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Practical Project Initiation: A Handbook with Tools (Developer Best Practices) Paperback – August 15, 2007


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Practical Project Initiation: A Handbook with Tools (Developer Best Practices) + More About Software Requirements: Thorny Issues and Practical Advice (Developer Best Practices) + Software Requirements (3rd Edition) (Developer Best Practices)
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Product Details

  • Series: Developer Best Practices
  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 1 edition (August 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735625212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735625211
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #717,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Key Book Benefits:

Delivers experience-based guidance about how to get a software development project off to a strong start

Provides metrics and tools to help organize priorities, track progress, and plan assignments

Features numerous useful templates and forms--in the book, and downloadable from the book's companion Web site

About the Author

Karl E. Wiegers is a leading speaker, author, and consultant on requirements engineering, project management, and process improvement. As Principal Consultant with Process Impact, he conducts training seminars for corporate and government clients worldwide. Karl has twice won the Software Development Productivity Award, which honors excellence in productivity-enhancing products and books.


More About the Author

Karl Wiegers is Principal Consultant with Process Impact (www.processimpact.com) in Portland, Oregon. He has provided training and consulting services worldwide on many aspects of software development, management and process improvement. Karl holds a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Illinois. Prior to starting Process Impact in 1997, he spent 18 years at Eastman Kodak Company as a research scientist, software developer, software manager, and software process improvement specialist.

Karl's most recent book is "Software Requirements, 3rd Edition", co-authored with Joy Beatty. This is a major enhancement of the bestselling second edition, which is a standard text for business analysts, requirements engineers, and other practitioners. Previously, he wrote a memoir of life lessons called "Pearls from Sand: How Small Encounters Lead to Powerful Lessons" and several other books on software development and management. Visit www.PearlsFromSand.com to get more information, follow the blog, and submit your own pearls of wisdom to share with the world.

Karl's professional goal is to create books, articles, training materials, templates, and other materials that can help improve the effectiveness of any individual or organization that develops software. You can download many of these items at www.processimpact.com/goodies.shtml. He is the author of eight books and nearly 200 articles on many aspects of software, chemistry, and military history. His training seminars are available as eLearning courses at www.processimpact.com/elearning.shtml.

When not at the keyboard, Karl enjoys reading military history, tasting (okay, drinking) wine, playing guitar, and writing and recording music. Check out his recipes at www.processimpact.com/recipes.shtml and his songs (if you dare) at www.karlwiegers.com/songs.

Customer Reviews

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See all 9 customer reviews
Book received in great shape and quickly.
Michael G. Peters
The tactics Wiegers suggests can be used on the most agile Agile project or the most formal "heavyweight" project.
D. Read
After all a recommended reading for every manager and project manager.
Edward Zeh

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By D. Read on September 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
There is one word that particularly comes to mind when I think of Karl Wiegers: solid. I've been reading Mr. Wiegers articles and books about software for at least a decade, and Practical Project Initiation is as solid as I've come to expect. I use the word "solid" specifically to describe the kind of advice that Wiegers offers, which is typically based on real world experience and research, never on conjecture, received tradition, or trends. Karl is all about doing software right and helping you do the same.

There are several things I like about this book. First and foremost, I like that it is short and narrowly focused on the topic of starting new software projects--a neglected area to be sure. Much like Robert Galen's recent book Software Endgames focuses on getting a troubled project over the finish line, Practical Project Initiation focuses on the start of the process, with the idea of helping you keep your project from getting into trouble in the first place.

At 200 pages, the book is short (by software book standards anyway) not only because the focus is narrow but also because Wiegers is concise; there is almost no fluff here. I think Wiegers knows that when you need a book like this, you need immediate help getting your project off on the right foot, not three months worth of study material. I was able to read it all the way through pretty quickly, and much of the material is designed so that you can come back to it later for reference purposes.

The ironic part of what I've said about the book's narrow focus is that the first 25 pages of the book may actually be one of the best short introductions out there to the broad topic of project management.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joao Cortez on March 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book, while good didn't thrill me. It covers some software projects management fundamentals and best practices. It's short, simple and and easy to read, addressing a broad range of topics such as project preparation, project charting, risk management, principled negotiation, project metrics, project retrospectives. In my opinion it's too high-level and most of the topics are already well covered in other books, such as "Rapid Development" by Steve McConnell or "Competitive Engineering" by Tom Gilb (both excellent and quoted in this book). The landmark book by Karl Wiegers is still "Software Requirements".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Edward Zeh on December 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
Project inception is the most difficult step for every project. If not done properly, the whole project is going to fail.

In my opinion chapter 3 is the most useful. It concentrates not on how a project should be started, but rather on whether it should be undertaken.
More often than not a project is doomed to fail and should not have been started in the first place. Therefore it is very important to concentrate on the right projects, which are those which are aligned with the business objectives of the enterprise.

Chapter 11 describes a process called "wideband delphi" which is used to gain useful estimations. Wideand delphi allows a group of people to find more accurate estimates.

After all a recommended reading for every manager and project manager.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kurt D. Fenstermacher on November 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
A key to running successful is getting them set up well--anticipating likely problems (not just risks, but also mid-stream changes, for which you'd want a change-control process). I also like that this book not only has solid advice, but also has good sample templates that you can use for many project-related documents.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Alan F. Noel on October 6, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Approximately 200 concise pages of very good advice. Several useful tools. Another very good book from Karl.
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