At the PMI Global Congress, there is a book store. I love book stores, being the son of a University Librarian. I bought several books that I would not have normally bought:
- Effective Opportunity Management for Projects: Exploiting Positive Risk, David Hillson, Taylor and Francis, 2004.
- Pivot Table Data Crunching for Microsoft Office Excel 2007, Bill Jelen and Michael Alexander, Que, 2007.
- Earned Value Project Management, 3rd Edition, Quentin Fleming and Joel Koppelman
Effective Opportunity Management
Most risk books have risk in the title. David's book is about managing opportunity while managing risk. While this is still a controversial topic the conversation about opportunity and risk is starting to emerge. The Edmond Conrow article "Opportunity Management: Be Careful What You Wish For," is the primary source for not connecting risk and opportunity.
Pivot Table Data Crunching for Microsoft Office Excel 2007
Most of the data found in project management is multidimensional. In fact when I come across single dimensional (rows and columns) of data, it usually means the too much summarization has been done. An example of multidimensional would be:
- Named Resource, with hours for the period of performance
- Work Package for the period and the BCWS spreads
- Period of Performance
- Deliverables and their physical percent complete
Now build a report that shows the labor cost and associated hours for each deliverable by each work package. This is the job of a pivot table.
Earned Value Project Management
The 3rd edition has switched to the "story telling" mode, which I don't like. In fact I find it not very useful. This is a personal issue, since in my heart of hearts I'm a quant. This is why I was an experimentalist in my very days, before I went to the real dark side, writing Kalman filters for missile guidance systems. Kalman filters are "target tracking" algorithms using position and velocity measures in realtime. But EV 3rd edition is a good starting point for those entering the EV domain. That's likely they changed the style. Since EV still has many detractors, many who misuse it, many who misstate its purpose, and many who are simply uninformed - this book is a great value.
All three books are in use. I'm wading through Hillman's work and will write a review. It sits next to Conrow's Effective Risk Management, and is of equal obtuseness. But obtusness with deep content is usually call important in my domain.
By the way, it's the obtuse without the deep and executable content that is common these days in the project management Impresario writings.