you have ever undertaken a major development effort, you almost certainly know
the wisdom of the adage, "Build one to throw away." It's only after
you're finished that you know how the thing really should have been done. You
seldom get to go back and do it right again, of course, but it would be nice.
same idea can be applied to whole careers. Between the two of us, we've spent
nearly thirty years managing projects or consulting on project management. Most
of what we've learned, we've learned from doing it wrong the first time. We've
never had the luxury of managing any of those projects over again to do it entirely
right. Instead, we've written this book.
It's put together as a series of
short essays, each one about a particular garden path that managers are led down,
usually to their regret. What typically lures them into error is some aspect of
management folklore, a folklore that is pervasive, and loudly articulated, but
often wrong. We've been lured down all those garden paths ourselves. If the book
succeeds, it will help you to avoid at least some of them.
is full of easy remedies: Take the worker's estimate and double it. Keep the pressure
on. Don't let people work at home, they'll goof off. The remedies suggested in
these pages are anything but easy. They draw your attention to the complex requirements
of human individuality, to the highly political arena of the office environment,
to the puzzle of keeping good people, to the intriguing, sometimes exasperating
subject of teams, and finally to the elusive concept of fun.
is a very personal work for us, we have elected from time to time to retain our
individual voices. Whenever a singular voice is used in the text, the initials
indicated will let you know which of the authors is speaking.
The body of
the text contains no citations or footnotes. Sources of quoted material and other
explanatory matter are presented in the Notes section, keyed to the page number
and to the Bibliography, where complete references are provided.