The Human Factor in Project Management



Book Title:  The Human Factor in Project Management
Author: Denise Thompson, MBA, PMP, CSM
Publisher:  CRC Press / Taylor & Francis Group
List Price: $59.95
Format:  Hardcover, 198 pages
Publication Date:  August 2018
ISBN: 978-1-138-06419-5
Reviewer: Marie Noel Piekam, PMP
Review Date: April 2019




“The Human Factor in Project Management” written by Denise Thompson is one of the kinds in the domain of human behavior and performance, particularly in project management. What are the true qualities of a leader? what are the appropriate behaviors for a leader? Why does a leader need to adapt to change and influence others? Every chapter within the book explores those questions in depth. The second chapter explores different situations which highlight real conflicts, misunderstanding and issues encountered while managing projects. As well stated, it is important to avoid the “hazards of the profession” which is key to gain real value of communication and successful stakeholder’s management and triple constraints.

Considering that human factor in project management can be viewed as the possibility to influence projects’ outcomes, it is detrimental that those outcomes be positive otherwise one may risk projects’ failure. Denise Thompson’s book meets these criteria as it provides readers with a global perspective. The biggest strength of the book is embedded in the practical examples and opportunities given to the readers to reflect on various scenarios.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is organized by topics as each chapter discusses different concepts. Divided in ten chapters, the book’s structure is well elaborated as the first chapter introduces readers to what is to come and the fundamental notion of leadership.

With the use of diverse examples across multiple industries, the author embarks readers through this journey of self-reflection/ critical analysis and understanding of human behaviors in projects. The outline and concepts discussed are sequential, as topics are aligned with one another. The connection between scenarios, stories, lesson learned, and the roles/ impact of human behaviors are well supported.

While the titles of chapters may seem unaccustomed at a glance, they represent well the idea and contents discussed within respective section. Starting with an introduction to the project management journey for change and true leadership, the book progresses to challenge readers in a special way. Herein, one is exposed to the hazards of project management profession and then called to explore the steps needed to be a “true” leader. Acknowledging that the ten steps of leadership discussed in chapter 3 are well put, they represent the starting point to becoming a leader who is able to understand his or her behavior – challenges and be a change agent for others at all times. The book also introduces some tools, processes, and techniques which are needed to better manage projects. Those are discussed in the third chapter “Creating the Freedom to Fly High.”


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About the Reviewer


Marie Piekam, PMP

Maryland, USA



With over 15 years of experience in the healthcare industry in Cameroon and in the United States, Ms. Piekam has participated in the success of various projects. She led major communities’ projects in Cameroon which include malaria campaign, Hepatitis B & C diagnostic and vaccination campaign in partnership with Roche laboratory.

Ms. Piekam earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resource Management at the University of Dschang in Cameroon and a Bachelor of Science in Management of Health Systems as Summa Cum Laude at the University of Potomac. She also earned a Master of Business Administration degree in Enterprise Resource Planning and Healthcare Management at the University of Scranton. Ms. Piekam is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma.

Ms. Piekam is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and an active member of Project Management Institute (PMI), Silver Spring Chapter. She is consistently engaged in PMI activities and has participated in various project activities such as project management day of service (PMDOS), chapter symposium and more.

Dedicated to giving back to her community, Ms. Piekam is involved in several communities-sponsored activities and organizations where she served in a variety of leadership roles. Her most valuable includes developing effective youth programs at her Church where she serves as a Religious Education Teacher and program coordinator.

Marie currently works at Medstar Washington Hospital Center as a Financial Clearance Specialist and also serves as a reservist in the United States Navy. She can be contacted at Marienp2000@yahoo.fr


Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the PMI Silver Spring Maryland Chapter. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered 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.  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