The Billion Dollar Solution
by Robert C. Newbold
ProChain Press

"Each year, many of the world's largest companies are burning billions of dollars through the way they manage their projects.  It's popular nowadays to talk about reducing waste. But the biggest bonfire of burning billions comes from the missed opportunities in the marketplace."

Books about project management are often dreadful, jargon-filled affairs about how things should be done without any effort to make the discipline relevant to the real world. The Billion Dollar Solution is a readable, accessible book, as well as a very good addition to the project management canon. Newbold does an exemplary job of explaining why the "accidental profession" (as Project Management is sometimes known) matters and why it deserves work and attention. "The big mistake is in thinking that a process that doesn't require ongoing discipline, planning and refinement will meet your needs." It is amazing how many books and courses on project management take far longer to make this point and are not as convincing when they finally do.

Newbold covers key concepts like Earned Value analysis, Critical Paths, Load Leveling, and Program Management. Some topics, like risk management are referenced, but don't fall within the scope of the book. The book can be used as a reference guide, but it is stronger when it is read all the way through, since the overall intent is to introduce a specific methodology, Prochain Project Management and the concepts are introduced in a way which best supports the objective. Guiding principles like Ownership, Leverage, Planning and Uncertainty are efficiently defined, and Newbold makes it clear why they matter, including perhaps the most important piece of advice for anyone looking at a new approach: Use common sense.

The intent of adopting any methodology is to drive organizational change so that disconnects between an organization's strategic vision and tactical execution are minimized. Newbold makes an attractive case for its specific series of principles and techniques. Newbold does not peddle a language but lays out a thoughtful, value-based case for considering his particular sequence.

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