Manage It!: Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project Management / Edition 1

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This book is a reality-based guide for modern projects. You'll learn how to recognize your project's potholes and ruts, and determine the best way to fix problems - without causing more problems.

Your project can't fail. That's a lot of pressure on you, and yet you don't want to buy into any one specific process, methodology, or lifecycle.

Your project is different. It doesn't fit into those neat descriptions.

Manage It! will show you how to beg, borrow, and steal from the best methodologies to fit your particular project. It will help you find what works best for you and not for some mythological project that doesn't even exist.

Before you know it, your project will be on track and headed to a successful conclusion.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I highly recommend this book to all project managers, from novices to those with more experience. This is an incredible resource that should be referred to frequently for advice on how to help you decide which project management practice or technique is appropriate for your project—which she helps you to apply immediately."

Jennifer Cannon, Review

"Concrete and useful. In this book there are things you may learn from university and from your job after years of experience. Take this book and a shortcut."

—Nicola Pedot

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780978739249
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Programmers, LLC, The
  • Publication date: 6/15/2007
  • Series: The Pragmatic Programmers Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 365
  • Product dimensions: 7.53 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Johanna Rothman helps leaders solve problems and seize opportunities. She consults, speaks, and writes on managing high-technology product development. She enables managers, teams, and organizations to become more effective by applying her pragmatic approaches to the issues of project management, risk management, and people management. Johanna publishes The Pragmatic Manager, a monthly email newsletter and podcast, and writes two blogs: Managing Product Development and Hiring Technical People. She is the author of several books: - Manage It! Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project Management - Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management (with Esther Derby) - Hiring the Best Knowledge Workers, Techies & Nerds: The Secrets and Science of Hiring Technical People - Corrective Action for the Software Industry (with Denise Robitaille).

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Table of Contents

Foreword     xv
Preface     xvii
Starting a Project     1
Define Projects and Project Managers     1
Manage Your Drivers, Constraints, and Floats     3
Discuss Your Project Constraints with Your Client or Sponsor     6
Decide on a Driver for Your Project     7
Manage Sponsors Who Want to Overconstrain Your Project     9
Write a Project Charter to Share These Decisions     11
Know What Quality Means for Your Project     14
Planning the Project     17
Start the Wheels Turning     17
Plan Just Enough to Start     18
Develop a Project Plan Template     19
Define Release Criteria     26
Use Release Criteria     31
Using Life Cycles to Design Your Project     35
Understanding Project Life Cycles     35
Overview of Life Cycles     36
Seeing Feedback in the Project     40
Larger Projects Might Have Multiple Combinations of Life Cycles     41
Managing Architectural Risk     45
Paddling Your Way Out of a Waterfall     47
My Favorite Life Cycles     48
Scheduling the Project     49
Pragmatic Approaches toProject Scheduling     49
Select from These Scheduling Techniques     51
Start Scheduling with a Low-Tech Tool     54
Estimating the Work     63
Pragmatic Approaches to Project Estimation     63
Milestones Define Your Project's Chunks     76
How Little Can You Do?     78
Estimating with Multitasking     78
Scheduling People to Multitask by Design     79
Using Rolling-Wave Scheduling     80
Deciding on an Iteration Duration     81
Estimating Using Inch-Pebbles Wherever Possible     83
Recognizing and Avoiding Schedule Games     87
Bring Me a Rock     87
Hope Is Our Most Important Strategy     90
Queen of Denial     92
Sweep Under the Rug     95
Happy Date     97
Pants on Fire     99
Split Focus     101
Schedule Equals Commitment     103
We'll Know Where We Are When We Get There     105
The Schedule Tool Is Always Right     107
We Gotta Have It; We're Toast Without It     110
We Can't Say No     112
Schedule Chicken     114
90% Done     115
We'll Go Faster Now     117
Schedule Trance     119
Creating a Great Project Team     121
Recruit the People You Need     121
Help the Team Jell     123
Make Your Organization Work for You     126
Know How Large a Team You Need     129
Know When to Add More People     131
Become a Great Project Manager     131
Know When It's Time to Leave     134
Steering the Project     143
Steer the Project with Rhythm     143
Conduct Interim Retrospectives     144
Rank the Requirements     145
Timebox Requirements Work     148
Timebox Iterations to Four or Fewer Weeks     151
Use Rolling-Wave Planning and Scheduling     152
Create a Cross-Functional Project Team     155
Select a Life Cycle Based on Your Project's Risks     156
Keep Reasonable Work Hours     157
Use Inch-Pebbles     158
Manage Interruptions     159
Manage Defects Starting at the Beginning of the Project     161
Maintaining Project Rhythm     167
Adopt or Adapt Continuous Integration for Your Project     167
Create Automated Smoke Tests for the Build      169
Implement by Feature, Not by Architecture     170
Get Multiple Sets of Eyes on Work Products     175
Plan to Refactor     176
Utilize Use Cases, User Stories, Personas, and Scenarios to Define Requirements     178
Separate GUI Design from Requirements     179
Use Low-Fidelity Prototyping as Long as Possible     180
Managing Meetings     183
Cancel These Meetings     183
Conduct These Types of Meetings     186
Project Kickoff Meetings     187
Release Planning Meetings     187
Status Meetings     188
Reporting Status to Management     193
Project Team Meetings     194
Iteration Review Meetings     195
Troubleshooting Meetings     195
Manage Conference Calls with Remote Teams     197
Creating and Using a Project Dashboard     201
Measurements Can Be Dangerous     201
Measure Progress Toward Project Completion     204
Develop a Project Dashboard for Sponsors     227
Use a Project Weather Report     230
Managing Multisite Projects     235
What Does a Question Cost You?     236
Identify Your Project's Cultural Differences      237
Build Trust Among the Teams     238
Use Complementary Practices on a Team-by-Team Basis     241
Look for Potential Multisite Project and Multicultural Problems     249
Avoid These Mistakes When Outsourcing     251
Integrating Testing into the Project     255
Start People with a Mind-Set Toward Reducing Technical Debt     255
Reduce Risks with Small Tests     256
TDD Is the Easiest Way to Integrate Testing into Your Project     257
Use a Wide Variety of Testing Techniques     260
Define Every Team Member's Testing Role     263
What's the Right Developer-to-Tester Ratio?     267
Make the Testing Concurrent with Development     273
Define a Test Strategy for Your Project     273
System Test Strategy Template     274
There's a Difference Between QA and Test     276
Managing Programs     279
When Your Project Is a Program     279
Organizing Multiple Related Projects into One Release     280
Organizing Multiple Related Projects Over Time     282
Managing Project Managers     285
Creating a Program Dashboard     287
Completing a Project     289
Managing Requests for Early Release     289
Managing Beta Releases     290
When You Know You Can't Meet the Release Date     291
Shepherding the Project to Completion     299
Canceling a Project     303
Managing the Project Portfolio     307
Build the Portfolio of All Projects     307
Evaluate the Projects     309
Decide Which Projects to Fund Now     310
Rank-Order the Portfolio     310
Start Projects Faster     311
Manage the Demand for New Features with a Product Backlog     313
Troubleshoot Portfolio Management     315
More Detailed Information About Life Cycles     323
Serial Life Cycle: Waterfall or Phase-Gate     323
Iterative Life Cycle: Spiral, Evolutionary Prototyping, Unified Process     327
Incremental Life Cycle: Staged Delivery, Design to Schedule     330
Agile Life Cycles     331
Glossary of Terms     335
Bibliography     337
Index     343
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