Manage It!: Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project Management Review

Manage It: Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project Management
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Manage It! Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project Management by Johanna Rothman is the best project management reference I've ever read, and I've seen my share of project management tomes. Here's what I like best about the book: it's not theological. By this I mean Rothman doesn't advocate one "true" way of running projects. She is very careful to be continually cognizant of context when she talks about different approaches you might take. In this sense, she is very situational about prescribing solutions, which I like because it helps a project manager develop what I think is a critical attribute of a good project manager: good judgment.

One of my favorite chapters is Recognizing and Avoiding Schedule Games, which uses comic art and prose to explain and fix schedule games that can occur on projects. Here are a few from the book:
- Bring Me a Rock
- Hope Is Our Most Important Strategy
- Queen of Denial
- Sweep Under the Rug
- 90% Done
and so on, for a total of 16 entertaining schedule games that every project manager eventually needs to face.

Rothman is an entertaining writer with a knack for interesting prose and practical advice. Unlike most PM books I've read, I've not found anything yet where I was inclined to ignore her advice or felt an approach would require too much work and yield too little benefit. She definitely has a propensity toward simple, sustainable approaches to project management, something I sincerely appreciate due to my strong disdain for any approach with substantial overhead.

Another great feature of this book is you can read it out of order, either by opening it randomly or by simply reading the sections that interest you at the moment or that apply to problems you are struggling with.

Buy it. Try it. It's worth it.

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Product Description:

This book is a reality-based guide for modern projects. You'll learn how to recognize your project's potholes and ruts, and determine the best way to fix problems - without causing more problems. Your project can't fail. That's a lot of pressure on you, and yet you don't want to buy into any one specific process, methodology, or lifecycle. Your project is different. It doesn't fit into those neat descriptions. Manage It! will show you how to beg, borrow, and steal from the best methodologies to fit your particular project. It will help you find what works best for you and not for some mythological project that doesn't even exist. Before you know it, your project will be on track and headed to a successful conclusion.

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