Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management is the title of Scott Berkun’s revised second-edition book on project management. It contains the lessons distilled from a career in getting a team of people to work together to achieve common goals.
The book doesn’t spend time on any particular methodology. Instead, the focus is on the practical skills you’ll need to determine priorities, manage tasks, and lead teams. There’s no grand theories here; just things that have been proven to work.
If you’re an accomplished project manager, you’ll probably find the book a bit basic. But for someone like me, who accidentally finds himself in charge of teams from time to time, it contains down-to-earth descriptions of the essential tools and skills you’ll need to get things done.
The book is organized well, with clear section headers, lists and diagrams. It makes it easy to find the sections you need. The revised edition also contains discussion questions and what-if scenarios, which I found useful for putting the advice in context.
I really appreciated Scott’s focus on pragmatism and real-world issues. If it’s more complicated than making prioritized lists or checking in with the members of your team regularly, you won’t find it here. But those simple reminders are just the sort of advice many of us occasional project managers need to keep things on track.