Tom DeMarco?, The Deadline, a novel about project management

4 essentials of good management:

"people can't embrace change unless they feel safe"

(i didn't take note about the probs with neg reinforcement b/c this is obvious)

" lead with you heart, ... trust your hunches ((gut)), build soul into the organization, develop a nose for bullshit "

" by the time the battle begins, the manager's real work is already done


hiring involves all of the managerial body parts: heart, soul, nose, and gut (but mostly gut)

don't try to do it alone -- two guts are more than twice as good as one

ask new hires to undertake one project at exactly the level of competence they have already proved, to defer real stretch goals until the next time

ask for pointers; the person you are most inclined to hire may know of other good possibilities

listen more than you speak


and, first, roughly order the list of candidates' resumes by potential, and spend your time at the top of the list first

" productivity improvement

there is no such thing as a short-term productivity fix

productivity improvement comes from long-term investment

anything that promises immediate-term results is likely to be snake oil

risk management

manage projects by managing their risks

create and maintain a census of risks for each project

Track the causal risks, not just the ultimate undesirable outcomes.

Assess each risk for probability and likely cost.

Predict, for each risk, the earliest symptom that might indicate materialization.

Appoint a risk officer, one person who is not expected to maintain a Can-Do attitude.

Establish easy (perhaps anonymous) channels for bad news to be communicated up the hierarchy (83). "

" Playing Defense:

" Modeling and Simulation of the Development Process:

" Pathological Politics:

" Metrics:

" Process and Process Improvement:

" Changing the Way Work Gets Done:

"You can't get people to do anything different without caring for them and about them. To get them to change, you have to understand (appreciate) where they're coming and why. "

" The Effects of Pressure:

" The Angry Manager:

" Ambiguous Specification:

todo here


" Role of the Catalyst:

when in conflict with someone: sometimes it may be useful to throw down the gauntlet, but in a way so that they don't have to pick it up (they don't lose face if they ignore it; e.g. if someone is trying to force you to do something you don't want to do, one thing to do is to pretend outwardly to obey, but if they will be able to find out about your disobedience, send them a covert signal that you are disobeying them, in a way so that others don't notice, and not so directly so that they know that you know that they know that you're sending them a signal; if there is some chance that they don't see the signal, they have the option to ignore the signal without conceding the larger dominance contest completely

Human Error:

Staff Level:

" Project Sociology:

" * Projects have need for ceremony.

Pathological Politics (again):

Lean and Mean:

Radical Common Sense: