Principles and Practice of Project Management

Principles and Practice of Project Management is the brainchild of Bayo Adeola, who is the founder and chairman of Comprehensive Project Management Services Limited (CPMS), a Nigerian project management firm, based in Lagos. Conceived as a framework for principles and practice of project management, it is a manifesto informed by the author’s thirty year experience –  managing projects at CPMS whilst teaching a project management module at Lagos Business School and FATE Foundation, Nigeria. Extensively illustrated with real-life examples of projects characterised by resource constraints and risk mitigation: Each example is a scenario-derived from anonymised data that span sector categories: A film-production project; An election campaign; Procurement of construction services; An integration plan for a London listed Nigerian financial institution’s year-long 25th anniversary campaign.

A 439 page framework for accidental-project-managers,  ‘Principles and Practice of Project Management’ is section-structured around seven organising principles. Each section is headlined by a principle, with content grouped together in parts: chapters; sub-headers; copy and a visual-system-of-communication – They illustrate approaches, methods, competencies and processes fundamental to effective project management and practice.

Beyond this book’s function as a framework, its auxiliary purpose is to raise the level of discourse about ‘Principles and Practice of Project Management’; and provoke leaps in perception about what it can be, for accidental-project-managers across Nigeria. Forums and workshops are part of a road-map, currently work-in-progress, as a series of intense-exploratory and rigorous practice-based-learning-activities: For project-managers and their accidental-peer groups to cross-pollinate practice-approaches. From this perspective an initial short-run of the book is hot-off-the-press, as a road-show primer. It is produced to support a multi-city schedule of pop-up sessions: On-site-based-work-shops and social-media-based-interaction; to discover and respond to what accidental managers and project-investors might need, to deliver their projects effectively.

Experience Design

The book design builds on a flexible typographic format Angela Lyons developed (in concert with the author and project manager) to help readers navigate the book as a set of project-management-principles, shaped for a cross-platform audience: information-design; exhibition-graphics; digital-content; stand-alone print, stage or screen based live-experience. This layout utilises a visual language built out of way-finding and information design for public-spaces, to navigate places and spaces, we encounter everyday: physical spaces and screen interface. Olubunmi Ayodele provided text-re-thread support as a necessary response to frequent copy-edits and table-content-edits, by the author, in Lagos.

Upfront work here is not unlike experience design research for Industrial-Design, Information-Design, Packaging-Design, Service-Design or Digital-Content. It requires contextual research, it makes use of mock-ups to test and improve a responsive-audience-experience. We went through a number of short-text-placement, full-text-placement and  flow processes, to accommodate a system-of-communication with over 100 elements: chapter-panels; section-titles; charts; densely-packed-diagrams; tables; info-graphics; directional-signs; identification-signs; orientation-signs; and symbols. We took each element through multiple cycles of reader-evaluation and re-iteration.

In this book, underlying structure to support content emerged out of conversations we had about combined use of typography, composition and colour to emphasize its message. It was necessary to embrace the psychological aspect of colour perception and how it might affect readers’ preferences, locally. We ran A/B tests with a small number of readers samples of tonal families of the same colour, to gauge their reactions. We aimed to avoid simplistic conclusions as it seems people’s response to colour evolve: Context matters. Consideration for variations of the same typographic and figurative arrangement of photographic images, reader’s sensibilities and author’s preferences were worked into a desirable effect.

We reconciled Bayo Adeola’s aesthetic points-of-view alongside iterative-editorial-reviews, A/B tests with an ongoing need to re-thread-text, post text-flow: A design-production-process consideration, which stretched the limits of our resource constraints. Thankfully, Olubunmi Ayodele’s support in Lagos; drafted into the design process by the author, provided this project with much needed local cover, to re-thread copy-edits, when required.

In Principle and Practice of Project Management, the charts function to help illustrate and support thematic principles in the book. The densely packed set of diagrams are basic for accessibility, with adoption of variation in tonal intensity of black, between text and background, designed to make table-content legible for readers.

As a graphic-language for a set of project-management-principles formatted for cross-platform-audience-experience this book is by-definition suggestive of guidelines: For accessible technical writing; typographic identity; section and chapter-titles, photography adapted for cover-design; colours; symbols and any other proprietary or signature brand experience elements.

This book closes with the author’s ode to the future of project management in a digital world, relative to traditional project management – and the book’s final section-title sums up his thesis for a software driven world  titled “Project Management Approaches.” A comparative look at characteristics of a traditional project management approach relative to an agile one: As a matter of fact it places this Book-Design project, firmly, in an agile space: collaborative use of Adobe-Creative-Cloud software; super-frequent changes, uncertainty, reader-tests, multiple-iterations are signature characteristics.

For emphasis, sections, chapter-titles and key points of the framework appear throughout this book at double-page spreads of typography.  The sans-serif typeface-family Lato is used across cover-title; synopsis at the back-cover; tables; diagrams; headers; captions and chapter-panels. The serif font Minion is used in body copy.

Author

Bayo Adeola

Sector

Independent Publishing and Project Management

Discipline

Design Research, Book-Design and Project Management

Project Team

Executive Producer- Bayo Adeola, Editorial Team - Tayo Agunbiade and Femi Omotayo. Design Team - Angela Lyons: Integrated Design, Olubunmi Ayodele: Design, Hernan Perez: Photography-Studio-Management and Photography-Post-Production, Tunde Oyewole: Print Management, Ayodeji Alaka: Project Management, Editorial-Design and Photography.

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