Project Manager’s Portable Handbook



Book Title:  Project Manager’s Portable Handbook
Authors:  David I. Cleland, Lewis R. Ireland
Publisher:  McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
List Price:   $52.00
Format:  Soft cover, 442 pages
Publication Date:   2010
ISBN: 978-0-07-174105-7
Reviewer: Valentina Rada, MBA, PMP, PMI-ACP
Review Date: November 2020




Project Manager’s Portable Handbook is a useful guide for any project manager who wants to stay on track with related project management standards being a tremendous source of project management theories and practices.

The authors of the book are two prestigious Project Management Institute (PMI) fellows, the late Dr. David I. Cleland who has been described as the “Father of Project Management” and the late Lewis R. Ireland who was a former PMI president with 40 years of experience in project management. They both brought and outlined project management concepts in a structured but insightful manner. Their book outlines ways of how to successfully manage projects and have those concepts handy and easy to find in their handbook.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is structured into ten key areas that help project managers or other professionals enhance their knowledge related to various project management areas: 1) The Discipline of Project Management: a framework for understanding project management; 2) Project Organizational Design: discusses standards of how appropriate organizational design entails to managing projects; 3) Alternative Project Applications: provides examples of alternative project applications; 4) The Strategic Context of Projects: outlines possible design and execution of organizational strategies; 5) Project Leadership: an overall description of team leadership characteristics; 6) Project Initiation and Execution: discusses key considerations when selecting a project; 7) Project Planning and Control: outlines ways of how to plan and monitor a project; 8) The Project Culture: provides insights on how culture can impact a project atmosphere; 9) Project Communications: discusses various communications patterns in a project; 10) Improving Project Management: provides alternatives of how to better improve projects’ processes.


Although the Project Manager’s Portable Handbook presents numerous techniques and insights of how to manage projects, a couple of them caught my attention that I believe are valuable for any project manager. First, it is about the five project management functions and/ or stages essential for a project manager to acknowledge. Those are planning, organizing, motivating, directing and controlling; these are slightly different than traditional project management process groups. I believe that this perspective could strengthen the entire project management process and see how organizing and motivating would add value to how projects are managed.


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How to cite this book review: Rada, V. (2020). Project Manager’s Portable Handbook, book review, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue XII, December.  Available online at: https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/pmwj100-Dec2020-Rada-Project-Managers-Portable-Handbook-book-review.pdf



About the Reviewer

Valentina Rada

Texas, USA


Valentina Rada’s professional experience includes twenty years of experience in market research, retail and restaurant industries as research analyst and project manager. She is a Project Management Professional and an Agile Certified Practitioner. She has a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of the Incarnate Word. She is currently pursuing her education as a PhD student in Organizational Leadership at the University of the Incarnate Word.

Valentina can be reached at valirada@hotmail.com or www.linkedin.com/in/valentina-rada

Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the PMI Alamo Chapter. Authors and publishers offer 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. 

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