Project-Driven Creation [Book review]
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First, I have to apologize to Marlet for sending me this book several months ago. It’s been read twice, and I’ve referred back to it many times. However, I have not actually reviewed it. Here we are.
Projectmatig Creeren 2.0, a Dutch project management manual, is one of the most popular ways to deliver projects in The Netherlands. Project-Driven Creation, an English-language pocketbook version, is the international version of the system that powers many Dutch project.
It’s a 160+ page, full-color book that is very easy to read. The English-language editor did a great job making the book easy to read. It covers the most important concepts of getting projects done, so there isn’t much detail on each topic. These ideas are easy to implement if you have a good understanding of how projects and teams work.
Even if you don’t choose to use the whole PDC approach, the tips in this book will still be useful. Take, for example:
Your Project Board should have a diverse number of members.
Make a project contract. This is a great idea that I would like to use for my projects.
Beware of project tourists. “A project often attracts busybodies.”
Jo Bos, Ernst Harting, and Marlet Hesslelink advocate a project launch process that takes 1-4 days. This project emphasizes collective responsibility, goal setting and planning.
Results, Not Benefits
The book is results-driven. This means that there is no talk of ‘benefits’. There isn’t even much of the traditional project management jargon.
The authors discuss the results and the effects of the project in the section on defining it. It’s all very clear:
Any of the consequences of a project’s execution are called the effects. These can be intentional or unintentional, and can be positive or negative. The project team (and the sponsor), must ask this question: How can we promote them?
Next, you’ll find a table that shows the effects of your project within each category. This is not something you can print and use. You’ll need to create it in your project document. It’s a win-win situation that makes it easy for everyone to see the results, benefits, or whatever else you want to call them.
How to manage a culture change
The authors make it clear that this approach to managing projects is holistic, responsible, and collaborative. This is not a guide that you can just shove at someone to get them to do it. It is important to have senior-level buy-in. However, I believe you can do this on one project without having the entire company’s culture changed.
The authors write:
PDC implementation requires more than a new toolkit. The foundation of Project-Driven Creation culture is built on its core principles of personal leadership and responsibility, commitment, co-operation and transparency. This philosophy must be supported by an organisation leader. Is it you?
Should You Buy It
No, if you don’t know what it’s like to work on a project. Some areas are easy to understand – for example, there is a detailed description of how to prepare a work breakdown structure. But others are so complex that you will need more theory and practice to implement them.
This course will help you to understand the theory behind project management, as well as how to get buy-in from stakeholders, create a culture that encourages project success, and foster a sense of collaboration.
It is not the pocketbook vers