59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
Practical, useful advice on how to realistically run a project,
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This review is from: The Art of Project Management (Theory in Practice (O'Reilly)) (Paperback)Scott does a great job in this book of providing well-organized, practically useful guidance on how to work on and run a project. Even if you're not actually in charge of a project, I'd recommend this as a book to help you understand what should be getting done on it. The three biggest areas he focuses on are how to ensure a project has proper focus and clear priorities, how to run meetings and do feature-level design, and how to handle a project as it moves from start to finish.
The key to proper focus and clear priorities is the tie between the mission, goals, features, and tasks in a project. Scott provides a great framework for tying them together, ensuring they're created, and ensuring the team understands them.
The advice on running meetings and doing feature-level design is the only area that might not work as well for those outside of Microsoft. While I highly identify with it, and think that he's clearly stated the best practices for our environment, your mileage may vary.
Finally, he does a great job of talking about the difference between the start, middle, and end-game. Many people try to use a single process throughout and either overburden the start of the project or allow the end-game to spin wildly out of control. Scott's very clear about how to apply the right level of touch and raise the process bar at safe but necessary increments as a project goes on.
The only negative thing I could find in the book is that some of the proofreading on the figures wasn't up to the same quality as the text. References to figures are sometimes pointing to the wrong one, and occasionally the legends are mislabeled.