Deji Badiru has accomplished a lot in his life. He is an engineer a certified project management professional and a fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers. He has a doctorate in industrial engineering a master’s degree in mathematics and a certificate in leadership. Badiru credits his many successes with the fact that he employs project management strategies from the business world in his personal life. He wrote Getting Things Done Through Project Management in order to show others how to apply the science of corporate project management to everyday projects.
Badiru begins by making a case for the necessity of project management citing that most people plan a lot but accomplish very little. He combs through the stages of project management from initiation to closure and discusses the importance of breaking up a project into manageable steps. In the remainder of the book he offers up a detailed account of the tools strategies and models of successful project management. Particularly helpful is his included “project outline” that displays the stages of executing a project from start to finish. Badiru who writes clearly and enthusiastically is very knowledgeable about project management and a true believer in the efficacy of its techniques.
The book gives an interesting peek in to the world of corporate project management yet the book falls short in its goal of showing the layperson how to use corporate management tools in their own life. Badiru should have offered case studies that illustrate how such principles could be applied to something as routine as cleaning out the garage. Instead phrases like “activity precedence relationships” and “work breakdown structure” will go over the head of most readers if they are not applied to a tangible experience. Getting Things Done would better serve as a text for introductory students of business than as a self-help guide for general audiences.
What’s more Badiru seems to force a self-help book into an engineering textbook template including mathematical formulas for success and listing laws and principles of management like those that govern forces of nature in science. The author grabs such adages as “Projects would run well if people did not get in the way” from unlikely sources—a journal subscription renewal form a TV commercial and the vague “someone once said.” In addition to illustrative case studies the book would also benefit from a table of contents a quick copyedit and original graphics that better correspond to the text.
Badiru however is correct: we all could benefit from a science of getting things done; if only he had used examples to show us how and not just tell us why.