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Making Things Happen


In the updated edition of this critically acclaimed and bestselling book, Microsoft project veteran Scott Berkun offers a collection of essays on field-tested philosophies and strategies for defining, leading, and managing projects. Each essay distills complex concepts and challenges into practical nuggets of useful advice, and the new edition now adds more value for leaders and managers of projects everywhere.

Based on his nine years of experience as a program manager for Internet Explorer, and lead program manager for Windows and MSN, Berkun explains to technical and non-technical readers alike what it takes to get through a large software or web development project. Making Things Happen doesn’t cite specific methods, but focuses on philosophy and strategy. Unlike other project management books, Berkun offers personal essays in a comfortable style and easy tone that emulate the relationship of a wise project manager who gives good, entertaining and passionate advice to those who ask.

Topics in this new edition include:

  • How to make things happen
  • Making good decisions
  • Specifications and requirements
  • Ideas and what to do with them
  • How not to annoy people
  • Leadership and trust
  • The truth about making dates
  • What to do when things go wrong

Complete with a new forward from the author and a discussion guide for forming reading groups/teams, Making Things Happen offers in-depth exercises to help you apply lessons from the book to your job. It is inspiring, funny, honest, and compelling, and definitely the one book that you and your team need to have within arm’s reach throughout the life of your project.

Coming from the rare perspective of someone who fought difficult battles on Microsoft’s biggest projects and taught project design and management for MSTE, Microsoft’s internal best practices group, this is valuable advice indeed. It will serve you well with your current work, and on future projects to come.

Table of Contents
Chapter 1. A brief history of project management (and why you should care)

PART ONE: PLANS
Chapter 2. The truth about schedules
Chapter 3. How to figure out what to do
Chapter 4. Writing the good vision
Chapter 5. Where ideas come from
Chapter 6. What to do with ideas once you have them

PART TWO: SKILLS
Chapter 7. Writing good specifications
Chapter 8. How to make good decisions
Chapter 9. Communication and relationships
Chapter 10. How not to annoy people: process, email, and meetings
Chapter 11. What to do when things go wrong

PART THREE: MANAGEMENT
Chapter 12. Why leadership is based on trust
Chapter 13. Making things happen
Chapter 14. Middle-game strategy
Chapter 15. End-game strategy
Chapter 16. Power and politics

Book Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: O’Reilly Media (March 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596517718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596517717
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