Review: 97 Things Every Project Manager Should Know
This is a neat little book on project management, which is ideal reading for web professionals acting as part-time project managers who don’t have time to read weightier tomes on the topic. As the title suggests, it contains 97 two-page essays from practitioners which are generally written in an engaging anecdotal style. It includes a useful index of tips by topic and quick explanations of project and technical terms at the bottom of pages, making it very accessible for newcomers to the subject. The focus is on IT projects in general, but lots of the tips are relevant to web-related projects.
Among the more useful areas covered for web project management are:
- An emphasis in several contributions on agile project development, involving frequent interaction with clients to evaluate features as they’re created.
- Reflections on the inevitability of scope change after requirements have been finalized and ways to deal with this. A good tip is provided on planning possible scope reductions from the beginning of a project in a controlled way by grading requirements according to their business value and the degree that they have dependencies for other requirements. The nice-to-haves with no dependencies are the obvious candidates for culling if necessary later on.
- Encouraging simple solutions over complex ones – including in code development.
- Finding alternatives to long pointless meetings – frequent instant ‘standup’ meetings are recommended by several contributors.
97 Things Every Project Manager Should Know: Collective Wisdom from the Experts is edited by Barbee Davis and published by O’Reilly.