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Title:Project Management: A systems approach to

Planning, scheduling and controlling. 7th Edition

Review Date, May 2003
Author: Harold Kerzner
Pub: Willey
Cover: hard
Pages 1192
Keywords: project management
Recommendation: Recommended with reservations
Source: - Publisher


This is not a software engineering book but a generic project management book that has an engineering bias. Any book that survives to a seventh edition must have something going for it. No… wait, there is an eighth edition that was published a month ago! I picked up the review copy of the 7th edition at a show a couple of months back. It appears that editions seven and eighth were printed just two years apart. I discovered this looking on the web, as the book I have (the 7th edition) has no history of the previous six editions at all. I find this strange that a book on project management has no revision history.


This is designed in part to be a textbook and there is a separate lecturers resource and workbook. This is (it appears) on free download from the Wiley web site, via password protection. (see www.wiley.com/kerzner for information) There are also questions and problems at the end of each chapter. There are no solutions for these in the book… The author maintains that the book (together with the workbook) make an excellent self study guide for the US Project Management Institute’s Certification Exam though how you are supposed to do this when the workbook is only available to lecturers I am not sure. That said the questions at the end of the chapters are often there to provoke thought rather than a single quantifiable answer.


It is solid book and not just for its 1200 paged and hard cover. There are plenty of illustrations, diagrams and cartoons; many I suspect are part of the lecturer’s resource kit. They certainly look like part of the Project Management Courses the author runs but this is not a picture book, there is a lot of detailed and highly informative text. However, I think that this book will stand on it’s own without the additional courses. (Some books only work if you go one the course.)


That this book is used for courses shows in that things are explained clearly and with diagrams. Therefore the average reader new to project management will be able to follow the techniques and numerous case studies from many areas of industry: between them they highlight many things that are not obvious and are quite thought provoking. As the book covers virtually every area of project management it covers areas that many project managers will not be directly responsible for which is useful as it will give an appreciation of problems of other people the PM has to interface to.


There are some useful comparisons between methods and the pro’s and con’s of each. As with most things there is no silver bullet. This book will supply you with all the information and arguments. You still have to decide which techniques to use and how to run your project!


Over all I think that this is a good book. However it is more applicable to the US than to Europe as there is a slightly different culture and working practices. One or two illustrations would never (ok are highly unlikely) to occur this side of the pond. So with that in mind this book is recommended for US readers and recommended with reservations for Europeans but check out the 8th edition first.