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

Johanna Rothman really knows her stuff. She has oodles of experience as a project manager, through doing the job, consulting, and speaking. Yes, she really knows her stuff about project management. As long as it is software project management.

Now, a lot of you won't really mind that. Given you're all on a Computing Society website, it is probably fair to assume that you are likely to be interested in how to manage software projects. And for that, this book is good. It gives an interesting run down of how to project manage in such an environment. It talks about the difficulties that come with planning the delivery of a product that is
digital, ethereal, and ever-changing. There are tips on handling the uncertainties that you will face trying to manage developing, which can require not just hard work but inspiration, insight, and, hell,
plain old luck.

So from that point of view, I liked the book. It opened a window into a world that I haven't had to play in. My project management experience has generally been on building the infrastructure, with
products that are thankfully a little more concrete.

But from the point of view of an already experienced project manager in from another field, it didn't have a lot to show me. Sure, there were tips in handling meetings - but nothing I haven't seen before. Tips on steering the project - but nothing I hadn't seen elsewhere.

This is both the book's advantage and its disadvantage. For me, it was a massive disadvantage. If anything, I needed something which looked at the specific software development methodologies in more detail - a primer on Agile, or SCRUM, or whatever. But for someone who is moving into a new project management position after a history as a coder, it is an advantage - the book manages to pack in a lot of information about generic project management, and places it in a software development context.

So overall, wrong book for me, could be the right one for you.

Score: 6/10

Trevor Roberts

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