This website covers topics on knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Lean Project Leadership

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"Dissatisfaction is the first step of ongoing improvement." (section 9.1)

Larry Leach's book Lean Project Leadership is an interesting combination of Critical Chain Project Management and the other important components of management/leadership that need to come to bear to create a successful project environment. I agree with his general approach that ideas from many disciplines must come together in a full implementation of a project environment. He pulls from TOC and Lean, as well as from psychology and basic PM and psychology and innovation and more. [Disclosure: I consider Larry a business friend because we've interacted over many years in online discussions of CCPM. I purchased the book.]

I found a number of tidbits throughout the book that I enjoyed. The details in the sections on CCPM and Execution were helpful for me, as he presents some other ways to think about things I have done in the past with CCPM implementations. And I completely agree with him on the value of emphasizing the importance of a good project execution approach. Planning well is an excellent practice. But taking action and managing against that plan is even more valuable. I also wish Larry had devoted more space to the additional topics, particularly the ideas around continuous improvement in the project environment.

Larry's voice comes through loud and clear in this book, and he says several things in the book which I have seen him mention in other places. I would have greatly appreciated it if he were to expand on some of those topics. One of these that he did expand upon is the importance of basic project management capabilities within organizations. CCPM literature focuses mostly on the parts of traditional project management that do not work well. But there are plenty of elements from the PM Body of Knowledge (PMI) that do work well, and they should be acknowledged as vital parts of the whole puzzle. I think this is why I enjoyed the Scherer business novel, Be Fast or Be Gone, because of its description of good PM and portfolio management practices.

The book is more workbook than read-it-through text. Larry split up the topics into modules, with each having a page of explanatory text and a page of graphics or visuals. This generally makes for fairly fast reading, unless you want to stop and study the topic in question. It definitely makes for a good reference and skip-around design, which I think was partly his intention. For me, however, the design made it difficult to read the book through and take notes, as I am won't to do with this kind of writing. I found it best to be reading at a table / desk, rather than a comfy chair.

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