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The Art of Project Management (Theory in Practice (O'Reilly)) Paperback – 2 May 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Review

I highly recommend it to anyone working in an IT project, no matter the size of the team.
-- Ioannis Cherouvim, JHUG, October 2007

About the Author

Scott Berkun is the best selling author of The Art of Project Management, The Myths of Innovation, and Making Things Happen. His work as a writer and public speaker have appeared in the The Washington Post, The New York Times, Wired Magazine, Fast Company, Forbes Magazine, and other media. He has taught creative thinking at the University of Washington and has been a regular commentator on CNBC, MSNBC and National Public Radio. His many popular essays and entertaining lectures can be found for free on his blog at Scott Berkun.

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
I'm afraid I'm going to have to go against the flow here. I really wanted to like this book. There is most certainly a place for a different angle on project management, other than the usual "how to use Microsoft Project" or other dry-as-dust doorstops, and Scott Berkun enthusiastically tries to fill it. However, the informal, rambling and slightly egocentric style that he deploys to very good effect on his website writings gets irritating and doesn't scale to a book. I kept finding myself quietly screaming "Get To The Point - if you have one". "The art of project management" really boils down to a thinly disguised autobiography of Scott's time with Microsoft. From other articles it seems that either his heart wasn't really in it at Microsoft, or he has resolutely moved on, realizing that to deny his creative side was getting him nowhere (and apart from the paycheck, what satisfaction could anyone derive from managing a piece of such insipid bloatware as Microsoft Internet Explorer ?). I fully empathise with him on this, but not to the extent that I'm going to read his book with blinkers on. The main problem is that there are far too many glib, superficial observations on the dynamics of software development teams dressed up as profundity (actually, this reminds me of a far better book, also from a Microsoft staffer: Jim McCarthy's classic "Dynamics of Software Development", which should be required reading for anybody in any software company anywhere).
There are just too many "so what" moments in Scott's book, things which he seems to think are great insights, but which are just plain everyday life in most companies. There is very little real creative thinking, very few ideas or solutions on offer.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone relatively new to project management from the managing side, but having considerable experience of being managed, I picked up this book to see if I could pick up any tips. I'm glad I did. Scott has managed to distill a huge amount of information and guidance into a very readable work, avoiding the pitfall of so many other books where they end up being dry and dull.
Scott's style is lively and witty, with a mix of the technical jargon, followed up with excellent advice and guidance. The book is split into three sections: Plans, skills and Management. Each section is further broken down in to the core skills and approaches needed to get your project up and running.
I've put a lot of what I've read into practice, and have noticed immediate results - I can now back up my 'gut feel' for how to do stuff with concrete examples of 'why' that approach is best.
It doesn't matter what size of team or organisation you manage, this book *will* help. Do yourself a favour and pick up a copy. If you're being managed rather than managing, buy a copy and give it to *your* manager, then sit back and enjoy the results.
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Format: Paperback
Project management is much more than sum of project manager activities; it involves all the actions performed by team members in project planning, managing or closing phases. It is fair to say that it takes more than successful project manager to have successful project, that everyone in project team contribute to its success.

"The Art of Project Management" written by Scott Berkun is a book every project manager should read, presenting all important project aspects and not focusing on any specific project management methodology. It is packed with author's personal project management experience providing insight into all the aspects which make project management the art. For someone as me who have more than 10 years in PM, it was great to read book about this topic that is not tiresome like most on the market.

Divided into three parts (Plans, Skill and Management), the book's organization provides a logical flow although the chapters can be randomly accessed which is also author's recommendation. In book's first part, "Plans", author started with short history of project management and discussion about projects' common elements in order to help avoiding common errors from the past. Afterwards planning, project requirements and creation of project vision are discussed. Author presented three planning perspectives - the business perspective, the technology perspective and the customer perspective. Lot of space is dedicated for discussions about creativity, for author examination of all ideas, good or bad, is essential to creativity. It is great, though uncommon to see such amount of design-related topics in a project management book.

In the second part, "Skills", author provided many practical topics, even for experienced PM as I like to think about myself.
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