Review: The Project Saboteur….and how to kil him

saboteurDion Kottman and Jeroen Gietema wrote a book about project sabotage: The Project saboteur….and how to kill him.

Can I sabotage the success of this book? Can my review be that negative that nobody wants to buy the book anymore? Is it possible that the attached QRC, I created, can replaced he book?

That is, while there is value in the review and the QRC, I value the book more!

The book will help you in your battle against project saboteurs by showing you how to recognize these sabateurs and what you can do as counter measures. After reading the book you have a much better view why so many projects fail. You understand that the human factor has to be considered seriously to provide you insights in the reasons for project failure.

The book is easy and fun to read, divided in 10 chapters with many cartoons, quotes and several supporting assessment tools.

In the first chapter you get an understanding that every project will have its opponents. People who want to destruct your project. The authors created a self-assessment to understand if you have the motive, mentality (conscience), sufficient influence and knowledge to sabotage.

Have a look at the next video: Flight Cancelled – The Berlin Airport Fiasco | People & Politics. The new Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport was a landmark project that has turned into major debacle. After a fourth delay in its scheduled opening, Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit has stepped down as chairman of the supervisory board. The delay will cost billions of euros, and taxpayers will be left footing the bill. But who is to blame?”.

What’s the root cause? Lack of sponsorship, Emotional maturity, User involvement, Optimisation, Skilled Resources, or Sabotage?

The next chapter focusses on the usage of CRIME1 as a weapon against PRINCE2. With CRIME1 (steps: Conspire, Recruit, Infiltrate, Manipulate and Execute) you get an approach to destruct your project. In this chapter you get the Manipulation Facts Analysis showing which irregularities might be occurring in your project.

The following chapter gives you insights how you can undermine the bureaucracy of your project by being over-methodical or under-methodical.

In the next chapters the authors put a potential saboteur in the spotlights. They explain extensively what you can do, in a specific role, to sabotage the project. And you get examples,  an overview with tips to sabotage, what you can do to investigate the actions and, if sabotage is at play, what measures can be taken. See the Quick Reference Card (QRC) for an overview.

Dia1In the subsequent chapters the following potential saboteurs are explained:

  • Chapter 4: The director;
  • Chapter 5: The project manager;
  • Chapter 6: The user;
  • Chapter 7: The specialist;
  • Chapter 8: The member of the Joint Consultative Committee (Work Council).

In the following chapter, the authors dive into conspiracy. Who can conspire with whom to sabotage. See again the QRC for an overview of the conspiracy matrix. You will also get an assessment tool to identify possible and actual alliances and how to break the actual alliances.

In the last chapter we get a summing up and the final pages are reserved for some appendices. A reading list, the Maslov’s hierarchy of needs and the motives of the project saboteur and lastly an appendix focussing on the agile way of sabotage, the PO, SM or team as the saboteur.


A must read, if you want to understand the impact of the human factor in the success or failure of a project, or If you want to recognize saboteurs and want to act upon. The book is instructive as well as fun to read.

To buy: The Project Saboteur

saboteur nl

In Dutch: De projectsaboteur

2 responses to “Review: The Project Saboteur….and how to kil him

  1. Pingback: Book review: The Good Sponsor | Henny Portman's Blog

  2. Pingback: Overview of my year 2016 book reviews | Henny Portman's Blog

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