Images of projects. By Mark Winter and Tony Szczepanek, Gower, Farnham, UK, 2009. 288pp, ISBN 978-0-566-08716-5, £42.50 (hb)
In this very distinctive book, Images of Projects challenges how we think about projects in the most fundamental way: it rejects outright the idea of a one ‘best way’ to view all projects and also the idea of following a prescriptive approach. In contrast, Images of Projects seeks to encourage a more pragmatic and reflective approach, based on deliberately seeing projects from multiple perspectives, exploring the insights and implications which flow from these, and crafting appropriate action strategies in complex situations. Based on real examples and the authors’ work over the last ten years, Images of Projects presents seven pragmatic images for making sense of the complex realities of projects. Illustrated using various models, these images are presented in ways that allow the reader to reflect upon their own mental models in relation to the different perspectives in this book. As well as the seven images, the book contains numerous other frameworks for the practitioner to add to their own ‘toolkit’ of models and tools. In adopting this approach to projects, Images of Projects takes its inspiration from Gareth Morgan’s best-selling book Images of Organization, which argues that effective practitioners must become skilled in ‘reading’ situations from multiple perspectives and in crafting appropriate action strategies in complex situations. Images of Projects is essentially no different: the core purpose of this book is to help practitioners and students develop (or enrich) this crucial skill for working on projects and programmes in the 21st century.