Lateral Approach to Managing Projects: Practical Approach for Customer Satisfaction and Mutual Profitability
H. W. Sit & Ling Bundgaard
Lateral Approach Publishing (2009)
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (12/10)
“Lateral Approach to Managing Projects” is a hypothetical or fictional case study in a short story format. Ho Wing Sit and Ling Bundgaard have collaborated in this project which introduces structured rapid implementation with four powerful practical exercises or management principles leading to customer satisfaction, while meeting contractual obligations, creating value, and obtaining acceptance.
John, President of his company, is devastated by a call from Johnson Pharmaceutical, a frustrated customer, ready to pull the plug on an important project. In an effort to salvage what he can from the project and maintain a relationship with a valued customer John summons his project manager for an update.
Scott, an experienced manager, has consistently met their contractual obligations and obtained acceptance on projects. Now he is faced with cost overruns, and an unhappy client. He also stands in jeopardy of losing his job. John gives Scott one opportunity to redeem himself within a given timeframe by providing damage control that successfully reverses the situation.
John also provides Scott instructions to consult with a man, simply called “the Mystic,” for some advice on how to turn the situation around. Scott’s interactions with the Mystic introduces the reader to a lateral approach to managing projects with the action steps necessary for attainting the desired results. Step by step the Mystic presents principles and concepts which may be new to you, or will reinforce some you already are successfully practicing. I especially enjoyed Scott’s “aha” moments as he absorbed another ingredient in the lateral approach to management.
I also appreciated the book’s format with summary statements that reiterated each new principle that had been discussed in detail. These summary statements help the reader crystallize the new concept through reflection, for assimilation, and for solidifying proposed action steps by thinking laterally.
“Lateral Approach to Managing Projects” is compelling reading, packed with ideas for implementation and action. A copy should be available to or in the hands of every manager on your team.