How to Run Successful Projects III: The Silver Bullet (3rd Edition) Review

How to Run Successful Projects III: The Silver Bullet
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I've read more than 50 books on project management, and have reviewed a good number of them, but this is the first one that was fun to read.The author manages to keep the tone light and conversational, yet touch all of the important aspects of successfully managing software projects.While I am one of those die hards who doesn't believe in silver bullets--those elusive shortcuts to accomplishing complex tasks--any more than I believe in the tooth fairy, I think that the approach in this book comes close.
Although the tone is light, the techniques are solid.I like the way the author strips away non-essential tasks and focuses on what is essential to successfully managing a project.He starts with visualizing the goal, which is an exercising in defining project objectives, and introduces a key concept that will be used through the book: Probability of Success Indicator (PSI).These indicators are checkpoints for ensuring that all critical success factors are satisfied and are closely tied to risk management.I especially like the common sense way projects are approached - develop a checklist, emphasize leadership and teamwork, carefully plan and manage expectations and communicate.These are the essence of project management, regardless of whether you are using the U.S. standard set forth in the PMBOK or the UK PRINCE2 approach.In fact, all of the techniques, including the 10-step methodology given in the book, will work with both the PMBOK and PRINCE2 approaches.
Chapters I especially liked covered assessing project plans, issue resolution and how to shorten projects using accelerated analysis and design. I found some of the appendices valuable as well, especially Appendix 1 (ISO 9000 Estimating Procedure) and Appendix 2 (Structured Project Management, which summarizes the 10-step approach.If you use MS Project (which I do not), Appendix 6, Learning Microsoft Project 2000, may be useful.
The only shortcoming is the lack of earned value as a project control tool, but for small projects this isn't a major issue.Overall this is an excellent book for new project managers for software development projects and it is also full of tips and techniques that an experienced project manager will appreciate.

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Product Description:
Builds on the success of the first and second editions and reminds us all, in the post dot com era, just how important good project management practices are. New third edition now compares the Ten Steps of structured project management with any other methodology. Softcover.

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