Every industry has its publications that are held to that lofty status of go-to guides, and project controls is no exception. Rather than spend valuable time weeding through the volumes that are available out there, we bring you the top 13, can’t-miss project controls books that every good project professional has on their shelf. And now I’ve kept the promise I made on a recent webinar.
Top Project Controls Books
As former head of Qatar University’s Civil & Architectural Engineering Department, Dr. Saleh Mubarak has extensive field and academic experience. In case you forgot, Saleh has worked with us before. In the 3rd edition of his book, he uses his assets to give the areas of both control and scheduling a very thorough examination that can be easily understood by someone who has almost no prior experience with the topic. Included are case studies and exercises. This is a must-read for project management students and project controls professional.
If you’re looking for a concise, yet comprehensive, review that provides you with insight into what the industry is undergoing in terms of the latest innovations in everything from control, scheduling and planning, Murray Woolf doesn’t disappoint in this book. Focusing on the Scheduling Practice Paradigm, Woolf effectively breaks down its concepts and into actionable steps that are designed to boost efficiency and production.
Project management is a field that can be rife with uncertainties and the risks that are associated with them. David Hulett takes a critical look at the popular Critical Path Method (CPM) of scheduling and provides a complete analysis of it that results in a better development of risks. From basic concepts that provide the novice with a solid foundation from which to build more knowledge to advanced ones that will have experienced project managers nodding in agreement, Hulett presents solutions that enables better estimations and scheduling.
There’s a reason why a second project management book by David Hulett made it into this list. He has a knack of breaking down complex concepts into plain English that makes it easy to digest and implement. The innovative Risk Driver Method clearly shows the relationship between schedule risk and cost. As one reviewer, fromoz, noted on is Amazon review, it finally enabled him to “back my theoretical understanding with real life practical uses derived from the book.”
In this fully-updated, eighth edition, experienced authors and civil engineers, James O’Brien and Fred Plotnick (founder of the Construction CPM conference), take the reader through CPM from the ground up. They provide a exhaustive study of this ground-breaking method and, in an extremely hands-on style, show how to make CPM works effectively with a variety of projects, avoid delay, stay informed on every aspect of the project and more. This edition includes access to a wealth of additional content available online.
The Pocket Guide for Large Industrial Projects
(for those Daring Enough to Take Responsibility for them) by Jean-Pierre Capron
Proving that project management doesn’t have to be dry and stoic, Jean-Pierre Capron’s book is a short and witty read that gives those that are interested valuable insight into the inner workings of organizations that specialize in the field. Written with both depth and clarity, the reader is able to obtain a robust amount of knowledge in a format that is easily digestible while on a business trip.
Advanced Scheduling Handbook for Project Managers
— a Practical Navigation Guide on Large, Complex Projects
by Jeremie Averous and Thierry Linares
From project managers that are deep within the trenches of projects that are both large and complex, comes this practical reference book. Utilizing the fresh — and often overlooked — perspective of a project manager, authors Jeremie Averous and Thierry Linares seek to bridge the gap between those professionals in the scheduling sector and those in the project management sector and improve the effectiveness of both.
Although the title would lead you to believe differently, this book is not just for those engineers in the oil and gas fields. Instead Herve Baron provides valuable information that any young engineer would find enlightening and critical to their further development within the industry. As Amazon reviewer, Evgeny Ivlev noted, “It touches each discipline showing interfaces between all of them.” In addition, engineers moving into the industry from another vertical also benefit from this guide that provides numerous illustrations, spec sheets, diagrams and more.
A straightforward reference guide for both construction planning and scheduling, Thomas E. Glavinich’s publication is also invaluable if you are studying to take your PSP certification exam. It’s the kind of book that you want to keep on hand while you are scheduling.
CPM Scheduling for Construction: Best Practices and Guidelines
edited by Christopher Carson and Peter Oakander
This edition of the book represents a collaboration between the PMI Scheduling Community of Practice and SEI. It delivers a methodical look at CPM scheduling from start to finish. Divided into six sections, these are further separated to enable quick reference to the material when needed. In addition to best practices, Carson and Oakander provide recommendations steeped in their experience and knowledge.
Brett, a reviewer of the book on Amazon, sums it up best by saying, “This book provides very detailed information, techniques, and thought provoking questions for project managers and scheduling managers.”
Derek Graham takes on the elephant in the project management room in this book appropriately titled, Residential Construction Projects: Strategies & Solutions. In a sector that is well-known for running behind deadline while going over budget, Graham presents some solid and customizable solutions and strategies that work in the real-life construction world of today and are not limited to residential construction. I personally found Derek’s book very well researched. Derek put the time in to footnote all of his research so you’re also getting a complete list of other places to go for more info. Also check out Derek’s blog where he goes deep on the real-world of scheduling and construction regularly.
Cost Control and Risk Books
Acknowledging that the considerable changes that have been experienced within the construction industry have hinged primarily on economic issues, Frederic W. Mueller’s book seeks to provide solutions that marry schedule controls with integrated costs strategies. The end result? More responsive project managers that are ready to meet the demand’s of the construction industry of today.
Practical Cost Control Handbook for Project Managers:
A Practical Guide to Enable Consistent and Predictable Forecasting for Large, Complex Projects by Jeremie Averous
If you are looking for a practical handbook in cost control and risk that you’ll reach for again and again, Jeremie Averous’ Practical Cost Control Handbook for Project Managers: A Practical Guide to Enable Consistent and Predictable Forecasting for Large, Complex Projects is that publication. By understanding the traps and confines that lurk within forecasting and cost control, project managers can implement these essential processes in order to make better decisions.
While the above list is nowhere near exhaustive, it provides both novices and experts project controls books that impart a depth and breadth of knowledge that is unsurpassed. Developing this knowledge base is critical in enabling today’s project managers to become experts in the ever-changing world of construction.
What did we miss? Leave us a comment with your go-to project controls books.