Project management for today's complex, chaotic business environments.
* Innovative new XPM tools: how to make them work in your organization
* XPM: the first radically new approach to project management in decades!
* Designed from the ground up for today's high-speed, fast-changing projects
* Refocusing project management focused on people, relationships, and adding value!
Traditional project management doesn't work any more: it's inward-looking, static, and just can't respond to rapid, constant change. Radical Project Management looks outward to stakeholders, management, and clients—and thoroughly involves them from start to finish. Moreover, it assumes that everything will change—and defines a flexible, ongoing project management process that encompasses both project development and support. In this book, Rob Thomsett, one of the world's leading project management consultants, presents XPM from start to finish—and introduces every tool and technique you need to make it work in your organization.
* Innovative new XPM tools, and how to use them
* New XPM metrics and project-tracking techniques
* 11 radically new rules for project managers to live by
* Detailed case studies: how XPM is enabling creative
* Why project managers don't need to know the gory technical details
* Refocusing project management on what matters most: people, relationships, adding value
* "Open Planning" and stakeholder ownership: the heart of successful project management
people to do truly great work
If you've always suspected there's a more agile, flexible, intelligent way to manage projects, you're right—and XPM is it. Discover for yourself, with the most authoritative, complete, useful XPM guide ever written: Radical Project Management by Rob Thomsett.
Review By: Sid Snook 07/21/2003The author has provided a companion “eXtreme” project management guide to complement the various books that describe and promote “eXtreme” programming. The book is essentially complete in its scope of subject covered; and, as might be expected, it is not as complete in its depth of practical management techniques, methods, or tools. However, some useful “rules” and management tools are provided as examples and case studies. The focus of material is more on the “what” of “eXtreme” project management rather than on the “how.” The book does have frequent excursions into details of “how” that provide a pragmatic foundation and validity to the material presented.
The author presents a departure from the traditional project management perspective. The bottom line message of the book is for the “eXtreme” project manager to focus “outward and upward”: e.g., “The project manager’s focus must be context, not content,” “Projects fail because of the context, not the content,” and “…the effectiveness of the project sponsor role is the single best predictor of project success or failure...a project without the appropriate degree of executive sponsorship will fail.”
The central message of this book is summarized in a set of “extreme project management rules.” A few of these “rules” are considered to be of significant importance: e.g., “People, not resources or users, work on projects,” “You cannot not communicate,” “If you can’t trust your team, get one you can,” “If you haven’t defined quality you can’t measure it.” Others of these “rules” seem to be somewhat axiomatic and a few might cause some disagreement or confusion among more conservative, traditional project managers. However, these rules do in general provide a broad scope of issues to be aware of as an “eXtreme” project manager.
It is noted that the “Concurrent Release” strategy for software development, described in chapter 11, seems a flawed development approach, and an apparent waste of resources. Without any supporting evidence, it seems obvious that having multiple teams working on different releases of the same product at the same time would never be an effective strategy. It is hard to agree with the author’s statement that this “…concurrent release strategy offers the best of all worlds….” Communicating the accumulated project knowledge and the technical coordination between teams as well as the project configuration management of the implemented functions would seem to be problematic.
Overall, though, the book effectively uses examples and case studies to provide management tools and guidelines. There are several easy-to-understand, pragmatic, and useful “eXtreme” project management tools, methods, and techniques described in this book.
Review By: Kamesh Pemmaraju 07/21/2003This book is not just another treatise on a one-size-fits-all methodology for project management. Nor is it merely a collection of project management “best practices,” tools, or techniques. Rather, it is a book that looks at how successful project management actually occurs in the messy, constantly changing world of IT projects.
The fundamental emphasis of the book is on refocusing the energies of the project manager on things that matter most to the success of the project: people (sponsors, stakeholders, management, end-users, etc.), relationships, and the value proposition. The book contains useful tips, suggestions, and techniques for dealing with these often difficult issues. It also touches upon the question of ethics and provides a code of ethical behavior for project staff.
The book includes case studies, practical tips, techniques, and tools that a project manager can start using immediately on a project. It explains every traditional project management topic in a manner that is consistent with its team-oriented collaborative approach.
The book addresses the vast undefined white space between Gantt charts, timelines, and budgets. The book discusses the “undiscussibles” of every project: issues that traditional project management approaches generally ignore. It demonstrates convincingly that the world of project management is not simply about creating and tracking Gantt charts or Work Breakdown Schedules or controlling project costs. Rather, it is about what happens when the project manager is not doing these things. The book’s argument may be exagerated, that these traditional elements of project management don’t work anymore; however, it’s clear that such elements do not ensure project success.
The fact that the book’s approach has been distilled from decades of experience working with thousands of project managers adds tremendous credibility to the book. This is confirmed by the numerous case studies, description and use of radical project management tools, and many interesting anecdotes from real projects.
The underlying philosophy is really what makes the approach “radical.” The book:
- looks outward rather than inward;
- focuses on context rather than content;
- considers what happens after the project rather than before it; and
- emphasizes project benefits rather than costs.
The treatment of client expectations is particularly insightful, underscoring the concept that requirements are not the same as expectations. “What are your requirements?” is the wrong question. The right question is “What is your world?”
The book constantly emphasizes the importance of involving stakeholders, executive management, and end users throughout the project lifecycle. The book does an excellent job of providing useful tips and techniques for navigating this potential minefield.
I highly recommend this book. It certainly earned a place on my bookshelf.