Niwot Ridge Resources

A Source of Information for Mission Critical Systems, Management Processes, and Strategies

Knowledge is of two kinds; we know a subject ourselves, 

or we know where we can find information upon it.

                                                    — Samuel Johnson

The most recent additions to the list are on the top. This does not mean they are "ranked" Number 1

General and Software Project Management

Here are some books on general project management I refer to all the time. Even though there may be conflicting "theories" in each book, combined they form an operational body of known I have come to trust. There are also readings taken from Software Project Management: SEI Curriculum Module SEI–CMU–21–1.0, July 1989.

Most importantly the concepts of "agile" are now entering the project management realm. This is a realm that has been dominated by traditional high-ceremony processes for a long time.

  • Software Engineering Project Management, Richard Thayer, IEEE Computer Society, 1997.

  • Powerful Project Leadership, Wayne Strider, Management Concepts, 2002.

  • The Microwave Way to Software Project Management, Bas de Barr, May 2002. This is a "light reading" book on software PM.

  • Radical Project Management, Rob Thomsett, Prentice Hall, 2002.

  • Third Wave Project Management, Rob Thomsett, Prentice Hall, 1992.

  • Practical Project Management, Rob Thomsett, Prentice Hall, 1998.

  • People and Project Management. Rob Thomsett, Yourdon Press, 1980 (out for print)

  • Dare to be Excellent: Case Studies of Software Engineering Practices That Worked. Alka Jarvis and Linda Hayes, Prentice Hall, 1999. This is a case study book of quality successes, project management successes, software improvement methods. There are familiar names in the cases studies as well as some companies that may no longer be in business. It's worth a read simply because of the examples of success, which are rare these days.

  • Project Portfolio Management, Pennypacker, Center for Business Practices,

  • Risk and Decision Analysis in Projects, John Schuyler

  • The Accidental Project Manager: Surviving the Transition from Techie to Manager, Patricia Ensworth.

  • Software for Your Head: Core Protocols for Creating and Maintaining Shared Vision, Jim McCarthy and Michele McCarthy. This is one of those "must read" books since will change your point of view.

  • Visualizing Project Management: A Model for Business and Technical Success, Kevin Forsberg, John Wiley & Sons, 2000.

  • Managing Project Quality, Timothy J. Kloppenborg and Joseph A. Petrick, Management Concepts, 2001

  • The Accidental Project Manager: Surviving the Transition from Techie to Manager, John Wiley and Sons, 2001.

  • Leading a Software Development Team: A Developer's Guide to Successfully Leading People and Projects

  • Beyond Chaos: The Expert Edge in Managing Software Development

  • Project Management: Best Practices for IT Professionals

  • Antipatterns in Project Management, Brown, McCormick III, and Thomas, John Wiley & Sons, 2000. See the extended book review for more details about this book.

  • Project Management: A Managerial Approach, Jack Meredith and Samuel Mantel, John Wiley & Sons. This is an expensive but valuable book. There is an edition which also includes tools for MSFT Project 2000 for a dollar more.

  • After the Gold Rush: Creating a True Profession of Software Engineering, Steve McConnell, Microsoft Press, 1999. This book takes a look at the process of developing a profession of software engineering. Built around the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge, McConnell lays out the processes that must be in place for Software Engineering to become a profession.

  • Software Project Management, Steve McConnell, Microsoft Press, 1998. This is a good introduction to software project management. McConnel also writes a column in IEEE Software, which contains many useful items.

  • IEEE Software. This is a semi-monthly journal of the IEEE Computer Society. Along with IEEE Computer, Transactions on Software Engineering, and many other journals, the Computer Society is a valuable source of information on software engineering.

  • Rapid Development, Steve McConnell, Microsoft Press, 1996. This is another McConnell book that describes how to build software for money.

  • Software Project Management, Walker Royce, Addison Wesley, 1998. Royce and Royce's father, worked at TRW. TRW has made major contributions to the software engineering discipline over the years. Another major contributor is Barry Boehm, whose books and papers are referenced below. This book is a "method" of managing software development projects. It can be applied to almost any size project, from very large to moderate. I use Royce's guidelines in my daily practice, along with several other methods.

  • Managing the Software Process, Watts S. Humphrey, Addison Wesley, 1990. This is the classic software process improvement book. Humphrey provides a solid foundation for improving the software development process. Although some what dated, with the advent of OO techniques, Humphrey's advice is still valuable.

  • Controlling Software Project, Tom DeMarco, Yourdon Press, 1982. This is one of the first management by measure books. It's a bit dated and the notation is not modern, but DeMarco is one of the founders of software engineering management. It's in paper back at the ridiculous price of $56.00, but worth having on your shelf.

  • Software Project Cost and Scheduling, Roetzheim, Prentice Hall. This is a book that sells the products made by Roetzheim. It is somewhat useful for the overview of software project management. I found this book before I found several other better books, but it is worth taking a look at for the application demonstrations on the CD ROM. If you like the application, it could be applied to the software development domain.

  • Process Patterns: Building Large Scale Systems Using Object Technology, Scott Ambler, Cambridge University Press. This book and the second volume is a practitioners guide to building OO systems. Much of Amblers work is built around CMM frameworks, with clearly identified CMM level 2 and 3 sections and processes. He has a methodology that combines iterative and incremental, much the same as Walker Royce. Ambler's work is heavy on UML, so this would be a good book to own, along with the second volume which is all about deploying and supporting OO systems.

  • Software Engineering Project Management, Richard H. Thayer, editor.

  • Software Management, Donald J. Reifer, editor.

  • Principles of Software Engineering Management, Tom Gilb. Gilb is a well know author on the subject of software management. His web site contains many reference materials, reading lists, and current issues on managing projects.

  • Wicked Problems, Righteous Solutions : A Catalogue of Modern Software Engineering Paradigms, Peter Degrace, Yourdon Press. This is a very good book to guide the project manager through the development process.

  • A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, William R. Duncan, PMI Standards Committee, Project Management Institute, 130 South State Road, Upper Darby, PA 19082. This handbook describes some general purpose processes for managing projects. This would be a good starting point for a person new to project management. There is no specific software project management sections, but rather the section provides could be used to build a software project management handbook.

  • Managing Infrastructure Development Projects, Will Smith, TechEd 1997. This manual was available on the Microsoft Technical Education web site. Although it borrows from many of the SEI project management concepts it is still a good starting point for software development project managers.

  • Software Engineering Economics, Barry Boehm, Prentice Hall, 1981. This is one of the must have books for the practitioner. It is a bit dated in the age of OO projects, but the underlying fundamental are still valid.

  • The Mythical Man Month, Fred Brooks, Addison Wesley, 1982. This is a reprint of the 1972 classic. Most of the concepts are still valid in today's rapid development world.


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