Niwot Ridge Resources

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

Recommended Books

These are books that I've recently finished and would recommend to others.

The McKinsey Way, is a business book about the processes and strategies development by McKinsey.

This is a must read fro anyone interested in how professional service firms operate.

Much like the McKinsey Mind

Total Project Control, Stephen Devaux.

This is book I'd recommend that you consider not buying, at least not at the price of $89.00. This is a first for me since I can almost always find something of interest

I've written a short review, and essay on the DIPP and a much longer review.

Hope is not a Strategy, is a sales management book. It lays out many simple but profound ideas about building a professional services business - which is our current task. it's one of those books that can be read on a plane flight to the new customer.

Modelling Complex Project, Terry Williams.

This book presented a variety of project complexity issues based on completion litigation work William's has performed in the UK.

This is worth the read if only to discover what a well researched, academically sound, thoughtful author sounds like.

The McKinsey Mind, this is the follow on book from The McKinsey Way.

This is an easy read with some restating the obvious. But the McKinsey process is spelled out in detail.

Blind men and the Elephant, David A. Schmaltz.

Schmaltz uses John Godfrey Saxe’s “The Blind Men and the Elephant” poem as a metaphor for managing projects. The title of the book suggests it is about mastering project work or transforming fuzzy responsibilities into meaningful results. It's a disappointment though, since it's mostly about Schmaltz's philosophy and anecdotal experience. In the end there are some suggestions for managing projects, but its tough to find the suggested title until near the end. Full Review

Who Says Elephants Can't Dance? Lou Gerstner.

This is a "good" read if only for a personal view of how IBM failed to understand its market and recovered from this failure. There are some who don't like to whole concept of Gerstner's approach including many neighbors who work here at IBM Boulder. But the book says a lot about how modern companies can become so blind to their success that they fail to see the changes being made outside the very window.


Good to Great: Why Some Companies make the Leap and Other's Don't, Jim Collins, Harper Collins, 2001.

This is a description of the attributes of companies that have moved from "good to great." Many business book as well as project management or other business process books are written from the point of view of the author - how the reader should apply a specific process for improvement. Collins' approach is the inverse. He and his team researched what attributes were present when firms moved from good to great, then categorized these and surveyed the results. Anyone asking the question, "how can we improve?" must read this book

Software for Your Head, Jim and Michele McCarthy, Addison Wesley, 2002

This is one of those must read books that changes how you think about a topic. What it talks about is how to break though all the reasons you have constructed for now moving forward in a software development environment. What' more important though is that these concepts can be applied to any environment, not just software. I have a PPT show that summarizes the book as well. The link will be here soon.

Extreme Project Management, Shaun Ajani, January 2002.

The review of the book recommends to buy. Since the price is low, the investment is also low if the reader is disappointed.


Radical Project Management, Rob Thomsett, Prentice Hall. This book is about Project Management, but about PM in a way not normally presented. It uses the words "extreme" and eludes to eXtreme Programming in many place. But most 9importantly it is about rethinking PM in modern, agile, and post-normal science ways.

It is a practical hands on approach to PM, developed through a seminar series.

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