Mastering the Leadership Role in Project Management: Practices that Deliver Remarkable Results : 9780132620345

Mastering the Leadership Role in Project Management: Practices that Deliver Remarkable Results

Laufer Alexander
Published by
Pearson Higher Ed USA
Available on demand
Title type

In this book, renowned project management expert Dr. Alexander Laufer leads an all-star team of practitioners and thought leaders in presenting a powerful project leadership framework.

Laufer's framework addresses the toughest challenges of new product development: large, complex projects composed of many diverse, geographically distributed, and highly interdependent components; and organisational change, as well as the unique characteristics of repeated and risky tasks. Laufer reveals core leadership principles that are crucial to successful project leadership in dynamic and complex environments, regardless of industry, project goals, or stakeholders. Then, together with his contributors, he presents eight chapter-length case studies covering exceptionally challenging projects in a wide spectrum of industries and products -- from developing missiles to reorganising companies, building spacecraft and dairy plants to flying solar-powered airplanes.

Powerful lessons taught by these projects include:

  • How to unleash the power of autonomy and learning
  • How to adapt to change on a timely basis, and "give up" control without losing control
  • How to manage "no fun" missions in hostile environments
  • How to deliver on bold ideas through sheer preparation
  • How to learn --and unlearn -- from practice


Table of contents
  • Foreword: Larry Prusak  
  • Introduction: Learning from the Best Practitioners 
  • Chapter 1: Developing a Missile: The Power of Autonomy and Learning  
  • Chapter 2: Building of Memory: Managing Creativity Through Action    
  • Chapter 3: Flying Solar-Powered Airplanes: Soaring High on Spirit and Systems    
  • Chapter 4: Transferring Harbor Cranes: Delivering A Bold Idea Through Meticulous Preparations and Quick Responsiveness    
  • Chapter 5: A Successful Downsizing: Developing a Culture of Trust and Responsibility    
  • Chapter 6: A Peaceful Evacuation: Building A Multi-Project Battalion by Leading Upward    
  • Chapter 7: Exploring Space: Shaping Culture by Exploiting Location    
  • Chapter 8: Building a Dairy Plant: Accelerating Speed by Splitting and Harmonizing     
  • Epilogue: Practices for Project Leadership    
  • Index 

Features & benefits

A powerful new framework for successfully leading today's most challenging, complex, and highest-risk projects.

  • By world-class project managers, led by project management expert Dr. Alexander Laufer, former director of Columbia University's Center for Project Leadership.
  • Eight case studies teach the lessons of projects ranging from building spacecraft to organizational restructuring.
  • Offers proven solutions for developing products, handling change, leading repetitive tasks, and much more.
Author biography

Dr. Alexander Laufer is a chaired professor of civil engineering at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, where he also served as the dean of the faculty. Currently he is also a visiting professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has served as the editor-in-chief of the NASA Academy of Program and Project Leadership Magazine, Academy Sharing Knowledge, and as a member of the advisory board of the NASA Academy of Program and Project Leadership. He has also served as the director of the Center for Project Leadership at Columbia University. He is a member of the editorial review board of the Project Management Journal. Dr. Laufer is the author or coauthor of five books; the two most recent ones are Breaking the Code of Project Management (Macmillan, 2009) and Shared Voyage: Learning and Unlearning from Remarkable Projects (NASA History Office, 2005).