Here’s an interesting new book, Performance Based Project Management, from Glen B. Alleman, author of one of my favourite blogs Herding Cats.

Projects fail to meet goals for many reasons: poor time and budget performance, failure to deal with complexity, uncontrolled changes in scope… Even the most experienced project managers can be caught off guard in the presence of these forces. Performance Based Project Management shows readers how they can increase the probability of project success, detailing a straightforward plan for avoiding surprises, forecasting performance, identifying risk, and taking corrective action to keep a project a success.

Based on the “Five Immutable Principles of Project Success,” this book shows project leaders how to assess the business capabilities needed for a project; plan and schedule the work; determine the resources required to complete on time and on budget; identify and manage risks to success; and measure performance in units meaningful to decision makers.

Project managers will learn the core practices for each principle, as well as associated processes, so that they can lay the foundation for project success from the start. They’ll discover how each process produces “artifacts,” which provide feedback as to whether everything is going well—and if not, when and how it will be fixed.

Each practice is illustrated through examples and tailored for different levels of complexity and risk to help project managers ensure that project aren’t just done—they’re done right.


The schedule is set, the budget determined, people skills deployed, best practices adhered to every step of the way—and still the project fails.

Project failure is so common and sometimes so brutal that horror stories abound. Apple’s never-released Copland operating system, bloated with scope creep. A canceled $4 billion U.S. satellite program too broken to implement. The launch—and crash—of the online insurance exchanges,

Delays, cost overruns, quality problems, and more doom thousands of projects, big or small, in every industry. But at the heart of most failures lies the same fundamental issue: not knowing what “done” really looks like.

Performance Based Project Management helps radically improve your project’s success rate—and safeguard your reputation—by laying a solid foundation for success at the start. The key is to pinpoint what business capabilities your project must produce or what mission needs to be accomplished—measures of progress that lead to a resounding “done.”

After answering the crucial capability question, the book moves you step-by-step through an interlocking series of principles, practices, and processes that comprise the essential building blocks of a solid, risk-minimized project. You’ll learn about:

  • Five Immutable Principles—Recognize what done looks like, map out a plan for getting there, specify what resources are required, foresee impediments along the way, and select key measures for charting your progress.
  • Five Immutable Practices—Define the needed capabilities, determine technical and operational requirements, establish a performance measurement baseline, execute that baseline, and perform continuous risk management.
  • Five Governing Processes—Organize the project using work and organizational breakdown structures; plan, schedule, and budget the project; account for time and money spent; analyze variances between planned and actual time and costs; and update the information continually so that forecasts are reliable.
  • Three sample projects explain how to tailor the practices and processes, while ten planning, execution, and performance-management drivers alert you to missing information that can jeopardize results.

Project management approaches are numerous—PMBOK®, Prince2®, agile software development, and more. But only Performance-Based Project Management integrates strategic, technical, and managerial processes into a framework built on sound principles while providing practices that can be widely applied. By connecting mission strategy with project execution, this book helps you bring your projects to successful, career-enhancing completion.