Adrenaline Junkies and Template Zombies: Understanding Patterns of Project Behavior

Overview

Adrenaline junkies, dead fish, project sluts, true believers, Lewis and Clark, template zombies . . .

Most developers, testers, and managers on IT projects are pretty good at recognizing patterns of behavior and gut-level hunches, as in, I sense that this project is headed for disaster.

But it has always ...
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Adrenaline Junkies and Template Zombies: Understanding Patterns of Project Behavior

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Overview

Adrenaline junkies, dead fish, project sluts, true believers, Lewis and Clark, template zombies . . .

Most developers, testers, and managers on IT projects are pretty good at recognizing patterns of behavior and gut-level hunches, as in, I sense that this project is headed for disaster.

But it has always been more difficult to transform these patterns and hunches into a usable form, something a team can debate, refine, and use. Until now.

In Adrenaline Junkies and Template Zombies, the six principal consultants of The Atlantic Systems Guild present the patterns of behavior they most often observe at the dozens of IT firms they transform each year, around the world.

The result is a quick-read guide to identifying nearly ninety typical scenarios, drawing on a combined one-hundred-and-fifty years of project management experience. Project by project, you'll improve the accuracy of your hunches and your ability to act on them.

The patterns are presented in an easy-reference format, with names designed to ease communication with your teammates. In just a few words, you can describe what's happening on your project. Citing the patterns of behavior can help you quickly move those above and below you to the next step on your project. You'll find classic patterns such as these:

* News Improvement
* Management By Mood Ring
* Piling On
* Rattle Yer Dags
* Natural Authority
* Food++
* Fridge Door
* and more than eighty more!

Not every pattern will be evident in your organization, and not every pattern is necessarily good or bad. However, you'll find many patterns that will apply to your current and future assignments, even in the most ambiguous circumstances. When you assess your situation and follow your next hunch, you'll have the collective wisdom of six world-class consultants at your side.
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Editorial Reviews

Book Jacket - Joel Spolsky
Another masterpiece from the folks who brought you Peopleware. Anyone who has survived a software project or two will surely recognize many of these patterns, and will be able to learn from most of them. Adrenaline Junkies and Template Zombies is a real joy.
Book Jacket - Michael Schrage
A remarkably compelling book that captures with vignette anecdote, and history, both the anthropology and sociology of software project dysfunction. There is the knowing and weary, but not-yet-cynical voice of experience that will make project leaders, managers, and participants flinch and wince with recognition.
Pixar - Howard Look
Brilliantly insightful. At one moment you'll think, "Darn, I do that . . . we're toast," followed quickly by the reassurance, "I'm not the only one. There's hope!"
Harvard Business School - Warren McFarland
Written with a combined sense of humor and deep insight. The book clearly conveys why projects fail and what can be done about it. It is all doable practical advice, delivered in a very friendly and acceptable way.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780932633675
  • Publisher: Dorset House Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/3/2008
  • Pages: 238
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom DeMarco, Peter Hruschka, Tim Lister, Steve McMenamin and James and Suzanne Robertson are the Principals of The Atlantic Systems Guild, a systems think tank with offices in the US, Great Britain, and Germany. They together have more than 150 years of experience in figuring out what makes technology organizations tick. They decided to put their collective expertise together to see if they could actually write a book with six co-authors without ruining all their friendships and one marriage. Adrenaline Junkies and Template Zombies is the result. (And yes, they're all still talking, working together, and enjoying each other's company.)
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