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Manage Your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects (Pragmatic Programmers) 1st Edition

28 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1934356296
ISBN-10: 1934356298
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Manage Your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects (Pragmatic Programmers) + Manage It!: Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project Management + Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management (Pragmatic Programmers)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[This book is] a strong pick for any business interested in organizing and prioritizing projects. It shows how to tie work to an organization’s mission, get a better view of workflow options and priority scheduling, and make decisions based on better portfolio management. Any business library needs this."

- Midwest Book Review

About 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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Product Details

  • Series: Pragmatic Programmers
  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (August 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934356298
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934356296
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #305,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

People know me as the "Pragmatic Manager." I provide frank advice--often with a little humor--for your tough problems. I suggest you think about your context first, because your circumstances are unique. I help leaders and managers do reasonable things that work.

I write an email newsletter, the Pragmatic Manager, and two blogs on jrothman.com, and a personal blog on createadaptablelife.com with its own newsletter. Please take a look and sign up for the newsletters. I write articles for all kinds of places, including Better Software, IEEE Software, and Cutter IT Journal to name just three. I've keynoted on five continents. I'm not sure I want to go to Antarctica.

I can help you create projects, teams, and organizations that work.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Claude Emond on September 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Part of my work involves coaching organisations in implementing and improving their portfolio management processes. I religiously buy and read most of what is published on the subject in English or French. More than often, I had to conclude that this book or article I just read, I could have written myself... and done then only a half-job doing so. Most of the literature on the subject, I have seen up to now, talked a lot about mathematical scoring models, tools and techniques, addressing mostly the mechanics of the process. It never addressed the soul of the process, the Humans, and how to deal with the main challenge of portfolio management in this area, namely: "How do we get a whole organisation to live a common vision and be truly aligned and willing to make it happen through project work". Most of the books, that have been published, focus on best practices and techniques and do not discuss behavioural aspects as a key issue.....up to now!

"Manage Your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects" is Johanna Rothman's third book. Her first two, "Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management" and "Manage It: Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project Management" are real gems and won prices for their quality and usefulness. I do not hesitate to say that "Manage It" is one of the best books around for giving practical advice to project managers. Her last book, as her two others, is full of real life examples and little case studies that supports the principles, concepts and techniques offered. "Manage Your Project Portfolio" is really a very complete "How-to" book on how to set up and manage your project portfolio.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Rasmusson on December 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
Managing a single project is easy.
Managing multiple projects is hard.

Yet this is the state most companies find them in. They've had success with agile at the individual project level, and now they are looking guidance on how to manage and track multiple agile projects in one complete portfolio.

Fortunately for us, Johanna Rothman gives us some valuable advice on exactly how to do that in Manage Your Project Portfolio - Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects.

Chalked full of great war stories and advice, Manage Your Project Portfolio shows you how to:

* Create a portfolio for your projects.
* How to rank, prioritize, and evaluate which ones you should be doing.
* How to socialize and collaborate on what you are delivering.
* As well has how to iterate and make decisions at the portfolio level (instead of always down at the project level).

I really like some of the sidebars and stories Johanna has collected. Johanna reminds us that:

Two part time people do not make one full-time equivalent.
Sometimes killing a project is the best thing you can do.
And my personal favorite - fund projects incrementally instead of all at once.

If you are looking for advice around what to measure when tracking your projects, how to come up with an actionable mission statement, or just how to effectively communicate the state of your portfolio ask Santa for a copy of Manage Your Project Portfolio. It could be exactly what your company is looking for going into the New Year.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Erik Gfesser VINE VOICE on February 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rothman's latest effort is all about how to create and use a project portfolio effectively. Note that while the author discusses how a collection of projects might together form real value, a program, this is not the focus of this book. After discussing project portfolio basics, the author discusses project evaluation, portfolio ranking, portfolio collaboration, portfolio iterations, portfolio decisions, portfolio evolution, and ends by addressing mission. This book was composed very well, and this reviewer especially found valuable the manner in which the author points to prerequisite areas of the book by page throughout in case the reader does not read sequentially. As Rothman indicates, a project portfolio is simply the organization of projects, by date and value, to which the associated organization commits or is planning to commit. A project portfolio helps the practitioner decide when to commit to a project so that a product development team can start or continue a project, understand when it is time to terminate a project so that a team might be freed for other work, determine when to transform a project and commit to the resultant project, and serve as a visual tool to help enable negotiation on how to tackle projects when it is difficult to decide what to do next.

The author points out that "if everyone in your organization (senior managers, middle managers, technical leads, functional managers, and project managers) is wedded to a serial life cycle and no one is willing to consider finishing valuable chunks of work frequently, you can't use a pragmatic approach to managing the project portfolio". In addition, "when your organization's management refuses to make a project portfolio, that lack of decision making is guaranteeing at least one or more schedule games.
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