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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:
Technology Acquisition, Buying the Future of Your Business
Author:
Allen Eskelin
ISBN:
0-201-73804-X
Publisher:
Addison-Wesley
Pages:
256pp
Price:
$29.99 (no UK)
Reviewer:
Huw Lloyd
Subject:
management
Appeared in:
16-1
This short book describes the author's process for acquiring IT systems in the price range of $500,000 to $10 million. It is portrayed as a linear process; the roles and activities are described in time sequence. The target audience are project managers tasked with acquiring a system, and all other stakeholders.

This text does not explore the strategic ramifications for buying-in technology. There is a brief look at the trade offs between internal development and buying an external solution, but the majority of the book focuses on the key players and activities in the acquisition process. So as a study of major things that could go wrong - such as changing business needs - I think it is inadequate. But as a primer, for a PM wishing to get a good feel for all the activities entailed, I think it performs well.

It is an easy read, without any big surprises or knotty details- although it is occasionally repetitive. Where close attention is required the author has provided some good samples (the 30 page Request For Proposal is good) and templates for key documents necessary for such an undertaking. The author's experience becomes evident in his suggestions to pay particular attention to certain project details. Checklists and tips accompany each chapter.

References are very sparse in the book. I would have appreciated some pointers for more in-depth material that this guide necessarily glosses over.