Art of Project Management

I won this book, Art of Project Management, at the Chicago PHP User Group meeting, when Andy Lester spoke about Preventing Crisis: Project Estimation and Tracking that Works (PDF slides). It was a great presentation. It really helped me learn how to break down and project into smaller pieces. One thing he said, you should break things down into tasks no longer than 4 hours. 4 hours, thats not so bad...I can spend 4 hours doing something, even if its boring. Looking at a big project in smaller pieces is a great way to do it.

I've been reading and I think its pretty good. One thing Scott talks about is solving problems. How bad ideas lead to good ideas. Many times I have written code only to come back the next day and go HEY, I can do that function beter.

He has a quote from Ernest Hemmingway:
"I write 99 pieces of shit for every one page of masterpiece."

I found that kinda funny..and true.

Another point he made was about figuring out what problem are you trying to solve? He said he goes around talking to his employees, and occasionaly asks what problem they are trying to solve? In fact, he said he made it into a poster and hung it up above his desk.

Sometimes when I am just plain stuck on something. I'll sit down and write out my problem on plain old paper, write out some possible solutions -- even when they seem kinda dumb, because although I haven't realized it before reading this book ... bad ideas lead to good ideas. Stepping away from the keyboard lets me think without emails popping up and the sudden urges to go read some blogs.

Anyways, so far I recommend this book :)


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