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AntiPatterns in Project Management

by William J. Brown, Hays W. "Skip" McCormick III, Scott W. Thomas

ISBN 0471363669 / 9780471363668 / 0-471-36366-9
Publisher Wiley
Language English
Edition Hardcover
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Book summary

Written for the project manager or IT professional, AntiPatterns in Project Management describes 18 "AntiPatterns" that can go wrong in the realm of software project management, plus management techniques and tips to overcome them. Filled with real-world insight and case studies that describe actual projects gone awry, this title gives a solid measure of management expertise that can help you succeed with your next project.

Early sections of the text set the tone with management techniques that stress standards and rigorous software processes. The authors discuss the importance of managing people, technology and process for successful project management. While most books on patterns keep descriptions short and almost schematic, an entire chapter--filled with background material on the causes, solutions (or "refactoring") to move beyond it, as well as examples borrowed from the field--is devoted to each AntiPattern. Anyone who has worked in software development will recognise many of the AntiPatterns here.

Descriptions of technology AntiPatterns include troubles with distributed technologies, lack of architecture, demos that grow into unusable, "finished" software, and software that hasn't undergone any planning at all. When it comes to process management, things can go wrong too, as in the case of misapplied software lifecycles. (In this section, the book lists no less than nine different software lifecycles that you can choose from.) Other process AntiPatterns include customers who drive software design all the way through to disaster, the "domino effect" of changes to staff that can destroy team effectiveness and management that demands adherence to an already late shipping date.

Though a bit theoretical at times, this title has plenty of practical advice on improving your everyday project management success. As the authors note, the great majority of software projects today are considered failures. By analysing what can go wrong, you can improve the odds in your favour in future development efforts by reading this savvy and well-organised volume. --Richard Dragan [via]