97 Things Every Project Manager Should Know
Collective Wisdom from the Experts
By Barbee Davis
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: August 2009
Pages: 252

If the projects you manage don't go as smoothly as you'd like, 97 Things Every Project Manager Should Know offers knowledge that's priceless, gained through years of trial and error. This illuminating book contains 97 short and extremely practical tips -- whether you're dealing with software or non-IT projects -- from some of the world's most experienced project managers and software developers. You'll learn how these professionals have dealt with everything from managing teams to handling project stakeholders to runaway meetings and more.

While this book highlights software projects, its wise axioms contain project management principles applicable to projects of all types in any industry. You can read the book end to end or browse to find topics that are of particular relevance to you. 97 Things Every Project Manager Should Know is both a useful reference and a source of inspiration.

Among the 97 practical tips:

  • "Clever Code Is Hard to Maintain...and Maintenance Is Everything" -- David Wood, Partner, Zepheira
  • "Every Project Manager Is a Contract Administrator" -- Fabio Teixeira de Melo, Planning Manager, Construtora Norberto Odebrecht
  • "Can Earned Value and Velocity Coexist on Reports?" -- Barbee Davis, President, Davis Consulting
  • "How Do You Define 'Finished'"? -- Brian Sam-Bodden, author, software architect
  • "The Best People to Create the Estimates Are the Ones Who Do the Work" -- Joe Zenevitch, Senior Project Manager, ThoughtWorks
  • "How to Spot a Good IT Developer" -- James Graham, independent management consultant
  • "One Deliverable, One Person" -- Alan Greenblatt, CEO, Sciova
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O'Reilly Media97 Things Every Project Manager Should Know
 
3.7

(based on 3 reviews)

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Pros

  • Concise (3)
  • Easy to understand (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate (3)
    • Novice (3)

    Reviewed by 3 customers

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    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    handy hints for project managers

    By dave graham

    from wakefield, UK

    About Me Business analyst, Developer, Project manager

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about O'Reilly Media 97 Things Every Project Manager Should Know:

      This book is packed full of useful advice. Each of the 97 tips is a short mini-essay from key people in the field, each covering two pages. They're mostly aimed with an IT/software project angle, but the advice can easily be applied to other projects.

      I got a lot out of this book - it was reassuring to know that the same problems were being faced elsewhere! Each of the 97 tips had something concrete you could take out and apply - some of them were fairly straightforward, others more focussed, but all useful.

      A great book for dipping into for inspiration and help, but also one you could sit and read from cover to cover.

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Maybe you can judge a book by the cover

      By Dragonator

      from Atlanta, GA

      About Me Designer, Developer, Educator, Sys Admin

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Concise
      • Easy to understand
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Novice

        Comments about O'Reilly Media 97 Things Every Project Manager Should Know:

        [...] "97 Things, that looks like about 2 pages apiece." The irony is that he was right on target. Fortunately I think that's probably the best part about the book. While it doesn't go into a lot of depth about any particular topic it isn't designed to do so. This is a collection of tips from experts in the field. They're all intended to be easily identified and point you down the road to possible solutions quickly. Whether you are looking for something based on a specific topic or just general tips, the contents were listed both ways which was unexpected but I suspect some readers will find it very handy. Most of the tips are from folks involved with software development and while some of the tips have a pretty narrow focus for the most part they could be applied to almost any type of project too. I chose to work my way through in order rather than jumping around since many of the tips were classified under multiple topics. As I worked my through I found myself recognizing a great many of the problems and situations in the tips even though my primary job function isn't project management. If you don't see at least a few of these and say to yourself, 'Hey, they must have worked here too!' then I'm guessing that you're just into your first job. I was interested in this book because of the promise of lots of quick items that can be addressed. While some of the issues don't have quick fixes, they all seemed to have a single item that can help make them go away or prevent them to start with. That's exactly what I was hoping for. After just a couple of weeks I've already been able to use two or three of the tips to help me resolve issues at work so I'm way ahead of the game.One problem I often see it books which are compiled from many different sources is the lack of consistency but the editor did a great job of pulling this all together and making it a cohesive text.

        (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        Project Management Potpourri

        By Sarah Walker

        from Boston, MA

        About Me Educator, Trainer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Concise
        • Easy to understand

        Cons

        • Need specific examples

        Best Uses

        • Expert
        • Intermediate
        • Novice
        • Student

        Comments about O'Reilly Media 97 Things Every Project Manager Should Know:

        As a novice project manager in a non-profit setting, I was very enthusiastic when I first heard about this book. The title and description sounded exactly like what I needed. Other books I've read on project management were targeted towards large-scale projects or missing the wisdom acquired from years of real-life experience.

        This book, advertised as being short and practical lived up to some of its claims. According to the back of the book, it's for "software or non-IT projects", but covers the software side more thoroughly. Some of the tips were practical and immediately useful to me, while others pointed out problems in vague language without specifics for how to address them. It's the kind of book you can flip through to find what you need and disregard the rest, rather than reading it cover to cover.

        The book is organized in a regular table of contents, or by topic. I found the topic listing more helpful and wish it had been listed first. I also wished there had been a glossary of project-management terms. Reading the book left me wondering who the experts were. Therefore, I would prefer to have the information about the authors listed earlier in the book or at the end of each article. Overall, a quick and mostly useful read.

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