Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management by Scott Berkun, pub. O’Reilly, ISBN 0596517718.
This book’s been enjoyable and useful to read. There are some sections which didn’t give me a lot of value, and I think some hard trimming to shorten the book’s length would have been useful, but overall it’s been a positive addition to my bookshelf.
I don’t line up 100% with Berkun’s approach to project management – he seems to be heavy on loading up on extensive documentation up front, and he’s seemingly tepid about specs being a conversation vehicle between stakeholders and developers. I’m adamant that specs need to evolve with the stakeholders, analysts, devs, testers, and other team members being active participants in the process.
Those nits aside, I got great value out of a number of Berkun’s chapters, particularly those around leadership and trust, decision making, and recovering when things go wrong. He’s also got exercises at the end of each chapter which help get thought-provoking juices flowing. Additionally, there’s a lot of small, useful details in this book as well, ranging from writing good e-mails to advice on running meetings.
Overall it’s been a good read and I’d happily recommend it.