The Persuasive Project Manager



Book Title:    The Persuasive Project Manager: Communicating for Understanding
Author:  Dr. Bill Brantley, PMP, PMI-ACP
Publisher:  Self-published
List Price:   US$14.99 (Amazon)
Format:  Paperback, 87 pages
Publication Date:   2019
ISBN: 13: 9781795728492
Reviewer:  Mary Jane Quandt
Review Date: September 2019




Dr. Brantley describes why he wrote this book: “In my study of what makes good project management communication, I discovered something important early on. Even though it is widely recognized how important communication is in project management, project management practitioners are not taking advantage of the latest findings in communication research.” (p3)

He refers to his “lifelong quest to understand communication.” This quest is evident from the in-depth research he presents. Dr. Brantley has an undergraduate degree in Speech Communication and Paralegal Science, earned an MBA in Project Management in the 1990s, was certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP) in 2003, and has been a project management practitioner and scholar for twenty years.

Overview of Book’s Structure

In Chapter One the author establishes that the purpose of communication is to understand and how understanding in communication contributes to the success of projects. “When things [click] together on a successful project, communication flows effortlessly, and no misunderstandings.” (p2) In Chapter Two he summarizes two long-standing models of communication that apply to project management and in Chapter Three parallels those models to Aristotle’s classic three elements of persuasion (ethos, pathos, logos).

Dr. Brantley refers to Chapter Four as the “core of the book.” He introduces Dr. W. Barnett Pearce’s coordinated management of meaning (CMM) theory (1970s). This practical application of the emergent communication model aids in better understanding communications between project team members and stakeholders. In Chapter Five the author explores the vital role of a project manager as the hub in project information flow. He revisits the importance of basic information transfer in managing the complexity of a project’s multiple communication channels, the volume of information being exchanged (and how to tell the story around it), and the risk of missing vital information in time.

In Chapters Six and Seven Dr. Brantley reminds the reader of the importance of cultural and emotional intelligence in project management and the importance of recognizing and considering cognitive biases when communicating project information.

Chapter Eight offers leadership models and tools to aid in addressing the added challenge as project work becomes more virtual and more leaders, team members, and/or stakeholders work remotely. In Chapter Nine, as Dr. Brantley highlights this increased understanding of project management communication, he suggests “The project manager is more than just a traditional manager; the project manager must become a leader.” (p69). Chapter Ten is a summary of practical steps to being a persuasive project manager.


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About the Reviewer

Mary Jane Quandt

Texas, USA




Mary Jane Quandt, PMP has extensive contract and consulting experience as a Senior Project Management, specializing in IT application upgrade, IT Service Management (including ITIL), business process improvement, and IT Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) across multiple industries including banking, government, airline, utilities, manufacturing, logistics, electrical engineering, and direct sales.

Email: www.linkedin.com/in/maryjanequandt/ or mjquandt@att.net


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