The Complete Project Manager



Book Title:  The Complete Project Manager: Integrating People, Organizational, and Technical Skills
Authors:  Randall Englund, Alfonso Bucero
Publisher:  Management Concepts, Inc.
List Price:   $58.16
Format:  Paper, 273 pages
Publication Date:   2012    
ISBN: 978-1-56726-359-6
Reviewer: Valentina Rada, MBA, PMP, PMI-ACP
Review Date: July 2019




The Complete Project Manager book outlines the variety of soft project management skills necessary for successful project management and shows the complexity of efficient project management. Project managers’ role is more than defining schedules, identifying risks, and engaging stakeholders; it’s about leadership, negotiations, fun, change management and so many other soft skills.

The authors, Randall Englund and Alfonso Bucero, two former senior project managers at Hewlett Packard, emphasize areas that make a project manager complete. They share their experiences and use them as examples throughout the book. From that perspective, The Complete Project Manager is a great blend of principles and real life experience. Key project management concepts are covered in simple but thoughtful manners that bring the reader to authors’ day to day project management experience.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book highlights key components of a complete project manager described metaphorically as a “complex molecule”. Similarly to how organic compounds are structurally diverse, project management is the application of knowledge, skills and techniques to execute projects effectively and efficiently. The book is a guide of how to build your own combination of “molecules” as your project management skill set.

The Complete Project Manager emphasizes how to integrate key people, organizational and technical skills. The authors outline the multitude of skill areas a complete project manager should leverage to be successful.

In the book are described and exemplified twelve of soft project management skills: 1) Leadership – be visionary; 2) Personal Skills – consider people interaction; 3) Humor – bring FUN on the agenda; 4) Project Management Skills – utilize PMI’s Project Management Body of Knowledge; 5) Environment Skills – create project-friendly environment conditions; 6) Organizational Skills – execute projects in “green” organizations rather than “toxic” ones; 7) Negotiating Skills – engage in negotiations; 8) Political Skills – be politically sensitive; 9) Conflict Management Skills – embrace constructive contention; 10) Sales Skills – sale the value of services and processes; 11) Change Management Skills – understand change management process; 12) Customer Knowledge – apply servant leadership skills.


I really enjoyed how the authors of The Complete Project Manager portrait project managers’ role as being a blend of skills related to people, technical skills and culture. A project manager in order to be successful covers this entire spectrum. The authors allocate a good chunk of their journey to soft personal skills. The importance of relationships, networking, and political awareness is crucial for a complete project manager. It takes a lot farther than simply being technical competent or intelligent; it’s how one relates and persuades the relationship with others. As per this Chinese proverb, “The smart man knows everything; the wise man knows everyone”.


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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 in Business Administration from the University of the Incarnate Word. She is currently a Senior Project Manager for the City of San Antonio in Texas.

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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