REVIEW: "97 Things Every Project Manager Should Know", Barbee Davis
- BK97PMSK.RVW 20100606
"97 Things Every Project Manager Should Know", Barbee Davis, 2009,
%E Barbee Davis
%C 103 Morris Street, Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472
%I O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
%O U$29.99/C$37.99 800-998-9938 fax: 707-829-0104 nuts@...
%O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/ /robsladesinterne
%O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/ /robsladesin03-20
%O Audience i- Tech 1 Writing 1 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
%P 223 p.
%T "97 Things Every Project Manager Should Know"
The preface simply states that this book is about project management,
possibly specializing in new products or processes. Reading the table
of contents, and particularly the listing by topic (starting with
"Agile Methods"), you realize that the work emphasizes management of
software development projects.
There are 97 tips or points in the text, each piece being no more than
two pages long, so that they can be displayed on a facing set of
pages. Given the number of authors, it is no surprise that the same
topics may be covered in different pieces. For example, at least nine
separate items, spread throughout the book, note the importance of
properly specifying requirements. Sometimes the authors seem to be
trying to create jargon just to hide this fact: one of the
requirements articles was entitled "Avoid Whack-a-Mole Development"
while another talks about "scrolling through time." In other
instances it is difficult to say what the point of the piece is,
regardless of title. Some authors contributed more than one item, but
most provided only a single short article.
This work is not a guide to management. Because of the variety of
authors, in addition to duplication of subjects, some of the
viewpoints conflict. More than a few articles stress the importance
of structure, "cleanroom" methods, and designing it right in the first
place: one author has provided four papers that all basically tell you
not to worry too much about quality.
The title is probably more apt than one might think. Most of the
material in this guide is stuff that project managers should already
know: the aforementioned importance of requirements, having a proper
grasp of the whole project, complexity creates problems, the project
should benefit the company, tools should benefit projects,
communicate, structure is good, etc. Some points are rather novel:
one on "technical debt" was particularly interesting. Others may be
important, but in limited circumstances or environments: one item
heavily stresses the significance of proper translations when dealing
with an internationalized product.
As a guide or reference to management this text is probably
unsuitable, but as a reminder of different aspects managers may wish
to consider in their ongoing work, this book provides quick chunks,
and can be picked up and set down without requiring a commitment of
time or attention. Probably a good idea for managers.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 2010 BK97PMSK.RVW 20100606
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