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The Deadline: A Novel About Project Management Paperback – 1 Jul 1997

4.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Dorset House Publishing Co Inc.,U.S. (1 July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0932633390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0932633392
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
First of all a good story, and some nice points about software development along the way. I liked the changed staffing model, that overstaffing is bad, the point about people not thinking faster under pressure, wish-dates for deadlines don't work, the management dynamics (modelling your hunches), and the points on conflict resolution (mediation is easy).
But I must say I disagree with the last minute implementation theory. And no testing until the implementation is done?? It looks a lot like the good old waterfall model! Very few clients will let you defer implementation till the last 1/5 or 1/6 of the project! If they can't see progress from the beginning they get nervous and start shouting etc.
Second, the staffing model as explained (staffing up agressively towards the end of a project) seems to ignore the time it takes to integrate new members into a team. In the story Mr. T luckily has 3 teams doing about the same thing, so getting them up to speed is easier. In real life I haven't seen that so far. Note, the story deals with integration time earlier in the book, so I think the solution to raid the existing similar teams is too easy / far from reality :-) Try again!
I'd say I believe more in the XP way of doing things. Same staffing model, start small, staff up as the software develops. Lots of early implementation and testing, yet still enough design to avoid killing the project. And the client always knows exactly how much he has at any time. That is, the software as it runs today!!
... but then again, I haven't been a manager :-) only been exposed to a lot of bad ones.
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Format: Paperback
Great format, easy read, killed a couple of train journeys quite well. Lots of useful nuggets well presented. However, grounds out on the theory that as long as 'the design' is done correctly, (using some form of unspecified magic :-) then implementation turns into a mechanical task. If it were only so...
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Format: Paperback
I have always been a huge fan of Tom since reading Peopleware and having my eyes opened.
You read this book, exactly like a novel and at the suddenly realise you have been taught something.
The story isn't bad either !!!
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Format: Paperback
In this book a lot of problems of big software development projects are discussed. DeMarco discusses causes as well as solutions in a way that makes things very understandably. For the people that have been there and who had their advises dismissed I can say from own experience: it gives the reassurance that you were not as mad as your manager made your environment believe you were when you tried to cut the staff on that project with that very ambitious deadline. The readability and the summoning up at the end of every chapter make this book even more valuable. A "must-read" for project managers, their bosses and who ever is interested in running projects.
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By A Customer on 27 Aug. 2000
Format: Paperback
an Excellent and very entertaining read but .. (and hence not a 5 star) - where is the refernce bibliography ? (suggestions and comments at the end ?)
will his suggestions ever make it in the real world (most projects are run on a very fudal basis - most of us 'serf' have had that experience) can the pathology ever be changed from below ?
All in all a very good and easy read. Kevin O'H - Londinium
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