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Posted April 14, 2003
Entertaining and Valuable
Reading Tom Demarco and Tim Lister is a pleasure. It is so clear that these two authors set out to teach something they believe to be valuable, and all of their effort is directed toward making that valuable thesis accesible to the reader. There is no showing off, no saying, 'Look how smart I am.' Their books clearly say, 'Our many years of experience have taught us some useful stuff and provided us with lots of valuable data. We have put a lot of effort into analyzing that data and we will try as hard as we can to help you understand our analysis. Our objective is make it as clear and as entertaining as we can,' and they do. Their explanations are always clear. Their examples are invariably both helpful and entertaining. What they have to say is always important. 'Walzing with Bears' is no exception, and even if you should disagree with parts of the book, their arguments will force you to think about critical aspects of management that you may not have previously considered. Reading the first few chapters, my only criticism was that they seemed to be oversimplifying some issues. Reading on, I realized that it was a deliberate and brilliant part of their teaching technique. In later chapters, the book carefully added the complexities that covered more and more of my early reservations in ways that made them easily understandable. It's a terrific book.
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