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Handy Reference for Aspiring Project Managers
By DEASÚN Ó CONCHÚIR
There is a proliferation of books on project management in the marketplace but not many of them make for pleasant reading. I started to read Dr. Deasún Ó Conchúir’s book, Overview of the PMBOK® Guide, with some skepticism. How wrong was I! What attracted me the most was that the book was just 214 pages.

Born Irish and having worked in many European capitals and organizations, the author currently lives in Switzerland. He is proficient in four European languages and is widely travelled around the world as a consultant, engineer, trainer, and PMI volunteer in Africa.

The book is a product of years of field experience. While sticking close to the contents of A Guide to Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)—Fourth Edition, Dr. Ó Conchúir has articulated the principles and practices with personal examples and experiences. He brings alive the principles elucidated in the PMBOK® Guide with examples from the real world.

Neatly spaced out with icons (or signs) to denote tools and techniques, process outputs, exam tips, analogy, and pitfalls, the book makes an easy read. Each chapter ends with exam aids (a summary) and flash card terms. Chapters start with a summary of what you may expect on the next few pages. The last chapter is on ways to prepare for the PMP® examination with an index. A well-rounded effort.

What I found lacking, was content for ethics and professional conduct. Dr. Ó Conchúir has included it in the chapter on the PMP® examination. Questions on ethics constitute 10-12 percent of the exam question paper and merited more emphasis. It would also have helped PMP® aspirants had he added 20 sample questions with answers at the end of each chapter.

The highlights in the book for me were the examples and experiences that the author has mentioned. It is a good read and a handy reference in any PMI library.

Reviewed by Mr. Jacob Zachariah, MBA, OCP, PMP, is chief manager (systems) with State Bank of India. He is a PMI India Champion, volunteer, faculty member, speaker, and ethics committee member. Mr. Zachariah has judged project management awards competitions, been on scholarship committees.
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