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Death March, Second Edition

Book Description

Death MarchSecond Edition

The #1 guide to surviving "doomed" projects...Fully updated and expanded, with powerful new techniques!

At an alarming rate, companies continue to create death-march projects, repeatedly! What's worse is the amount of rational, intelligent people who sign up for a death-march projectsaeprojects whose schedules, estimations, budgets, and resources are so constrained or skewed that participants can hardly survive, much less succeed. In Death March, Second Edition, Ed Yourdon sheds new light on the reasons why companies spawn Death Marches and provides you with guidance to identify and survive death march projects.

Yourdon covers the entire project lifecycle, systematically addressing every key issue participants face: politics, people, process, project management, and tools. No matter what your role--developer, project leader, line-of-business manager, or CxO--you'll find realistic, usable solutions. This edition's new and updated coverage includes:

  • Creating Mission Impossible projects out of DM projects

  • Negotiating your project's conditions: making the best of a bad situation

  • XP, agile methods, and death march projects

  • Time management for teams: eliminating distractions that can derail your project

  • "Critical chain scheduling": identifying and eliminating organizational dysfunction

  • Predicting the "straw that breaks the camel's back": lessons from system dynamics

  • Choosing tools and methodologies most likely to work in your environment

  • Project "flight simulators": wargaming your next project

  • Applying triage to deliver the features that matter most

  • When it's time to walk away

  • This isn't a book about perfectly organized projects in "textbook" companies. It's about your project, in your company. But you won't just recognize your reality: you'll learn exactly what to do about it.

    Table of Contents

    1. Copyright
      1. Dedication
    2. Mission Statement for Yourdon Press Series
    3. About the Series Editor
    4. Selected Titles from the Yourdon Press Series
    5. Preface
    6. 1. Introduction
      1. Death March Defined
      2. Categories of Death March Projects
      3. Why Do Death March Projects Happen?
        1. Politics, politics, politics
        2. Naive promises made by marketing, senior executives, naive project managers, and so on
        3. Naive optimism of youth: “We can do it over the weekend”
        4. The “startup” mentality of fledgling entrepreneurial companies
        5. The “Marine Corps” mentality: Real programmers don't need sleep
        6. Intense competition caused by globalization of markets
        7. Intense competition caused by the appearance of new technologies
        8. Intense pressure caused by unexpected government regulations
        9. Unexpected and/or unplanned crises
      4. Why Do People Participate in Death March Projects?
        1. The risks are high, but so are the rewards
        2. The “Mt. Everest” syndrome
        3. The naiveté and optimism of youth
        4. The alternative is unemployment
        5. It's required in order to be considered for future advancement
        6. The alternative is bankruptcy or some other calamity
        7. It's an opportunity to escape the “normal” bureaucracy
        8. Revenge
      5. Summary
      6. Notes
    7. 2. Politics
      1. Identifying the Political Players in the Project
        1. Owner
        2. Customers
        3. Shareholders
        4. Stakeholders
        5. Champions
      2. Determining the Basic Nature of the Project
      3. Levels of Commitment By Project Participants
      4. Analyzing Key Issues that Lead to Political Disagreements
      5. Conclusion
      6. Notes
    8. 3. Negotiations
      1. Rational Negotiations
      2. Identifying Acceptable Tradeoffs
      3. Negotiating Games
      4. Negotiating Strategies
      5. What To Do When Negotiating Fails
      6. References
        1. Bibliography
      7. Notes
    9. 4. People in Death March Projects
      1. Hiring and Staffing Issues
      2. Loyalty, Commitment, Motivation, and Rewards
        1. Rewarding Project Team Members
        2. The Issue of Overtime
      3. The Importance of Communication
      4. Team-Building Issues
      5. Workplace Conditions for a Death March Project
      6. Summary
      7. References
        1. Bibliography
      8. Notes
    10. 5. Death March Processes
      1. The Concept of Triage
      2. The Importance of Requirements Management
      3. SEI, ISO-9000 and Formal Versus Informal Processes
      4. Good-Enough Software
      5. Best Practices and Worst Practices
      6. Death March Meets XP
      7. Conclusion
      8. References
        1. Bibliography
      9. Notes
    11. 6. The Dynamics of Processes
      1. Models of Software Development Processes
        1. Mental Models
        2. Spreadsheet Models
        3. Static Versus Dynamic Models
      2. Visual Models
      3. An Example: Tarek Abdel-Hamid's Software Process Model
      4. Summary And Conclusions
      5. References
        1. Bibliography
      6. Notes
    12. 7. Critical-Chain Scheduling and the Theory of Constraints
      1. Introduction
      2. What Organizational Behaviors are Dysfunctional?
      3. How Can We Change Dysfunctional Organizational Behavior?
      4. Life in a Rational World
      5. Critical-Chain Scheduling
      6. Conclusion
      7. References
        1. Bibliography
      8. Notes
    13. 8. Time Management
      1. The Impact of Corporate Culture On Time Management
      2. Time Slippage from Stakeholder Disagreements
      3. Helping the Project Team Make Better Use of Time
      4. Notes
    14. 9. Managing and Controlling Progress
      1. THE “Daily Build” Concept
      2. Risk Management
      3. Additional Ideas for Monitoring Progress: Milestone Reviews
      4. References
        1. Bibliography
      5. Notes
    15. 10. Death March Tools and Technology
      1. The Minimal Toolset
      2. Tools and Process
      3. Risks of Choosing New Tools
      4. Conclusion
      5. References
        1. Bibliography
      6. Notes
    16. 11. Simulators and “War Games”
      1. Introduction
      2. The Concept of War Games
      3. Conclusion
      4. References
        1. Bibliography
      5. Notes