Filling Execution Gaps



Book Title:    Filling Execution Gaps: How Executives and Project Managers Turn Corporate Strategy into Successful Projects
Author:  Todd C. Williams
Publisher: De Gruyter Inc.
List Price: $34.99
Format: Softcover, 356 pages
Publication Date:  2017    
ISBN: 978-1-5015-0639-0
Reviewer: Denise Murray, PMP
Review Date: August 2018




Filling Execution Gaps weaves together concepts that will benefit any organization engaged in projects—large or small. As a project management consultant Mr. Williams provides expert guidance on how to effectively analyze existing corporate conditions, mend broken management systems to improve project management performance. His writing style is engaging and it is evident that he understands how companies function—all types and sizes.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book structure is formed around the concept of a hexad – six components critical to project success. The figure of a hexad in the introduction illustrates the interdependency of the components—as a word picture, envision a Corinthian temple, the foundation is (1) common understanding; the columns rising from the foundation to the roof are (2) goal-and-project alignment, (3) executive sponsorship, (4) change management, (5) effective governance, and finally, the roof is (6) leadership. Each of these six components make up the discussion in each chapter.

Following the conclusion of each chapter narrative are takeaways geared to two audiences—(1) the project or middle manager and (2) the executive.  Chapters close with a “concept application” section which is a list of questions posed to evaluate/analyze—(1) the organization, (2) project or middle managers, and (3) executives against chapter content. The takeaways and questions are valuable for practitioners and prompt the reader to evaluate their project-world circumstances in light of what was learned about the subject covered in the chapter.


The book is a wealth of sage advice and practical concepts.  The section on Common Understanding prompted me to evaluate how I, as a project manager, communicate project progress, and to reframe my communication into a business vernacular. The chapter on Change Management, as a general concept and in the project sphere has helped me navigate the change I experience in my own work environment.

Though I’ve only mentioned a couple of highlights, the book as a whole has benefited me as a project manager and enhanced my critical thinking abilities. The entire book is a highlight for me. My copy of Filling Execution Gaps is filled with notes and mark-ups and I keep it at my desk so I can refer to it for advice.


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About the Reviewer


Denise Murray

Texas, USA




Denise Murray’s professional experience includes thirteen years in defense as a project manager and an acquisition manager; and ten years in higher education as faculty, and senior administrator. She is a Project Management Professional and has a M.S. in Project Management from the George Washington University. She is currently a Program Management Analyst for the U.S. Air Force in Texas.

Denise can be reached at ndamurray@gmail.com or www.linkedin.com/in/dnmurray98


Editor’s note:  Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the Alamo PMI Chapter in San Antonio, Texas. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Alamo Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  PMI Alamo Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published.   If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact info@pmworldjournal.com