Investment – Centric Project Management



Book Title: Investment – Centric Project Management: Advanced Strategies for Developing and Executing Successful Capital Projects       
Author:  Stephen James Keays MASc., P.Eng
Publisher:  J Ross Publishing
List Price:  $54.95
Format: Hardcover, 350 pages
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN: 978-1-60427-142-3
Reviewer: Lauren Puglisi, MBA, CAPM
Review Date: April 2019




The global statistics are staggering. Regarding industrial projects, 30% of $20M projects fail, 50% of $100M projects fail, and 70% of $1B projects fail. How can this be? The author, Stephen James Keays, with over 30 years of managing projects in aerospace, oil and gas, defense, and manufacturing, suggests that these failures are incongruent with the expected successful outcomes of the project management principles.  Mr. Keays offers three principal areas that may contribute to less than stellar results.

The first practice is the generally accepted mindset that cost control is the same as cost effectiveness. He calls this an illusion. Budget control through cost containment may lead to unanticipated technical trade-offs, which actually increase costs. Secondly, common practice evaluates each phase independently for budget and schedule. The progression of the phases assumes the cumulative impact of the end result. This is a flawed presumption since final performance cannot be evaluated by independent phases alone. Lastly, current thinking addresses risk as external factors that need to be managed. In reality, risk is inherent in each stage of the execution and is increased when stages are run in parallel.  As he addresses these three areas and many more, Mr. Keays introduces the reader to a paradigm shift for increasing success in the PM environment. He has named it Investment-Centric Project Management.

Overview of Book’s Structure

This book is divided into 7 parts: WHY, WHERE, HOW, WHO, WHEN, WHAT, and the final section which includes the appendices, bibliography, and lexicon. The parts are further divided into multiple chapters, each addressing a specific topic. The bibliography includes over 100 references from a variety of disciplines.


The highlights consist of Why, How, and Who, three areas that dominate a project managers mindset.

Part 1, WHY, addresses the fact that although project management principles are a good foundation, high failure rates are a sign that something is unaccounted for. The author premises a distinction between the PMI definition of a project, “an agent of change, undertaken as a temporary endeavor to create a unique process, product, or service,” with his definition, “the development of a profitable performing asset or PPA.” The author ascertains that traditional projects, or “spend” projects, use a constraint trifecta of time, quality, and costs, and the overriding emphasis or strategy is to minimize costs. In contrast, the PPA strategy is to maximize performance and long-term ROI. This is not a spend project but an investment and must be governed differently.


To read entire Book Review, click here



About the Reviewer


Lauren Puglisi

Texas, USA



Lauren Puglisi, MBA, CAPM is an accountant, project management professional, and business analyst with 20 years of experience in the real estate and civil engineering fields.

Lauren can be contacted at www.linkedin.com/in/laurenpuglisimba


Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the PMI Dallas Chapter. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  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.