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97 Things Every Project Manager Should Know

Book Description

If the projects you manage don't go as smoothly as you'd like, 97 Things Every Project Manager Should Know offers knowledge that's priceless, gained through years of trial and error. This illuminating book contains 97 short and extremely practical tips -- whether you're dealing with software or non-IT projects -- from some of the world's most experienced project managers and software developers. You'll learn how these professionals have dealt with everything from managing teams to handling project stakeholders to runaway meetings and more.

While this book highlights software projects, its wise axioms contain project management principles applicable to projects of all types in any industry. You can read the book end to end or browse to find topics that are of particular relevance to you. 97 Things Every Project Manager Should Know is both a useful reference and a source of inspiration.

Among the 97 practical tips:

  • "Clever Code Is Hard to Maintain...and Maintenance Is Everything" -- David Wood, Partner, Zepheira
  • "Every Project Manager Is a Contract Administrator" -- Fabio Teixeira de Melo, Planning Manager, Construtora Norberto Odebrecht
  • "Can Earned Value and Velocity Coexist on Reports?" -- Barbee Davis, President, Davis Consulting
  • "How Do You Define 'Finished'"? -- Brian Sam-Bodden, author, software architect
  • "The Best People to Create the Estimates Are the Ones Who Do the Work" -- Joe Zenevitch, Senior Project Manager, ThoughtWorks
  • "How to Spot a Good IT Developer" -- James Graham, independent management consultant
  • "One Deliverable, One Person" -- Alan Greenblatt, CEO, Sciova

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
    1. Permissions
    2. How to Contact Us
    3. Safari® Books Online
    4. Acknowledgments
  2. 1. Get Users Involved As Early As Possible
  3. 2. Avoid Whack-a-Mole Development
  4. 3. A Word Can Make You Miss Your Deadline
  5. 4. Make Project Sponsors Write Their Own Requirements
  6. 5. Favor the Simple Over the Complex
  7. 6. Pay Your Debts
  8. 7. Add Talents, Not Skills, to Your Team
  9. 8. Keep It Simple, Simon
  10. 9. You Aren’t Special
  11. 10. Scrolling Through Time
  12. 11. Save Money on Your Issues
  13. 12. How to Spot a Good IT Developer
  14. 13. Developer Productivity: Skilled Versus Average
  15. 14. Size Matters
  16. 15. Document Your Process, Then Make Sure It Is Followed
  17. 16. Go Ahead, Throw That Practice Out
  18. 17. Requirement Specifications: An Oxymoron
  19. 18. Success Is Always Measured in Business Value
  20. 19. Don’t Skip Vacations for the Project
  21. 20. Provide Regular Time to Focus
  22. 21. Project Management Is Problem Management
  23. 22. Empowering Developers: A Man Named Tim
  24. 23. Clever Code Is Hard to Maintain
  25. 24. Managing Human Factors in IT Project Management
  26. 25. Use a Wiki
  27. 26. The Missing Link
  28. 27. Estimate, Estimate, Estimate
  29. 28. Developers Unite—PMOs Are Advancing
  30. 29. Value Results, Not Just Effort
  31. 30. Software Failure Is Organizational Failure
  32. 31. A Voice from the Other Side
  33. 32. Keep Your Perspective
  34. 33. How Do You Define “Finished”?
  35. 34. The 60/60 Rule
  36. 35. We Have Met the Enemy...and He Is Us
  37. 36. Work in Cycles
  38. 37. To Thine Own Self Be True
  39. 38. Meetings Don’t Write Code
  40. 39. Chart a Course for Change
  41. 40. IT Program Management: Shared Vision
  42. 41. Planning for Reality
  43. 42. The Fallacy of Perfect Execution
  44. 43. Introduce a More Agile Communication System
  45. 44. Don’t Worship a Methodology
  46. 45. Don’t Throw Spreadsheets at People Issues
  47. 46. One Deliverable, One Person
  48. 47. The Fallacy of Perfect Knowledge
  49. 48. Build Teams to Run Marathons, Not Sprints
  50. 49. The Holy Trinity of Project Management
  51. 50. Roadmaps: What Have We Done for You Lately?
  52. 51. The Importance of the Project Scope Statement
  53. 52. Align Vision and Expected Outcome
  54. 53. Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
  55. 54. Avoiding Contract Disputes
  56. 55. You Get What You Measure
  57. 56. Don’t Fall into the “Not Invented Here” Syndrome
  58. 57. Favor the Now Over the Soon
  59. 58. Speed Is Life; More Is Better
  60. 59. Building the Morale on Your Team
  61. 60. A Project Depends on Teamwork
  62. 61. Serve Your Team
  63. 62. The Fallacy of the Big Round Ball
  64. 63. Responding to a Crisis
  65. 64. Know Your Integration Points
  66. 65. Aggressively Promote Communication in Distributed Projects
  67. 66. Start with the End in Mind
  68. 67. Clear Terms, Long Friendship!
  69. 68. The Best Estimators: Those Who Do the Work
  70. 69. Communicating Is Key
  71. 70. A Project Is the Pursuit of a Solution
  72. 71. It’s the People, Stupid
  73. 72. Documents Are a Means, Not an End
  74. 73. Can Earned Value and Velocity Coexist on Reports?
  75. 74. Scope Change Happens; Get Used to It
  76. 75. Buying Ready-Made Software
  77. 76. Project Sponsors—Good, Bad, and Ugly
  78. 77. Should You Under-Promise, or Over-Deliver?
  79. 78. Every Project Manager Is a Contract Administrator
  80. 79. Important, but Not Urgent
  81. 80. Teach the Process
  82. 81. The Fallacy of Status
  83. 82. What Do They Want to Hear, Anyway?
  84. 83. Recognize the Value of Team Morale
  85. 84. Engage Stakeholders All Through Project Life
  86. 85. The Value of Planning
  87. 86. Don’t Always Be “The Messenger”
  88. 87. Effectively Manage the Deliverables
  89. 88. We Are Project Managers, Not Superheroes
  90. 89. Increase Communication: Hold Frequent, Instant Meetings
  91. 90. Flexibility Simplifies Project Management
  92. 91. The Web Points the Way, for Now
  93. 92. Developers Hate Status Reports, Managers Love Them
  94. 93. You Are Not in Control
  95. 94. Share the Vision
  96. 95. True Success Comes with a Supporting Organization
  97. 96. Establish Project Management Governance
  98. 97. 9.7 Reasons I Hate Your Website
  99. Contributors
  100. Index
  101. Colophon
  102. Copyright