This review features in the APM Project Magazine October 2013.
Book Title: The Project Management Coaching Workbook
Authors Name: Susanne Madsen
Publisher: Management Concept Press
Full review here:
Susanne Madsen, a coach in the field of project management – has delivered projects for a number of years and now supports others in the project execution . The book is designed to work through what you want to achieve from your projects, provide insight and provoke thought processes to help you achieve your goals. It addresses common challenges faced, providing tools and approaches which can be adopted to engage with on projects with an aim to drive a more confident and effective delivery approach. Susanne combines these tools and approaches to guide you through the bigger picture of managing projects, considering team leadership, effective relationship building and attitude to managing projects.
I must say that on a whole this is a fantastic workbook, as it really considers vital elements of what needs to be considered throughout the project lifecycle. As this is written from a coaching perspective the first step which talks through what you want to achieve is great because it is written for you rather than a text book which has a rigid path of author stating XYZ. By making you think about what you wish to achieve and the type of PM you want to be it really plays on your experiences and makes you think about how you can improve all aspects of your style and approach.
Each section has tips for different aspects of PM for consideration which summarises and bullet statements which makes for easy following and quick referencing. There are also a number of exercises throughout each step with tables and sections to write in key information – this forms a great way to actually engage with the book and encourages you to actually reflect on practices and score yourself on various aspects.
As this is a workbook, it benefits all those in the project management delivery domain – it is great for the less experienced in that it is well structured and runs through a great deal of process and can be used as a training manual for constructive support. It is equally useful for the well seasoned project manager who is happy to review their practices and keen to ensure they have not fallen into bad habits. I would also recommend the use of this book for group sessions, gathering groups of PMs to work through each section in weekly workshops.
Susanne has clearly dealt with a great number of challenges in her career, whether they be personally or through coaching others. Her ability to grasp the various aspects and structure the book in a way which is not daunting but is interrogating strikes a very pleasing balance. I have read a number of coaching books and not found any to be as engaging or easy to use, the reason for this is a less formal but professional approach – this is the sign of an excellent coach who believes in what they do and will happily share their insights.