Managing Project Competence



Book Title:  Managing Project Competence: The Lemon and the Loop
Author:  Rolf Medina
Publisher: CBC Press/Taylor & Francis Group
List Price: $94.95
Format:  Hard cover, 170 pages
Publication Date: 2018
ISBN: 978-1-4987-8438-2
Reviewer: Muriel Hairston-Cooper
Review Date: April 2024


At initial glance, one may think that Managing Project Competence with its The Lemon and the Loop whimsical subhead may be a lighthearted read filled with relatable, easy to follow anecdotes about how project managers deal with their own competence and that of others. And while you may find a paragraph or two of laugh out loud, relatable moments, this book looks at the serious connection between competence and organizational success.

The book uses a combined project management and human resource lens to examine the different dimensions of competence, defines factors of what makes individuals competent, and provides examples through case studies of how organizations can thrive or fail in the development and utilization of shared use of competence .It is the author’s belief that if companies are to be successful, and or remain as such they will need to recognize and give credence to the value of the relationship between employment satisfaction that grows from the links between competencies and business growth.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book offers 151 pages of content, a three-page glossary, and 14 remaining pages of an extensive bibliography and index.

As a textbook, the six-chapter book presented many “arguments,” disclaiming one subject matter expert for another. However, all do agree that the concept of competence based on knowledge and experience is vital to acknowledge and apply in today’s rapidly changing knowledge environment. Competency and competence, both relegated as static dimensions within a framework of individual responsibilities are now being recognized as agile and can directly flow with the direction of the organization.

The author gives a thorough description of the Lemon and Loop framework as attested in the bibliography. While the chapters are adequate, a bullet style chapter summary may be more useful to quickly look and refresh previously read subheads.


The content of the book centers on the concepts of the “Lemon” and the “Loop.”

The Lemon focuses on individual competence and how this can intersect with organizational culture. The Lemon framework is based on knowledge and experience and shares how an individual can use this in different situations. It changes the concept of competence from being static to being agile and free-flowing.

The Loop provides a thorough description on how organizations can use the outcomes of the lemon to benefit organizational strategies and aha – the future careers of its workforce. As a team, the Lemon and the Loop provides a holistic strategy for business and career growth.


To read entire Book Review, click here

How to cite this book review: Hairston-Cooper, M. (2024). Managing Project Competence: The Lemon and the Loop, book review, PM World Journal, Volume XIII, Issue V, May.  Available online at: https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/pmwj141-May2024-Hairston-Cooper-lemon-and-loop-book-review.pdf

About the Reviewer

Muriel Hairston-Cooper

Washington, DC, USA


Muriel Hairston-Cooper is the director of relationship development and stakeholder engagement at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in Washington, DC. She is a servant-leader with demonstrated success in four distinct portfolio lines – strategic partnerships with an equity engagement focus, communications and public affairs, program and philanthropic development and cultivation, and conventions and special events.

She has served as an organizational spokesperson and has an earned reputation for increasing awareness, driving revenue growth, building brand loyalty and displaying product value to diverse audiences.

Muriel can be contacted at coopermuriel01@gmail.com

Editor’s note: This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, the PM World Journal and the PMI Silver Spring Chapter. Authors and publishers provide the books to the PMWJ editor or directly to the PMI Silver Spring 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 Silver Spring Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published.

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