Side of Project Management

Ruth Sizemore House
Addison Wesley, 1988
ISBN 0-201-12355-X

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While there are abundant texts to assist with the engineering and technical side of project management, The Human Side of Project Management shows the project manager how to deal with the interpersonal side of the job. The author uses case studies from an imaginary company, The Aerodigm Corporation, to explain her four practical "keys to success":

Key 1: Plan the interaction.
Key 2: Look at how personal styles will affect the project.
Key 3: Handle the conflict.
Key 4: Provide for the routine care and feeding of the project team.

Table of Contents:

  1. Dealing with Real Life-The Hard Part
  2. Managing Projects-A Special Case
  3. Looking at the Data
Key 1: Plan the Interaction
  1. Choosing the Right Management Tools
  2. Using Internal Integration
  3. Speaking Plainly, Understanding Clearly
Key 2: Take a Closer Look at How Personal Styles Will Affect Project Success
  1. Take a Closer Look
Key 3: Handle the Conflict
  1. Preparing for the Conflict
  2. Facing the Conflict
  3. Responding to the Conflict
Key 4: Provide For The Routine Care And Feeding Of The Project Team
  1. Looking for the Best
  2. Dealing with the Rest
  3. Getting Back to Real Life
The Complete Project Partner

This is a very useful, easy to read book. While it is most beneficial and enjoyable if read from cover to cover, the chapters may be used as standalone references to provide helpful wisdom. There are many excellent figures, tables, and examples throughout. A singularly outstanding feature of this book is the Project Partner, a compilation of worksheets, checklists, and templates designed to allow the project manager to transfer the practices taught in the text to their own real life situations. The Project Partner sections are located at the end of chapters four through twelve, and repeated at the end of the book on perforated pages. These pages are designed to be removed and photocopied.

As I re-read this text to prepare this review, I was reminded of how truly wonderful it is. This book is a must-have for the project manager's reference library. It serves as both a reference text for helpful nuggets of wisdom as well as a plethora of useful tools and templates for dealing with people, that one definitive resource that makes the project a success.

Contributed by Jill Irwin, ProjectConnections staff

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