I have a degree in Industrial Engineering and purchased many project management books over past 20 years since it's related to my field. This book is really a survey of project managers with a summary of responses. It should be a PDF or presentation document. It is stretched into a complete book. The insights are very lacking and generic.
There is no overarching strategy. There's no overarching system, There's no overarching approach that could take you from an average project manager to an elite one. There's no focus on the nuances that separates the best managers. It's just summarizing a lot of survey results from top project managers but it's not delineating the differences in a way that's practical. I would give this book 2 stars out of 5 because it doesn't really need to be a book. It should be a presentation.
However, at the same time, the content of this book should not be expected to provide concrete actionable items to address the individuals targeted in the dedication, worded by the author thusly: The conciseness that Andy Crowe provides here is commendable, but the less than pages of content provided in the compact format of this book does not leave room for much more beyond a presentation of the project manager study he conducted.
Unlike the comments of some other readers, however, this reviewer thinks that even though this study was not exactly scientific, there is much to be gained here even if such knowledge is solely limited to the fact that the author actually conducted formal research to determine what helps positively differentiate the top portion of project managers. What makes this study of particular interest is that information on effective project management is obtained not just from project managers, but from customers, team members, and senior management as well, providing a type of degree peer review, because as the author explains, project managers frequently do not have accurate images of themselves as professionals.
A total of project managers were included in this study that provided 4, such stakeholders. This book discusses 8 major areas where top performers stand apart: Within the closing pages of this book, the author remarks that "it is almost universally true that small things can make a big difference. Both groups show up for work, plan their projects, manage their teams, deliver the results, and gain the customer's acceptance.
In most regards, what they have in common is much greater than what separates them". Also, "when an entire population possesses highly similar characteristics, any advantage, however small, can have very significant implications. Small differences in behavior and practices can account for large outcomes, both actual and perceived". See all 50 reviews.
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The spoons were measured before and after the experiment, and since all sorts of spoons were used, simply switching the labels would produce different measurements, causing the scientist to believe that something paranormal had occurred. Because the studio was set up to allow people in front of the camera to see themselves on monitors, and the videotapes were available to be watched by anyone, the two used the video to critique their own performance.
They would deliberately fail on their first attempt at any given demonstration, and then use the video to find out what was visible to the researchers and what was not. They would then develop a technique that would not appear on video. Edwards found that one particular camera operator was on guard to capture any attempts at sleight of hand, so he picked the man to assist him in one experiment, and he was replaced by a less competent cameraman.
This was also a clear violation of one of Randi's caveats; the test run should have been stopped at this point and recorded as a failure.
The two were so successful at spoon bending that several other tests were invented. In one they were given pictures in sealed envelopes and then asked to try to identify them from a list shown to them later. The two were left alone in a room with the envelopes, and although there was a possibility that they would peek, this was supposed to be controlled by examining the envelopes later. The envelopes were held closed with four staples, which they simply pried open with their fingernails, looked at the picture, and then resealed by inserting the staples back into the same holes and forcing them closed by pressing them against the table.
Another test was electronic; they were asked to influence the burnout point of a common fuse. After they were given a chance to work it with their mind, an increasing amount of current was run through the fuse until it blew. The two proved to have amazing abilities in this test after a few trials, eventually causing the fuses to blow immediately once they got used to it. In fact, they were simply palming the already blown fuses and then handing them back to the experimenters.
They also found that pressing down on one end of the fuse in its holder, or just touching it briefly, caused the instruments to record unusual results that were interpreted by the experimenters as psi effects. In one instance, Shaw and Edwards were asked to move small objects in a sealed transparent globe, normally small bits of paper balanced on an edge.
At first they were unable to get anything to happen, but later noticed that the container was being removed to replace the object within. During one such event they took the opportunity to roll up a small ball of metal foil and drop it into the circular ring cut into the surface of the table that held the globe.
This introduced a small gap under one edge, which they could blow into to cause the paper to move. Other examples included their ability to make digital clocks stop working properly Edwards put it in a microwave oven for a few seconds , or make images appear on film just by staring at the camera Shaw spat on the lens. In one particular experiment, Shaw tried to get them to say on film that he was not allowed to touch the object he was supposed to bend in the experiment he had already secretly done that, and with them affirming that he could not and had not touched it, the "miracle" would look even greater.
The researchers explain these apparently inexcusable inadequacies in experimental protocols by drawing a clear distinction between two different stages of an investigation: In doing so, they are also trying to set up a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere that is believed to be conducive to psychic phenomena. It is during this stage that Shaw and Edwards were able to convince the researchers of psychic abilities.
In mid, the two were fairly famous in the psi world, and even outside it, and Phillips decided to release a research brief at a workshop of the Parapsychological Association Convention August According to the researchers' official version, Phillips also wrote to Randi to ask for a tape of fake metal-bending, which was to be shown alongside the recording of Shaw and Edwards. The researchers were looking for opinions and critical input from the parapsychology community and finally released a revised abstract that reflected the received criticism in its conservative and skeptical language.
Randi started to leak stories that the two were a plant of his. These stories reached the lab, but they were not taken seriously on the grounds that 1 it seemed hard to believe that a plot could have been carried out so consistently by Randi and the two young magicians for 21 months, and 2 there was not precedent known of such a plot ever being carried out by a skeptic.
The story had been widely circulated by the time the meeting was held the next month. Reactions were varied; some thought it was simply a lie, others that Randi was pulling off a hoax, and still others concluded the entire experiment was dreamed up as a conspiracy by Randi and Phillips to discredit the field. Upon returning from the meeting, Phillips immediately changed the test protocols.
The two found that they were no longer able to fool the experimenters so easily, and in most cases, not at all. During this time the lab started releasing additional reports that seriously toned down the success rate. In their own words, "We did not conclude that they must be frauds, but only that after extensive testing, they were not behaving nearly as psychically as they had led us to expect.
Also, "when an entire population possesses highly similar characteristics, any advantage, however small, can have very significant implications. The book will pay itself off in the first couple of pages. Mastering Project Management Theory in Practice. The two were left alone in a room with the envelopes, and although there was a possibility that they would peek, this was supposed to be controlled by examining the envelopes later. Learn more about Amazon Prime. While currently available therapies may halt the progression of lung disease, there are currently no effective treatments for the liver disease and a cure for Alpha-1 remains elusive.
At this point Shaw and Edwards were so famous that they were asked to travel widely and present their powers. Many other psi investigators interviewed the two and gave glowing reviews, thus tainting themselves in the eventual aftermath. Randi decided to end the project and announced the entire affair in Discover magazine. Many of the researchers who endorsed Shaw and Edwards after the August meeting were now burned in the process.
One went so far as to claim that the young men really did have psychic powers, and that they were now lying about being magicians. The bad press was so widespread that the McDonnell Lab was shut down. The Skeptical Inquirer revealed that Shaw was a fake psychic in their fall issue. Shaw had, in fact, posed as a fake psychic prior to Project Alpha, and his high-school paper ran a story about his powers. The rumor seemed unlikely to be true for several reasons: What critic would be so persistent in engaging in fraud and conspiracy on such a time-scale? There seemed to be no precedent.
Nor was it possible to track down how reliable the rumor might be. The complaint of psi investigators for years had been that they did not have enough funding for their experiments. However, in Randi's opinion it was not funding but the experimenters that were the problem.
Randi's purpose was to show that no matter how much money was spent, there would still be no reliable results. Some within the parapsychology community were outraged, with Berthold Schwarz declaring: But Randi reports that other parapsychology researchers have contacted him with praise, describing the project as "splendid and deserved", "an important sanitary service", "commendable", and "long-needed".
A biography of Michael Thalbourne, one of the Mac-Lab experimenters, dismisses the entire affair thus:. James Randi, who sought to discredit Mac-Lab staff just to prove some vague point. He had two of his poorly trained magicians infiltrate the lab so they could indulge in deceptive practices that included cheating and all manner of fraud.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the parapsychology hoax.
For the military project, see Project Alpha military.