Successful Project Management: Applying Best Practices and Real-World Techniques with Microsoft Project has a slightly misleading title – you won’t really see MS Project used until chapter 4.   This book is really about translating the Project Management Institute (PMI) methodology into a format which can be readily understood, with the occasional diversion to the use of Microsoft’s Office tools.  Project 2010 version is assumed, as is the availability of other Microsoft tools like Excel and Word.

If you have experience with formal project methods, this is probably not the book for you.  New or part-time project managers would benefit from the text, as it discusses most of the touchpoints of project management in easily accessible language.  That’s not a small accomplishment, and is complemented by a clear, direct writing style.

The most common tasks in Project (work breakdown structure, resource information, etc ) are covered at a level sufficient to make the reader functional, but not necessarily expert.  There are also a number of frustration-saving tips, such as those on where to use fixed dates on tasks.

In addition to the tool-related narratives, there are also chapters on ancillary topics like budgets, reporting and some financial analysis.  This  should be of great value to the novice PM.

Overall, a good purchase for anyone just starting out in project management.

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  1. I like project management tools for getting projects done and helping with management. What I don’t like is when a manager uses these tools and automatically assumes he’s a project manager. There’s a lot of knowledge that goes into PM. Tools are a great addition, but you need a knowledgeable project manager leading the project to really get the best.