Project Management for the Technical Professional Review

Project Management for the Technical Professional
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Project management is far more than just whether you know how to draw a Gantt chart or use Microsoft Project.In fact, the technical "project management" skills are often the least important skills you need to get a project done.It's the people issues, the political issues, the organizational issues that end up spelling the difference between failure and success.
Especially if you're in the IT field, or indeed in any area of high tech, there's a good chance that you became a project manager by growing out of a technical position.And when you do, you normally find out that it's a whole different world.In my experience, your organization usually doesn't spend nearly enough time helping you through this transition.It's sink or swim, and I've watched a number of people go through this process (in addition to going through it myself), to witness the full range of outcomes.Even when people succeed, it isn't easy for them.
A regular project management book often needs a supplement, and this supplement would be a excellent part of any project manager's library.It's practical, insightful, sympathetic (it's pretty clear that the author is writing from personal--and sometimes painful--experience of his own), and even witty (the footnotes have hidden jokes that only very knowledgeable science fiction readers will be able to ferret out; but don't worry, the book is still funny and fully understandable even without knowing all the references).
What does the book tell you?First, how to make the transition inside yourself to be a good project manager, with emphasis on "manager."Second, how to extend and expand your influence over people--and every real project manager knows full well that on projects you normally don't have official power over all the people whose cooperation you need.Third, how to understand all the management systems and tools that you probably didn't study in college.(The book has the best short descriptions of concepts like TQM and ISO-9000 and MBO and the like I've ever read--it's like having a quick Cliffs Notes of an entire MBA, and that's only in one chapter!)
Another review here talks about how little "technical" project management is in the book.Fair enough.If you want to know how to draw a Gantt chart, buy another book.But if you want to know how to manage people, and that hasn't been your strong suit in the past, add this one to your shelf at the same time--and I'll bet you'll refer to this one a lot more often than the other.

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Product Description:
Are you an "accidental manager"? Dobson's new bookis the resource for technical professionals who suddenly discover thatthe skills that have made them successful aren't necessarily relevantin their new role as project manager. Dobson covers managementstrategies for all technical professionals by combining solidinformation and extensive documentation with humor and perspective. Hetakes "ground-up" approach to effective management, assumingthat the reader has no previous exposure or academic background, butis suddenly responsible for getting the job done! And this book worksboth ways. Not only does Project Management for the TechnicalProfessional show how a technical rofessional can be a good manager,but it also demonstrates how a manager can oversee that "odd"breed we call "technical professionals." It's a guide to theemotional challenge of management, a glossary to key terms andconcepts, and a handbook for dealing with "Generation X"professionals and ageism-all in one book.
Remember...effective leadership starts within. Only through completeand honest self-assessment can you develop an action plan that sparksgrowth and achievement. Project Management for the TechnicalProfessional not only helps you begin the journey, but it also bringsyou through to the end-successfully.

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