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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:
Building Effective Project Teams
Author:
Robert Wysocki
ISBN:
0 471 01392 7
Publisher:
Wiley
Pages:
276pp + CD
Price:
£33-50
Reviewer:
Joe Mc Cool
Subject:
management
Appeared in:
14-4
There is an air of unreality about this book. I can't help but feel that its background stems from deep within academia, perhaps out of touch with the real world.

Note the title; it is about building a project team. It is about human beings, recognising their strengths and weaknesses. It is about project type recognition and choosing the personality profiles to suit. If one is to believe the current author, all one has to do is construct a few scatter graphs or Venn-type diagrams and the job is done. I'd guess that 20% of this book's paper usage is taken up with such graphics.

Of course, it's true, we want to recognise the good team player, the gifted, the industrious, but no amount of scribbling on paper will give us that. That is one of life's dilemmas and judging from my own experience (which is considerable) it's so very easy to be wrong. I find that the good team players are recognised most easily outside office hours. It's when one goes camping with them or sailing that their real personalities show. The question then is one of creating opportunities where true worth can be recognised. How does one probe? What questions should one ask? What are the useful exercises? Wysocki is not addressing that level at all. He seems to suggest that if the theory is in place (illustrated graphically of course), then the practice will follow.

It is rare for a project manager to able to pick at all. Most times he has to make do with the motley crew he's got trust upon him and I would suggest that the current volume would give him little solace. To browse in the library perhaps (for some of the buzz terms), but to spend good hard earned cash on, no.Web Tools