Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management (Theory in Practice) [Paperback]
Author: Scott Berkun | Language: English | ISBN: 0596517718
| Format: PDF, EPUB
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In the updated edition of this critically acclaimed and bestselling book, Microsoft project veteran Scott Berkun offers a collection of essays on field-tested philosophies and strategies for defining, leading, and managing projects. Each essay distills complex concepts and challenges into practical nuggets of useful advice, and the new edition now adds more value for leaders and managers of projects everywhere. Based on his nine years of experience as a program manager for Internet Explorer and lead program manager for Windows and MSN, Berkun explains to technical and non-technical readers alike what it takes to get through a large software or web development project. Making Things Happen doesn't cite specific methods, but focuses on philosophy and strategy. Unlike other project management books, Berkun offers personal essays in a comfortable style and easy tone that emulate the relationship of a wise project manager who gives good, entertaining and passionate advice to those who ask. Topics in this new edition include:
- How to make things happen
- Making good decisions
- Specifications and requirements
- Ideas and what to do with them
- How not to annoy people
- Leadership and trust
- The truth about making dates
- What to do when things go wrong
Complete with a new forward from the author and a discussion guide for forming reading groups/teams, Making Things Happen offers in-depth exercises to help you apply lessons from the book to your job. It is inspiring, funny, honest, and compelling, and definitely the one book that you and your team need to have within arm's reach throughout the life of your project. Coming from the rare perspective of someone who fought difficult battles on Microsoft'sbiggest projects and taught project design and management for MSTE, Microsoft's internal best practices group, this is valuable advice indeed. It will serve you well with your current work, and on future projects to come.
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- Paperback: 410 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Revised edition (April 1, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596517718
- ISBN-13: 978-0596517717
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
For those who gave this book a 5 star rating, I really suggest you think it again. To me, this book is over praised, way too much!! And there are several reasons why I am saying that.
First of all, the majority of the content has been expressed long before; I don't see anything new or groundbreaking. For example the author talked a lot about the importance of communication, trust, relationship, etc. in project management. But isn't that just common sense? Whoever does the project management job should know that pretty well. Not to mention that Agile/Scrum/XP guys have been saying these things for many years and in a much better and enlightened way.
Second, the book is flawed in the topics the authors chose to address. For example risk management is a big topic in project management, while there is only a chapter called "what to do when things go wrong" (which is not risk management exactly) and look at what he said, "calm down ... take responsibility ... do damage control ..." Again, common sense. And let's look at what the author said about the topic of execution, which makes things happen (Or "Getting things done") -- "Priorities Make Things Happen ... Things Happen When You Say No ... ". Well, I don't see any breakthrough ideas. And what I don't get is that, while the author spent so little time in talking about big topics like risk management and execution, he spent several chapters talking about how to deal with ideas, especially the ideas in design phase -- Chapter 5 "Where ideas come from" , Chapter 6 "What to do with ideas once you have them", Chapter 7 "Writing good specifications (i.e. writing the idea down)" and Chapter 8 "How to make good decisions (when facing several ideas)".
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