Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Review of "Financially Focused Project Management," by Thomas M. Cappels

Review of

Financially Focused Project Management, by Thomas M. Cappels ISBN 1932159096

 The content of this book can be summed up in the phrase, “always think in financial terms and document everything.” In Financially Focused Project Management (FFPM) there is no room for good feelings, social responsibility or keeping people on the job. Everything is based on maximizing the return and minimizing the cost. That is both the strength and weakness of FFPM.
 The strength is that it forces the efforts to be directed in a manner that benefits the company in the near term. When a new project is proposed, the costs and benefits are to be analyzed in detail, the best possible estimates for costs in time and effort are created and the process is converted into charts and timelines with the costs of each embedded within them. Deadlines and the people responsible for meeting them are also assigned. This approach will tighten the process and wring unnecessary costs from the development.
 The weakness of FFPM is that it does not handle vision and research very well.  By their very nature, they are not easily subject to quantification and when you cannot quantify, any attempt to apply FFPM to the process is at minimum a dubious endeavor. It is often the case that the time to be bold and spend on new things is when the business performance is weakening.
 The complete development of FFPM is covered in this book, it is loaded with acronyms, arrowed charts, tables and a few images. If your goal is to develop a detailed process for managing projects, FFPM will work. However, make sure that some flexibility is built in and don’t get married to it. As Supreme Allied Commander Dwight Eisenhower said, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

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