APWA Book Review

Public Works Management Practices Manual - 4th Edition
APWA 2001, ISBN 0-917084-92-6

Every successful organization will have laid a foundation of principles and plans that allows it to be the most effective it can be. The diverse nature of public works and breadth of responsibilities for any agency makes this a particularly challenging endeavor.

Members of APWA developed the Public Works Management Practices Manual, which includes a self-assessment program and voluntary accreditation, as a key part of an overall program to enhance the effectiveness of agencies and their competencies in the public works field. This voluntary, multifaceted program is designed to provide guidance and technical resources to agency managers as they seek to evaluate and upgrade the performance of their agencies. All public works agencies are encouraged to use this manual as a tool to perform a self-assessment of the agency, regardless of their size or desire to become an accredited agency.

The fourth edition represents a continuation in the development of the Public Works Management Practices Manual. Many of the revised practices contained in this edition are directly attributed to the on-site evaluations conducted during the first four years that the accreditation program was fully operational.

The preamble of the manual discusses the development of management practices, defines recommended management practices, and provides a "How-To-Use-This-Manual" portion for the reader to take greatest advantage of the information. It then continues with 33 specific how-to chapters from individual chapters on management, finances and human resources to Information Technology, safety and growth management to every conceivable topic in public works.

This manual can be used for an agency-wide evaluation or to improve the process within specific public works departments. So, whether you intend to prepare for accreditation or not, the Public Works Management Practices Manual is an invaluable tool for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of any public works organization.

The Public Works Management Practices Manual may be purchased from APWA. To order, go on-line to www.apwa.net or call (816) 472-6100.