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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
How to Run Successful Projects III The Silver Bullet
Author:
Fergus O'Connell
ISBN:
0 201 74806 1
Publisher:
Addison-Wesley
Pages:
322pp
Price:
£27-99
Reviewer:
Silvia de Beer
Subject:
management
Appeared in:
14-2
From the preface this third edition seems just to be a re-issue from the second edition. The book consists of 21 small chapters on the first 191 pages; the rest is filled with appendices, which are less useful. The appendices contain explicit checklists and summaries that were also given in the text and a very unattractive introduction to Microsoft Project 2000. This introduction is in the format of exercises like: 'Pick Tools Menu. Chose Resources Command, Assign Resources. An Assign Resources box will appear. In the first cell, type....'.

The first ten chapters are the selling point of the book. The author claims that those 10 steps are a guarantee that your software projects will be successful. The chapters read easily. The text is written from a traditional point of view of project management and I did not always agree with it. Still, I think a beginning project manager, or a project manager looking for improvement could learn from this book. The 10 steps consist of visualising the goal, making a list of the jobs to be done, assigning one leader, assigning people to jobs, allowing margin for delay, using the appropriate leadership style, knowing what is going on and telling people what is going on. The book helps you to estimate the chance of success for your project by assigning points to each step. This will help you to focus on the steps where your score is low.