Realizing Strategy Through Projects



Book Title:  Realizing Strategy Through Projects: The Executive’s Guide
Author: Carl Marnewick
Publisher:  CRC Press / Routledge
List Price: US $46.96
Format: Softcover, 240 pages
Publication Date: 2018
ISBN:  978-1-138-19610-0
Reviewer:  Toni A. Smith, PMP
Review Date:  July 2023



While well written and informative, Realizing Strategy Through Projects is more about how executives could use project management to deliver benefits to an organization versus how to manage projects. In fact, the author describes the book’s purpose as to “provide executives with a comprehensive overview of the discipline of project management.” Although not as I imagined a book with this title to be – steeped in strategic jargon – it certainly provides an ample overview of the work of project management. Just short of two hundred pages, the author manages to condense the PMBOK into the most useful project management publication I have read thus far.

Overview of Book’s Structure

Divided into twelve chapters, the first two chapters and first part of the book cover project management and its value for the organization at large (Chapter 2) and project management as a strategic enabler (Chapter 3).

The second part of the book provides a view of project management from a management perspective. Chapter 4 covers portfolio management. Chapter 5 targets program management and Chapter 6 focuses on project management and how these two disciplines contribute to the success of the organization at large.

The third part of the book focuses on benefit management and sustainability, Chapters 8 and 9 respectively. Benefits are what the project deliverables bring to the organization as well as the ultimate sustainability of the organization.

Beginning in Chapter 10, the fourth part of the book focuses on governance within project management. The role of the sponsor is covered in Chapter 11, and in Chapter 12, the final chapter, a comprehensive portfolio, program, and project management framework is provided.


The author states that the book covers the entire spectrum of project management from a management and leadership perspective. It indeed does. An important highlight are the references provided that uphold industry standards. I found the ISO® (International Organization for Standardization) standards to be of particular interest. Each chapter follows a consistent and easy to follow format. The chapters that detail and indicate the distinctions between portfolio (Chapter 4), program (Chapter 5), and project (Chapter 6) management are very well appointed. Chapters 5 and 6 even include a career path section.

Highlights: What I liked!

I liked that the book can be used as a timeless reference. It is filled with definitions, explanations, and examples of some of the most important components of project management. I like that each chapter opens with a quote relevant to its topic and that there is care in the information selected. I especially found Chapter 7 on Project Management Offices (PMO) helpful in clarifying how it could serve as a bridge between the work of the three disciplines.


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How to cite this work: Smith, T. A. (2023). Realizing Strategy Through Projects: The Executive’s Guide, book review, PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue IX, September. Available online at: https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/pmwj133-Sep2023-Smith-Realizing-Strategy-Through-Projects-book-review.pdf

About the Reviewer

Toni A. Smith, PMP

Maryland, USA


Toni Smith’s journey in project management is rooted in the US nonprofit sector. With over thirty years of experience in executing programs and projects and an interesting two and a half-year stint working in the IT Governance division of a public utilities company, in 2021 she became captivated by the world of project management. She attained her PMP certification in 2023. Toni is interested in introducing the project management discipline in nonprofit settings to improve organizational outcomes.

She can be contacted at toni@inreachinc.org

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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