Project Management in Product Development - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128023228, 9780128025598

Project Management in Product Development

1st Edition

Leadership Skills and Management Techniques to Deliver Great Products

Authors: George Ellis
eBook ISBN: 9780128025598
Paperback ISBN: 9780128023228
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 17th September 2015
Page Count: 400
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Project Management in Product Development: Leadership Skills and Management Techniques to Deliver Great Products is written for new and aspiring project managers in product development. Although texts on project management are common, the material presented here is unique, instead focusing on product development, a challenging segment of project management because of the high level of uncertainty, the need for a robust set of problem-solving techniques, and a demand for broad cross-functional teams.

The book also focuses on more than just project management techniques, including a thorough treatment of transformational and transactional leadership. Other topics covered include problem-solving techniques, development, and continuous improvement of processes required in product development, risk recognition and management, and proper communication with mangers and other stakeholders.

Finally, project management techniques used in product development are presented, including the critical path method, scrum and XP, and Kanban/lean project development, along with the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Key Features

  • Provides ways to successfully manage product development projects by teaching traditional and advanced project management techniques like Gantt, CPM, Agile, Lean, and others
  • Covers transformational and transactional leadership, how to create a vision and engage the team, as well as tactics on how to manage a complex set of tasks
  • Uses a practical, common sense approach to the day-to-day activities of a project manager, including project planning, project process development, problem-solving, project portfolio management, reporting, and more
  • Presents a thorough comparison of popular project management tools
  • Includes many examples, cases, and side-bars that are included throughout the book


Professionals working in product development engineering in the industrial, manufacturing, or technology industries; Product Development Project leaders and aspiring leaders; business owners and GMs of organizations with high dependency on product development

Table of Contents

  • Dedication
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Part I. The Fundamentals
    • Introduction
      • Chapter 1 Introduction
      • Chapter 2 The Critical Path Method: Planning Phase
      • Chapter 3 The Critical Path Method: Execution Phase
    • Chapter 1. An Introduction to Project Management for Product Development
      • 1.1. The Project: Flexibility, Communication, and Accountability
      • 1.2. Project Management and Leadership
      • 1.3. Product Development Projects
      • 1.4. Why Organizations Need PMs
      • 1.5. Do You Want to Be a PM?
      • 1.6. Project Stakeholders
      • 1.7. Certification
    • Chapter 2. The Critical Path Method: Planning Phase
      • 2.1. Engineering Process Flow Charts
      • 2.2. Critical Path Project Management: Process Overview
      • 2.3. When you need help
    • Chapter 3. The Critical Path Method: Execution Phase
      • 3.1. Working Alone and with One or Two Team Members
      • 3.2. Leading Team Meetings
      • 3.3. Representing the Team at Staff Reviews
      • 3.4. Finishing the Project
  • Part II. Leadership Skills and Management Methods
    • Introduction
      • Chapter 4 Total Leadership for Project Managers
      • Chapter 5 Phase–Gate: Extending the Critical Path Method
      • Chapter 6 Critical Chain Project Management
      • Chapter 7 Lean Product Development
      • Chapter 8. Agile Scrum, Extreme Programming, and Scrumban
    • Chapter 4. Total Leadership for Project Managers
      • 4.1. What Is Leadership?
      • 4.2. Motivation and Inspiration
      • 4.3. The Total Leadership Matrix
      • 4.4. Leadership in Project Management
      • 4.5. The Intersection of Transaction and Transformation
      • 4.6. Communication Tools
      • 4.7. Team Dispersion
      • 4.8. Recommended Reading
    • Chapter 5. Phase–Gate: Extending the Critical Path Method
      • 5.1. Overview of Phase–Gate Project Management
      • 5.2. Creating a WBS for a Phase
      • 5.3. Dealing with Schedule Issues
      • 5.4. CPM Key Measures of Effectiveness (without Phase–Gate)
      • 5.5. Summary
      • 5.6. Leadership and Alternative Project Management Methods
      • 5.7. Recommended Reading
    • Chapter 6. Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM)
      • 6.1. An Overview of Critical Chain Project Management
      • 6.2. The Theory of Constraints
      • 6.3. Building a Critical Chain Project Plan
      • 6.4. Execution and Human Behavior that Delay Projects
      • 6.5. Tracking Progress with the Fever Chart
      • 6.6. Full Kitting
      • 6.7. CCPM for Project Portfolios
      • 6.8. How Well Does CCPM Work?
      • 6.9. Challenges to Adopting/Sustaining CCPM
      • 6.10. CCPM Key Measures of Effectiveness
      • 6.11. Summary
      • 6.12. Recommended Reading
    • Chapter 7. Lean Product Development
      • 7.1. An Introduction to Lean Thinking
      • 7.2. Lean Product Development
      • 7.3. Seven Lean Techniques for Product Development
      • 7.4. Comparing LPD to Other Project Management Methods
      • 7.5. LPD Key Measures of Effectiveness
      • 7.6. Summary
      • 7.7. Recommended Reading
    • Chapter 8. Agile Project Management: Scrum, Extreme Programming, and Scrumban
      • 8.1. Introduction to Agile
      • 8.2. Agile Scrum
      • 8.3. eXtreme Programming
      • 8.4. Scrumban
      • 8.5. Barriers to Adoption of Scrum
      • 8.6. Agile Key Measures of Effectiveness
      • 8.7. Summary
      • 8.8. Recommended Reading
  • Part III. Advanced Topics
    • Introduction
      • Chapter 9 Risks and Issues: Preparing for and Responding to the Unexpected
      • Chapter 10 Patents for Project Managers
      • Chapter 11 Reporting
    • Chapter 9. Risks and Issues: Preparing for and Responding to the Unexpected
      • 9.1. Risk in Product Development Projects
      • 9.2. Types of Issues and Risks
      • 9.3. Preparation: Avoiding and Reducing Issues
      • 9.4. Responding to Risk: Leading the Team through the Unexpected
      • 9.5. Recommended Reading
    • Chapter 10. Patents for Project Managers
      • 10.1. Introduction to Patents
      • 10.2. Types of Intellectual Property
      • 10.3. The Structure of a US Patent
      • 10.4. Searching Patents
      • 10.5. The Patenting Process
      • 10.6. Resources
      • 10.7. Recommended Reading
    • Chapter 11. Reporting
      • 11.1. Management Presentation
      • 11.2. Metrics
      • 11.3. KPI: Metrics to Drive Improvement
      • 11.4. Dashboard
      • 11.5. Recommended Reading
  • Appendix A. Certifying Agencies for Project Managers
  • Appendix B. Sorting Problems People Express with Their Jobs
  • Glossary
  • Index


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About the Author

George Ellis

George Ellis is Vice President European Engineering at Kollmorgen Corporation, a leading provider of precision motion systems around the globe. For 30 years he has worked in product development including leading product development projects, designing development processes, and creating portfolio management systems. He has also written two well-respected books with Elsevier, Control System Design Guide, now in its fourth edition, and Observers in Control Systems. He has contributed articles to numerous magazines, including Electronic Design News, Machine Design, Control Engineering, Motion Systems Design, and Power Control and Intelligent Motion.

Affiliations and Expertise

Kollmorgen Corporation, USA


"Everyone recognizes the importance of sustainable innovation for any growing business.  Less well understood is the vital role outstanding project management plays in innovative businesses.  Our approach to project management at Danaher evolved greatly over the last two decades and played no small part in our success.  George Ellis nicely captures the "state of the art" and demonstrates how process alone is not enough – true "Total Leadership" in project management differentiates the winners from the runners-up.  If you want to win the innovation game, read his book." --Lawrence Culp, Jr., Former CEO, Danaher Corporation

"Tools for project management have expanded over the years, most recently agile methods as applied to software development, and lean methods adopted from manufacturing; earlier additions include critical-chain and phase-gate methodologies. Many fine books cover each of these, but none covers them all. Ellis does, as well as traditional waterfall/critical path methods. Especially valuable is Ellis’ comparison of the methods, their relative strengths and weaknesses, where each applies and doesn’t apply. Along the way he reminds us of the importance of leadership and interpersonal skills in project management by way of interesting side comments and bits of advice for dealing with technical specialists, customers, and bosses. All of this separates Ellis’ book from and puts it above the rest in project management." --John Nicholas, Professor, Quinlan School of Business, Loyola University Chicago

"Based on his many years of practical experience, George Ellis tackles an application area of project management that is rarely covered. This book is a very down-to-earth and thorough exposition, rather than being theoretical and academic. It is well illustrated with lists, tables, charts and explanatory diagrams. As well as techniques such as critical path management, it delves into Phase-gate management, Agile project management, "Lean Product Development", Risk and "Patents" issues, all in the context of product development. Ellis also emphasizes the importance of looking upon project management as a leadership responsibility rather than just an administrative position. This book is a valuable addition to any Product Development Manager's reference library." --R. Max Wideman, FPMI, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada

"The section on patent law is at the right level of detail to help project managers get up to speed. Clear, step-by-step explanations take the mystery out of reading a patent and searching for prior art. The reader will learn how to avoid serious pitfalls, and will acquire the understanding necessary to discuss patent issues with the development team. The patent material alone makes Geroge Ellis’s Project Management in Product Development an excellent investment." --Alan L. Durham, Judge Robert S. Vance Professor of Law, University of Alabama School of Law and Author of Patent Law Essentials: A Concise Guide

Ratings and Reviews