Welcome to the PMI-OC Book Club! On this page, you will find a wealth of information. First, you will find takeaways (provided by Book Club participants) from books that the Book Club has already read and discussed. Second, you will find rankings of those books. Books are ranked from "1" to "5" where "1" is the worst and "5" is the best. For each book, the initial ranking is a survey of initial thoughts about the book. The final ranking is a post-discussion ranking to discern opinions after discussion in case the opinions have changed. Finally, you will find information for the book to read for the next Book Club meeting.

Books Read

Book Information and Takeaways Initial Rank Final Rank
"Dare to Lead" by Brene Brown
  • Vulnerability is an asset and not a weakness.
  • The most successful and courageous leaders are risk takers who are not afraid of failing. In fact, failures often lead to creativity and great opportunities.
  • Perfectionism can be unhealthy due to the constant need for approval and fear of criticism and failure. This leads to missed opportunities and mental paralysis, which hinders creativity.
  • Be clear as to what you value and live those values.
  • Be curious about what you don't know.
  • Walk in other persons' shoes before judging.
  • Think empathy in place of shame, even if you fail; don't fear failure. Embrace it as a learning opportunity.
4.45 4.32
"The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" by Patrick Lencioni
  • Most people are conflict averse, but conflict is healthy for teams to perform at a higher level.
  • The greatest dysfunction of a team is a lack of trust ‐ without it, the other dysfunctions cannot be managed/corrected and nothing can get accomplished.
4.63 4.71
"Emotional Intelligence" by Daniel Goleman
  • EQ (Emotional Intelligence) can be improved.
  • Our emotional health not only affects our interactions with others, but has just as much power over our individual successes and growth potential.
  • With emotions being such a driving force, it behooves us to understand how emotions function physiologically, socially, and directly in our professional lives.
3.8 4
"Atomic Habits" by James Clear
  • Does a thorough job in explaining the tools of engineering desired habits and eliminating unrewarding ones.
  • For discussing the book in a professional business environment, I wish that there were more relevant examples from commerce and enterprise settings.
  • The author's anecdotal examples were rather simple (e.g. losing weight, waking up early and improving athletic performance).
  • The book focuses on one's habits, but, in the context of business, it's about developing and orchestrating the habits of your customers, employees, and other stakeholders.
3.83 3.18
"The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace" by Gary Chapman and Paul White
  • Authenticity matters! Sincere appreciation is a powerful motivator.
  • Everyone has a different appreciation language (e.g. words, acts, quality time, tangible gifts, and physical touch.)
  • Understanding and speaking the right appreciation language to colleagues and direct reports is important.
  • Mismatched expressions of appreciation can lead to misunderstandings and even worse, workplace dissatisfaction.
  • I recognize and encourage appreciation at workplace. But the book attempts to tackle this topic with an engineered formula.
  • In some ways, I feel that getting along with coworkers is a lot like "Be a good person..." so sometimes a lot of stuff in the book felt like common sense.
  • All in all, I didn't find this helpful or satisfying as the original 5 Love Languages was for personal relationships[...] I am remote in my job and the book felt like so much of it was related to people you work with in person.
3.2 3.2
"Accidental Agile Project Manager" by Ray Frohnhoefer
  • Provides a good summary of a wide variety of agile methods.
  • Explains why agile methods are useful to use on certain projects.
  • Full of practical tips and easy to follow.
  • I really enjoyed Ray talking about his recommendation of starting with a small team of the best people — who work together, then build up credbility and roll it (the project/solution) out, bug free. That is the approach I beleive in and have found to be successful.
4.2 4.7
"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey
  • One of my favorites as well. "Begin with the end in mind" is one of my go-to strategies.
  • That book club session was so much fun!
  • In both my professional life and personal life, I jump from deadline to deadline and focus too much on urgency that often I neglect what’s important. Time to “sharpen the saw” in 2024 and remind myself to set aside time for people or causes that are important to me.
  • The richness of the discussion highlighted the relevance of Covey’s principles to the challenges project managers face.
  • The discussion on empathetic listening was a cornerstone on improving communication with others.
4.5 4.82
"The Jelly Effect" by Andy Bounds
  • My understanding of the book could be summed as, "Poor communication is like throwing jelly at a wall - it does not stick."
  • "People do not care about what you say. They only care about what they are left with AFTER you’ve said it." I loved the author’s explanation of AFTER. It is like determining the effect you want your communication to have before the conversation starts.
  • The communication tips within this book are great because they apply to a wide variety of situations, like how to network to promote professional development and specific strategies regarding it, how to give a presentation to a team or executives, or how to think about and understand the needs of stakeholders.
  • "The Big Fish Concept : The people you are itching to meet (decision makers in organizations & influencers), once you identify them, you will see that they are everywhere." Although I have always known this, reading it in the book was very profound for me.
4 4.5
"How to Measure Anything" (Chapters 1 -7) by Douglas W. Hubbard
  • My understanding of the reading could be summed as, "You can measure anything you want, as long as you know what you are measuring in a very concrete way."
  • The section in the book on calibrating estimates was very exciting as it presents a very visceral way of understanding choices in the context of what it means to have a confidence interval of any given amount. Would you rather take a given chance to be right with your decision or answer or would you leave it up to spinning a wheel of the equivalent chance?
  • I liked the discussion on risk management as it goes against traditional methods of risk assessment and reveals what those issues are and ways to rectify the shortcomings.
4.2 4.5

Current Book to Read:

"How to Measure Anything" (Chapters 8 - 14) by Douglas W. Hubbard

Synopsis from Amazon

"How to Measure Anything" shows managers how to inform themselves in order to make less risky, more profitable business decisions.

Anything can be measured. This bold assertion is the key to solving many problems in business and life in general. The myth that certain things can’t be measured is a significant drain on our nation’s economy, public welfare, the environment, and even national security. In fact, the chances are good that some part of your life or your professional responsibilities is greatly harmed by a lack of measurement – by you, your firm, or even your government. Regardless of your role in business, understanding the power of measurement will make you, those around you, and your organization more efficient and productive.

Using simple concepts to illustrate the hands-on application of advanced statistical techniques, "How to Measure Anything" reveals the power of measurement in our understanding of business and the world at large. This insightful and engaging book shows you how to measure those things in your business that you may have previously considered immeasurable, including: customer satisfaction, organizational flexibility, technology ROI, and technology risk. Offering examples that will get you to attempt measurements ― even when it seems impossible―this book provides you with the underlying knowledge and the necessary steps for measuring anything, especially uncertainty and risk.

Editorial Reviews

Doug Hubbard’s book is a marvelous tutorial on how to define sound metrics to justify and manage complex programs. It is a must-read for anyone concerned about mitigating the risks involved with capital planning, investment decisions, and program management.
— JIM FLYZIK, former Government CIO, White House Technology Advisor and CIO magazine Hall of Fame Inductee
I love this book. Douglas Hubbard helps us create a path to know the answer to almost any question, in business, in science, or in life . . . "How to Measure Anything" provides just the tools most of us need to measure anything better, to gain that insight, to make progress, and to succeed.
— PETER TIPPET, PhD, MD, Chief Technology Officer,CyberTrust, and inventor of the first antivirus software

Special Notes

While the July 2024 Book Club Meeting will cover the whole book, the majority of discussion will revolve around the second half of the book (Chapter 8 to Chapter 14) as the first half of the book (Chapter 1 to Chapter 7) was covered at the May 2024 Book Club Meeting.