HBR Project Management Handbook



Book Title: Harvard Business Review Project Management Handbook: How to Launch, Lead, and Sponsor Successful Projects
Author: Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Publishing
List Price: $50.00
Format: Hardcover, 330 pages
Publication Date: 2021   
ISBN: 9781647821265
Reviewer: A.W. Schultz     
Review Date: May 2023


This book offers leading techniques to maximize efficiency and maintain control over projects. It gives the framework and tools in a step-by-step guideline to help those looking to learn about project management or those interested in best practice used in project management.

Overview of Book’s Structure

This book on project management provides readers with a comprehensive guide that includes various tools and best practices. It offers step-by-step instructions on essential tasks and responsibilities that contribute to successful project completion. Additionally, the book features numerous short stories that support the author’s perspectives on each topic. The authors have cleverly divided the book into sections, making it easy for readers to navigate as a handbook, rather than a novel.


This book is divided into four parts, each providing the reader with explanations and examples to support their understanding. The first part covers the fundamentals of starting a project, while the second part highlights the importance of establishing a strong foundation for the project. This includes identifying the right people, such as sponsors, stakeholders, and resources, as well as determining the type of project, whether it is Traditional, Agile, or Hybrid. The third part focuses on developing leadership, prioritization, and structure-building competencies. The fourth part delves into the latest innovations and disruptors in project management. Finally, the authors ties everything together that the design and early planning stages are crucial for the success of any project.

Highlights: What I liked!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and filled it with annotations. I found the section on page three particularly fascinating, which discusses how the success of companies like Ford, Apple, Boeing, and GE hinged on the outcome of their major projects. The book also highlights management gurus such as Frederick Taylor, Henry Ford, and Peter Drucker, who played a crucial role in making these projects successful. The importance of continually developing new products and efficient project management is emphasized throughout the book. I found the checklist on page 105 for selecting the right sponsor to be especially useful for new project managers. Additionally, the DICE framework is a valuable tool for measuring project duration, integrity, team commitment, and individual effort. The author’s insights on the future, including the impact of COVID-19, climate change, and the need for exceptional leadership, were also thought-provoking.


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How to cite this book review: How to cite this review: Schultz, A. W. (2023).  Harvard Business Review Project Management Handbook: How to Launch, Lead, and Sponsor Successful Projects, book review, PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue VI, June. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/pmwj130-Jun2023-Schultz-HBR-Project-Management-Handbook-book-review.pdf

About the Reviewer

A.W. (Aaron) Schultz

Dallas TX, USA


A.W. Schultz is the founder and principal consultant at AW Schultz Engineering and Training. He is a recognized thought leader on maintenance work management, an entrepreneur, an Amazon best-selling author, a sought-after strategist, and a consultant with global engagements.

With over 25 years of experience in maintenance and reliability, he is routinely called upon to offer guidance to senior executives and those in the maintenance and reliability community to improve their organizations’ overall efficiency. He has shown value-adding ability to provide strategic insight and tactical analysis and to convert these thoughts into reality by successful engagement and execution.

Email address: aw@awschultz.org


Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of a partnership between the PM World Journal and the PMI Dallas Chapter. Authors and publishers provide books to the PM World Journal; books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members who agree to provide a review within 45 days; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  After publication, reviewers can claim PDUs for PMP recertification, or continuing education units from other professional bodies.

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