The Business-Savvy Project Manager

Indispensible Knowledge and Skills for Success

Gary R. Heerkens

Publisher: McGraw-Hill, 2006, 366 pages

ISBN: 0-07-144307-x

Keywords: Project Management

Last modified: July 19, 2008, 12:29 p.m.

Integrate the business needs and goals of your organization into every project decision you make

A well-managed project is a fundamental building block of business growth, and the project manager is the driver of that growth. The Business-Savvy Project Manager provides you with the concepts, principles, and tools you need to implement and lead projects that will consistently provide shareholders with superior return on investment.

This step-by-step guidebook, filled with examples of project management success and failure, shows you how to become an accomplished project leader who can:

  • Identify the most essential initiatives that must be addressed in your firm, helping prevent the cost and waste of pursuing low-priority projects
  • Propose, manage, and report on projects based on concerns that matter to your senior executives, from increasing cash flows to minimizing financial risk
  • Structure and perform a convincing, project-specific financial analysis that details the amount of wealth generated, or net present value, of the project

The long-term success of an organization is based on the quality and execution of its projects. The Business-Savvy Project Manager walks you through the steps of a successful project, explaining what you must do to make each project successful from a business, as opposed to a technical, perspective.

  • Part One: Building Foundational Knowledge
    • Chapter 1: Project Management as a Business Function
      • A Few Revelations as We Begin
      • The Landscape of Project Management Is Changing
      • How Expectations of Projects Are Changing
      • How Expectations of Project Managers Are Changing
      • How the Definition of Project Success Is Changing
      • Some Other Significant Changes
      • Adopting a Total Asset Life Cycle Focus
      • So… How Are Projects Connected to the "Bottom Line" Anyway?
    • Chapter 2: The Core of Business Knowledge: Finance and Accounting
      • Finance: The Basics
      • What Is Financial Management?
      • How Are Projects Financed?
      • The Weighted Cost of Capital
      • The Cash Management Cycle
      • Accounting: The Basics
      • What Is GAAP?
      • Measuring Financial Health: The Balance Sheet
      • Measuring Profit: The Income Statement
      • Measuring the Way Money Moves: The Cash Flow Statement
      • Making Sense of Financial Statements by Using Ratio Analysis
      • Financial Accounting versus Managerial Accounting
    • Chapter 3: Fundamentals of Organizational Management
      • What Is Organizational Management?
      • Historical Perspectives
      • Sound Organizational Management Through Sound Organizational Planning
      • Elements of Strategic Planning
      • Primary Competitive Strategy
      • Situation Analysis
      • Elements of Tactical Planning
      • Competitive Advantage
      • Structural Design
      • Elements of Operational Planning
      • Overarching Linkages in Organizational Planning
      • Information Management Configuration
      • Business Process Management
      • The Value Chain of Business Functions
      • How Organizations Improve their Business Process
    • Chapter 4: Cost Management in Organizations
      • Organizational Budgeting and Control
      • The Basic Process of Budgeting
      • The Master Budget
      • Relating the Master Budget to Projects
      • The Responsibility Center: Concept and Practice
      • About Cost Accounting Systems
      • Fixed Costs, Variable Costs, and Mixed Costs
      • Costs Related to Management and Operations
      • Costs Related to Quality Management
      • Costs Related to Buying and Selling
      • Costs Related to Project Economics
  • Part Two: Applying Sound Business Practices at the Enterprise Level
    • Chapter 5: Project Portfolio Management, Phase I: Identifying the "Right" Business Initiatives
      • About the Process of Capital Budgeting
      • Project Portfolio Management: Moving in the Direction of Business
      • The Benefits of Using a Project Portfolio Management Approach
      • Guiding Principles of the Project Portfolio Management Approach
      • The Basic Building Blocks of the Project Portfolio Management Processes
      • Project Portfolio Management: A Three-Phase Process
      • Project Portfolio Management: Step by Step
      • Phase I: Identifying, Quantifying, and Financing the Right Business Initiatives
      • The Start of Portfolio Development: Identifying Long-Range Goals
      • Identifying Quantified Business Initiatives (Strategic and Operational)
      • Establishing a Project Financing Strategy
      • How Can You Be Sure You Have a Sound Approach to Identifying the "Right" Initiatives?
      • The Biggest Challenge in Identifying the "Right" Initiatives: Knowing When to Stop
    • Chapter 6: Project Portfolio Management, Phase II: Identifying, Categorizing, and Prioritizing Project Solutions
      • Identifying Solutions to Address Business Initiatives
      • Introduction to the Alternative Identification and Analysis Process
      • Alternative Identification and Analysis: Step by Step
      • Configuring the Portfolio Categories
      • Prioritizing Projects within Portfolio Categories: Why and How
      • An Overview of the Attributes Scoring Methodology
      • Putting It All Together: The Weighted Factor Scoring Matrix
    • Chapter 7: Project Portfolio Management, Phase III: Selecting, Launching, and Coordinating Projects
      • The Project Listing Process: A Review
      • Selecting the Best Projects and Constructing the Final Portfolio Listing
      • Understanding the Difference between Justification, Selection, and Authorization
      • Avoiding the "Selected, but Not Justified" Syndrome
      • Applying Project Screening Techniques
      • Guidelines for Administering an Effective Project Prioritization Process
      • Knowing Where to "Draw the Line": It's All about Limitations
      • Conducting a Final Portfolio Review
      • Developing a Project Launch Sequence
      • Considerations During Project Initiation
      • Conduct Post-Project (and Portfolio) Audits
  • Part Three: Applying Sound Business Practices at the Project Level
    • Chapter 8: Project Economics, Part I: Foundation Principles
      • The Time Value of Money
      • Future Value and Compounding
      • Present Value and Discounting
      • Three Methods for Calculating the Time Value of Money
      • Rate of Return: The Basics
      • Discounted Cash Flow Methodology
    • Chapter 9: Project Economics, Part II: Preparing for a Project Financial Analysis
      • The Anatomy of Project Cash Flow
      • The Foundation of Any Financial Analysis: The Cash Flow Chart
      • The Process of Identifying and Modeling the Cash Flows of a Project
      • Guidelines for Modeling Cash Flows
      • Proper Treatment of Special Cash Flow Types
      • Three Basic Project Cash Flow Models
    • Chapter 10: Project Economics, Part III: Performing a Project Financial Analysis
      • Separating Fact from Fiction in the Project Financial Analysis Process
      • The Four Basic Financial Metrics
      • Performing a Project Financial Analysis: A Comprehensive Example
      • Calculating the Four Basic Financial Metrics
      • Putting the Financial Metrics Together: Evaluating the Investment
      • Financial Analysis in Reverse: Calculating the Maximum Justifiable Project Cost
      • Enhancing the Financial Analysis Process by Introducing Risk
    • Chapter 11: Risk Management, Decision-Making and Business
      • The Objectives of Risk Management and Decision-Making
      • Dealing with Risk and Uncertainty in Business Decisions
      • Risk and Uncertainty: A Quick Refresher
      • Sources of Business and Financial Uncertainty in Project Investment Decisons
      • Reducing Risk by Using Higher-Quality Information
      • Reducing Risk by Modifying Financial Analysis Process Parameters
      • Using Sensitivity Analysis as Part of the Financial Analysis Process
      • Identifying the Appropriate Variables for a Sensitivity Analysis
      • Performing a One-Dimensional Sensitivity Analysis
      • Performing a Multidimensional Sensitivity Analysis
      • Performing Sensitivity Analysis using Monte Carlo Simulation
      • Using Break Even Analysis for Business Decisions
      • Using Decision Trees in Financially Based Decision-Making
  • Part Four: Preparing the Business Case
    • Chapter 12:Business Case and Business Case Preparation
      • Why Use a Business Case Approach?
      • What Is a Business Case?
      • General Applications of Business Cases
      • Benefits of Using a Formal Business Case Approach
      • Conditions that Trigger a Formal Business Case Approach
      • Who Prepares the Business Case?
      • The Business Case Development Process
      • Critical Success Factors in Business Case Development
      • Qualities of a Well-Prepared Business Case
      • Recommended Business Case Structure: An Overview
  • Part Five: Appendixes
    • Appendix A: Guidelines for Preparing a Project Business Case
    • Appendix B: Interest Table


The Business-Savvy Project Manager

Reviewed by Roland Buresund

Very Good ******** (8 out of 10)

Last modified: July 19, 2008, 12:29 p.m.

Interesting title and subject. An easy read, even if I believe that the author is concentrating a bit too much on the financial side (but he manages to touch on Risk Management and Business Cases as well). I can agree with him that the financial side is usually lacking in PMs knowledge, as most of them don't have MBAs (or equivalent), and he manages to present the financial knowledge that is relevant to a PM and can help them in their role in a very nice way.

If you are in PM, this is a book that you definitely should have read. If you have an MBA or are studying to one, there isn't very much that isn't covered elsewhere and in greater detail.

All in all, a very good book.


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