Software Project Secrets: Why Software Projects Fail (Expert's Voice) Review

Software Project Secrets: Why Software Projects Fail
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I work for a software company as a Senior Technical Writer, so when I reviewed this book, I expected it to hit close to home.It did.

In the second of two software development firms I have worked with, I realized that the issues which George Stepanek brings out in his book were the same challenges for each company.All parties involved had their own agendas but none of them followed the same methodologies for getting things done, or they found their methodologies did not exact work with Software Development projects.

This is especially true when it comes between the Software Developers and the Project Managers.The Project Managers tend to see only their schedules and not the challenges of the Developers, such as time, code requirements and adequate staffing.I think sometimes the Developers live, eat and sleep at the office to try to get the software to GA (General Availability).

At the end of a development project, many times you look back and try to figure out what went wrong, or what steps to avoid for next time.I think it is wonderful that Stepanek details the key factors which cause a project to fail.Many Project Managers look at the specifics of a software development project only to find they can't quite figure out the difference between this type of project and the others.Fortunately, for the reader the author identifies twelve facts that make software development so different from other projects.With these facts, clearly in hand, Project Managers and Developers can come closer together to make the project a success.Unique to this book as well, Stepanek also identifies ten wrong assumptions (in his analysis of the "Project Management Body of Knowledge") that are made by managers and how to avoid them.

Stepanek also takes a look at three modern project management methods.This is a topic that many books on Software Development and Project Management fail to address.He details what parts of each methodology works to solve some of the issues of software development projects.Almost more importantly, Stepanek identifies the areas in which these tried-and-true methodologies fail to solve the unique problems of software development projects.

Going one step further, the author discusses seven different techniques that can be used by Project Managers to ensure that the projects come in on time and on budget.This should be music to Project Managers' ears!

One thing I do like is the illustration of a point or an example.Stepanek includes a case study at the end of the book which shows what challenges can appear and how to cope with them successfully.

This book should be required reading and a great supplement for the Project Managers, Product Managers, Software Developers and even customer who have been trained to use the methodologies commonly used in the industry, but still have project that fail or are difficult to manage to completion.

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Product Description:

Software Project Secrets: Why Software Projects Fail offers a new path to success in the software industry. This book reaches out to managers, developers, and customers who use industry-standard methodologies, but whose projects still struggle to succeed.Author George Stepanek analyzes the project management methodology itself, a critical factor that has thus far been overlooked. He explains why it creates problems for software development projects and begins by describing 12 ways in which software projects are different from other kinds of projects. He also analyzes the "Project Management Body of Knowledge" to discover 10 hidden assumptions that are invalid in the context of software projects.

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