Book Review: 12 Seconds to Project Management Greatness

Last night I finished 12 Seconds to Project Management Greatness.  Mr. Everett is a former colleague of mine, and we have fought the good fight together some years ago.  I can say with great certainty and experience that the concepts discussed in the book are well rooted in reality, and any project manager could benefit from reading this book.

I appreciated the approach Mr. Everett took in creating this work, as it read more like a screenplay or novel which made what is a pretty dry topic a lot more interesting.  I enjoyed meeting the Master Project Managers in the respective locations around the world and hearing some of the well-crafted stories.  There were a few nuggets I took from the book that I can apply to my daily work, as well as a few reminders of things I instinctively knew, but haven’t practiced effectively for some time.

I agree wholeheartedly that if one was to master each of the Project Management Imperatives written in this book that they would be a great Project Manager.   As the book concluded, our hero Alex is suddenly transformed into a great Project Manager, and his world is made right almost immediately.   It made for a great story, but as the story was winding down, I couldn’t help but being reminded of a recent encounter with one of Minnesota’s great baseball heroes, Tony Oliva.

I was with my son at a Twins baseball game, and we had the rare opportunity to have an extended conversation with Mr. Oliva as we were introduced by a mutual acquaintance.  My 11 year old son asked him, “what is the secret to hitting?”  Mr. Oliva responded with two thoughts.  The first comment was very simple, “Practice.”  The second piece of advice regarding practice came a few seconds later, “When you practice, don’t try to be perfect, just make better” (broken English intended).  That’s good advice to young  baseball players and Project Managers alike regarding development – it is important to view development as a journey.

The tools found in the back serve effectively as a roadmap to go on that journey, and I recommend any Project Manager take the time to leverage those tools for their own development.  For me, that was a key value of the book.

Congratulations to Mr. Everett on a fine piece of work, and I look forward to the continuing story of Alex Pilgrim.