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Contents of

Roundtable on Project Management:
A SHAPE Forum Dialogue

edited by James Bullock,
Gerald M. Weinberg
and Marie Benesh

ISBN: 978-0-932633-48-4  
©2001  200 pages   softcover  
$15.95 (plus shipping)

Subject(s): Communication Skills, Software project Management

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1        Introduction

• The Thread
• The Story of the Failed Success

2        Getting Started Right

• The Thread
• What Choices Are You Making?
• Does Your Project Fit Its World?
• Did the Project Planning Make Sense?
• Can You Make Better Chunks?
• Are You Planning for Perfection?
• Can People Tolerate Boring Development?
• Balancing Questions
• Lessons

3        How Big Is It?

• The Thread
• Just Like Small Ones
• Size Project in Slices
• What Does "Large" Mean?
• Nonlinear Effects
• Lessons

4        Estimating

• The Thread
• Estimating in Context
• Large Project Estimation Processes
• Using the Delphi Method
• Are We Oracles?
• Sanity Checks
• Calibrate Estimates with Experience
• How We Do It
• Lessons

5        What Will It Cost?

• The Thread
• Accounting Measures and Definitions
• What About Other Measures?
• Lessons

6        Planning for Success

• The Thread
• Plan on Supporting the People
• Stay in Touch with Reality
• Who Is Doing It, and How?
• Check the Exceptions
• Count On Steering the Project
• Lessons

7        Management Focus

• The Thread
• What Are You Managing?
• Can You Talk About It?
• What Are You Talking About, or Not Talking About
• Managing to Conformity
• Is Commitment Being Managed?
• What About Interference?
• Bring Me a Rock
• Change It to Requirements Exploration
• It's a Scope Negotiation
• It's Really About Scope
• Planning and Execution
• Lessons

8        Knowing a Project Is in Trouble: Project Indicators

• The Thread
• Ignoring the Plan
• Emphasizing Means, Not Ends
• Routing versus Doing
• Reviews Find Zero Defects
• Changes Don't Relate to Problems
• Spec Inflation
• You Got a Repository?
• Testing Is Confused
• We're Too Busy to Review!
• There Is Nothing We Can Do
• When Have Indicators Failed You?
• Lessons

9        Knowing a Project Is in Trouble: People Indicators

• The Thread
• I'm Doing the Best I Can!
• Ratios and Mismatches
• What Management Says
• Nonsense Directives
• Won't Admit Mistakes
• The "Force Fitting"
• People Disengage
• Leaving Is the Ultimate Disengagement
• How Can I Help?
• Stop Helping
• Lessons

10      People and Project Change

• The Thread
• Being Ignored
• The Context for Change
• People Handle Change Differently
• Planning an Intervention
• Bellowing Bovine Pickles
• Lessons

11      Being a Cassandra

• The Thread
• Sometimes They Will Hear, Sometimes They Won't
• Sometimes, It's Timing
• Don't Depend on One Person
• Use Real Information
• Some People Don't Want an Answer
• Avoid Saying "I Told You So"
• Be Careful with Unsolicited Advice
• It's About Track Record
• The Context Helps People Hear (or Not)
• Lessons

12      Dealing with Impending Disaster

• The Thread
• What Do You Need to Decide What to Do?
• To Whom Do You Listen?
• There Are Different Kinds of Damage
• Organizations Break Down Under Stress
• Meet Obstacles Head On
• Lessons

13      Doing Something Different

• The Thread
• Veering Worked in the past
• Technology Changed How Things Work
• Ship Size Was Another Change
• Exaggerated Assumptions
• Doing the Right Thing
• Introducing Unusual Ideas
• Can You Really Be Punished for Doing Something Different?
• Core Myths Limit What You Can Change
• Hard Work and Genius Are All That Matter
• Rigid Process Is All That Matters
• Lessons

14      Dignified Project Death

• The Thread
• Ending a Software Project
• Change Means Admitting You're Wrong
• Sometimes, We Just Can't Quit
• It's Uncomfortable to Just Give Up
• Take the Brakes Yourself
• Making Tough Decisions Keeps Me There
• But I Care About How People Feel About Me
• Lessons

15      Project Lessons

• The Thread
• Do Not Try to Handle So Many Changes at Once (That Is, Do Not Violate the Edsel Edict)
• Make a Big Deal About Being Sure Everyone Understood His/Her Part of the Plan
• Don't Let the Project Degenerate into Crunch Mode
• Don't Accept Work That Is Short All Deliverables Except the Code Itself
• Do Not Leave Test Suite Design Until After the Code Is Written
• Keep People from Meddling with the Wrong Things
• Assert Yourself as Necessary to Manage Project Panic
• In the End, Did They Get What They Wanted?
• Lessons

16      Personal Lessons

• The Thread
• Don't Own More Than You Own
• Don't Expect to Be Omniscient
• Learn That Blame and Ownership Are Not the Same Thing
• Manage Your Personal Panic
• In the End, If You Learned, You Didn't Lose
• Lessons



Return to Book Page

Table of Contents
Excerpt: "Roundtable Discussion: Dealing With Impending Disaster"

Dorset House Catalog
This Book's Flyer

By this Author
Roundtable on Technical Leadership: A SHAPE Forum Dialogue

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The Deadline: A Novel About Project Management, by Tom DeMarco

Dr. Peeling's Principles of Management, by Nic Peeling
Five Core Metrics: The Intelligence Behind Successful Software Management, by Lawrence H. Putnam and Ware Myers
Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, 2nd ed., by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister
Waltzing with Bears: Managing Risk on Software Projects, by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister

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