Book Review - Software Project Management for Dummies by Teresa Luckey and Joseph Phillips
I am *not* a project manager, nor do I ever want to be one. However, the art of project management affects every project I work on to one degree or another. If you're a developer geek who doesn't want to wade through the minutiae of formal traditional methodology, this particular title makes it all go down a little easier... Software Project Management for Dummies by Teresa Luckey and Joseph Phillips.
Part 1 - Starting Your Software Project: Examining the Big Picture of Software Management; Initiating a Software Project; Creating the Software Scope
Part 2 - Planning Your Software Project: Planning for Communications; Planning for Software Project Risks; Planning for Software Quality; Building the Project Team; Creating Project Time Estimates; Building Your Project Budget
Part 3 - Executing Your Software Project Plan: Working the Project Plan; Working with Project People; Procuring Goods and Services
Part 4 - Controlling Your Software Project: Managing Changes to the Software Project; Using Earned Value Management in Software Projects; Tracking Project Performance
Part 5 - Closing Your Software Project: Finalizing the Project Management Processes; Documenting Your Software Project
Part 6 - The Part of Tens: Ten Ways to Make Your Software Project Crash and Burn; Ten Ways to Make Any Software Project Better
Appendix: Formal Project Management Training and Certification; Index
Using the entertaining Dummies style of writing, Luckey and Phillips take the reader through the importance of software project management, as well as what steps are involved in taking the project from inception to completion. They approach the topic using what I refer to as the "traditional" approach to software development. Generally speaking, requirements are gathered, development is initiated, testing takes place, and the project is delivered. This is different than the "agile" methods where there are a series of iterations involving requirements, coding, testing, and release. Many of these same project management concepts apply to both, but you most often see this level of management and documentation in the former style. What's nice with this book is that an often dull (at least to me) subject is served up with a healthy dose of tongue-in-cheek humor and practicality. They actually treat the project manager as a real person facing some impossible conditions, which is pretty much normal from what I can tell...
While this book wouldn't help you pass any project management certification tests, it would be valuable to help keep your head above water if you've been thrown into the deep end of the project management pool...
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