The Art of Project Management

Overview

The Art of Project Management covers it all—from practical methods for making sure work gets done right and on time, to the mindset that can make you a great leader motivating your team to do their best. Reading this was like reading the blueprint for how the best projects are managed at Microsoft... I wish we always put these lessons into action!" —Joe Belfiore, General Manager, E-home Division, Microsoft Corporation

"Berkun has written a fast paced, jargon-free and witty guide to what he wisely refers to as the...

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Overview

The Art of Project Management covers it all—from practical methods for making sure work gets done right and on time, to the mindset that can make you a great leader motivating your team to do their best. Reading this was like reading the blueprint for how the best projects are managed at Microsoft... I wish we always put these lessons into action!" —Joe Belfiore, General Manager, E-home Division, Microsoft Corporation

"Berkun has written a fast paced, jargon-free and witty guide to what he wisely refers to as the 'art' of project management. It's a great introduction to the discipline. Seasoned and new managers will benefit from Berkun's perspectives."—Joe Mirza, Director, CNET Networks (Cnet.com)

"Most books with the words 'project management' in the title are dry tomes. If that's what you are expecting to hear from Berkun's book, you will be pleasantly surprised. Sure, it's about project management. But it's also about creativity, situational problem-solving, and leadership. If you're a team member, project manager, or even a non-technical stakeholder, Scott offers dozens of practical tools and techniques you can use, and questions you can ask, to ensure your projects succeed."—Bill Bliss, Senior VP of product and customer experience, expedia.com

In The Art of Project Management, you'll learn from a veteran manager of software and web development how to plan, manage, and lead projects. This personal account of hard lessons learned over a decade of work in the industry distills complex concepts and challenges into practical nuggets of useful advice. Inspiring, funny, honest, and compelling, this is the book you and your team need to have within arms reach. It will serve you well with your current work, and on future projects to come.

Topics 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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596007867
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/10/2005
  • Series: Theory in Practice (O'Reilly) Series
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Scott Berkun is the best selling author of The Art of Project Management, The Myths of Innovation, and Making Things Happen. His work as a writer and public speaker have appeared in the The Washington Post, The New York Times, Wired Magazine, Fast Company, Forbes Magazine, and other media. He has taught creative thinking at the University of Washington and has been a regular commentator on CNBC, MSNBC and National Public Radio. His many popular essays and entertaining lectures can be found for free on his blog at Scott Berkun.

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Table of Contents

Preface;
Who should read this book;
Assumptions I've made about you in writing this book;
How to use this book;
Chapter One: A brief history of project management (and why you should care);
1.1 Using history;
1.2 Web development, kitchens, and emergency rooms;
1.3 The role of project management;
1.4 Program and project management at Microsoft;
1.5 The balancing act of project management;
1.6 Pressure and distraction;
1.7 The right kind of involvement;
1.8 Summary;
Part I: Plans;
Chapter Two: The truth about schedules;
2.1 Schedules have three purposes;
2.2 Silver bullets and methodologies;
2.3 What schedules look like;
2.4 Why schedules fail;
2.5 What must happen for schedules to work;
2.6 Summary;
Chapter Three: How to figure out what to do;
3.1 Software planning demystified;
3.2 Approaching plans: the three perspectives;
3.3 The magical interdisciplinary view;
3.4 Asking the right questions;
3.5 Catalog of common bad ways to decide what to do;
3.6 The process of planning;
3.7 Customer research and its abuses;
3.8 Bringing it all together: requirements;
Chapter Four: Writing the good vision;
4.1 The value of writing things down;
4.2 How much vision do you need?;
4.3 The five qualities of good visions;
4.4 The key points to cover;
4.5 On writing well;
4.6 Drafting, reviewing, and revising;
4.7 A catalog of lame vision statements (which should be avoided);
4.8 Examples of visions and goals;
4.9 Visions should be visual;
4.10 The vision sanity check: daily worship;
4.11 Summary;
Chapter Five: Where ideas come from;
5.1 The gap from requirements to solutions;
5.2 There are bad ideas;
5.3 Thinking in and out of boxes is OK;
5.4 Good questions attract good ideas;
5.5 Bad ideas lead to good ideas;
5.6 Perspective and improvisation;
5.7 The customer experience starts the design;
5.8 A design is a series of conversations;
5.9 Summary;
Chapter Six: What to do with ideas once you have them;
6.1 Ideas get out of control;
6.2 Managing ideas demands a steady hand;
6.3 Checkpoints for design phases;
6.4 How to consolidate ideas;
6.5 Prototypes are your friends;
6.6 Questions for iterations;
6.7 The open-issues list;
6.8 Summary;
Part II: Skills;
Chapter Seven: Writing good specifications;
7.1 What specifications can and cannot do;
7.2 Deciding what to specify;
7.3 Specifying is not designing;
7.4 Who, when, and how;
7.5 When are specs complete?;
7.6 Reviews and feedback;
7.7 Summary;
Chapter Eight: How to make good decisions;
8.1 Sizing up a decision (what's at stake);
8.2 Finding and weighing options;
8.3 Information is a flashlight;
8.4 The courage to decide;
8.5 Paying attention and looking back;
8.6 Summary;
Chapter Nine: Communication and relationships;
9.1 Management through conversation;
9.2 A basic model of communication;
9.3 Common communication problems;
9.4 Projects depend on relationships;
9.5 The best work attitude;
9.6 Summary;
Chapter Ten: How not to annoy people: process, email, and meetings;
10.1 A summary of why people get annoyed;
10.2 The effects of good process;
10.3 Non-annoying email;
10.4 How to run the non-annoying meeting;
10.5 Summary;
Chapter Eleven: What to do when things go wrong;
11.1 Apply the rough guide;
11.2 Common situations to expect;
11.3 Take responsibility;
11.4 Damage control;
11.5 Conflict resolution and negotiation;
11.6 Roles and clear authority;
11.7 An emotional toolkit: pressure, feelings about feelings, and the hero complex;
11.8 Summary;
Part III: Management;
Chapter Twelve: Why leadership is based on trust;
12.1 Building and losing trust;
12.2 Make trust clear (create green lights);
12.3 The different kinds of power;
12.4 Trusting others;
12.5 Trust is insurance against adversity;
12.6 Models, questions, and conflicts;
12.7 Trust and making mistakes;
12.8 Trust in yourself (self-reliance);
12.9 Summary;
Chapter Thirteen: How to make things happen;
13.1 Priorities make things happen;
13.2 Things happen when you say no;
13.3 Keeping it real;
13.4 Know the critical path;
13.5 Be relentless;
13.6 Be savvy;
13.7 Summary;
Chapter Fourteen: Middle-game strategy;
14.1 Flying ahead of the plane;
14.2 Taking safe action;
14.3 The coding pipeline;
14.4 Hitting moving targets;
14.5 Summary;
Chapter Fifteen: End-game strategy;
15.1 Big deadlines are just several small deadlines;
15.2 Elements of measurement;
15.3 Elements of control;
15.4 The end of end-game;
15.5 Party time;
15.6 Summary;
Chapter Sixteen: Power and politics;
16.1 The day I became political;
16.2 The sources of power;
16.3 The misuse of power;
16.4 How to solve political problems;
16.5 Know the playing field;
16.6 Summary;
Notes;
Chapter One;
Chapter Two;
Chapter Three;
Chapter Four;
Chapter Five;
Chapter Six;
Chapter Seven;
Chapter Eight;
Chapter Nine;
Chapter Ten;
Chapter Eleven;
Chapter Twelve;
Chapter Thirteen;
Chapter Fourteen;
Chapter Fifteen;
Chapter Sixteen;
Annotated Bibliography;
Philosophy and strategy;
Psychology;
History;
Management and politics;
Science, engineering, and architecture;
Software process and methodology;
Acknowledgments;
Photo Credits;
Colophon;

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2005

    Simply the best book on project management that I've ever read

    I've read a lot of books on project management, and Scott's book really stands out. Scott really captures the 'heart and soul' of project management. A good project manager will read this book and become a better project manager, and a novice will learn a great deal about how to run a good project. I especially like the 'lessons learned' aspect of this book -- I really got the sense that he's seen his share of projects, and he shares the ups and downs from his past in a way that's really informative. I can't recommend this book highly enough. (Disclosure: I was a technical reviewer for this book.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2005

    how to get good ideas?

    Berkun touches upon many aspects of leading a technical group. Of all his remarks, I found the most relevant to my experience was when he talked about where ideas came from. He devotes a chapter to this. As an inventor, it was the most germane to me. While your background is probably different, being able to come up with original ideas and implementing them is a good ability to cultivate. Both in the context of project management and more broadly in any technical sphere. Berkun points out that creativity can be enhanced by persistent mental exercise. And that if you have had good ideas in the past, you should recall carefully the environments in which these occurred. Any commonalities imply that you might want to reproduce these in the future, to increase the odds of more good ideas. I and possibly many other inventors would concur. Creativity can be fickle and you need to tip the odds in your favour. Yes, if you are a hard core techie, this can seem frustratingly intangible. But important ideas might not arise from a low level focusing on solving a bug list. That may be necessary in your work, but insufficient for a broader vision.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2005

    Changed my life!

    After reading this book I had a personal calling and came to the realization that my managment style of extreme micromanagment might be the reason for the high levels of atrition in my department. Using this amazing book as my guide I can see the changes in my relationship with my staff and more importantly in myself. Thank you Mr Berkun.

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