Synopses & Reviews
Learn best practices for managing software development projects from an unexpected but surprisingly relevant source: the producers of major motion pictures.
What can Hollywood’s hundred years of filmmaking experience teach the software industry? Like movies, software projects can be complex, creative, and high risk. But Hollywood has a better track record for delivering projects to plan. Now you can apply the project-management best practices used by motion-picture producers and production managers to your own work—and get better results.
The author—an expert in software engineering and process improvement—shares what he’s learned from film-industry project managers to deliver software projects on time and on budget. You’ll gain practical insights and effective techniques you can apply right away for estimation and planning; controlling costs, schedules, and changes; coordinating multiple teams; tracking progress; reporting status; managing logistics; management reviews; and more.
Persse, a noted software developer, takes a unique look at the software industry by comparing development projects to practices within the filmmaking process. By establishing such concepts as the green light process, sticking to the script and editing dailies, the author applies this Hollywood mentality in order to inject enthusiasm and energy into the field of software development. Written for anyone managing a software team, this book returns to the same foundation for success, that any production should be "bankable" and have clear objectives from the start.
About the Author
James Persse is an IT professional specializing in Process Management, Continuous Quality Improvement, Software Process Improvement, Industry Best Practices Design, and Cultural and Organizational Change. He has held executive positions in the healthcare, telecom, and technology industries, and serves now as a process consultant for companies adopting CMMI, ITIL, ISO 9001:2000, and CobiT. With 20 years in the technology industry and a PhD in Management & Process Improvement, James has implemented successful CMMI programs across multi-industry disciplines. He is a Carnegie Mellon University / Software Engineering Institute (CMU SEI) Authorized Lead Appraiser and CMMI Instructor, and SEI Partner. James is the author of "Implementing the Capability Maturity Model" (Wiley) and "Bit x Bit: Topics In Technology Management" (Little Hill Press).
Table of Contents
Dedication; Introduction; Gates of Heaven, Worlds of Water; Project Management in the World of Information Technology; The Project Management Landscape; Why the Association with Hollywood?; The Purpose of This Book; The Audience for This Book; How This Book Is Organized; From Principles to Practice; Find Additional Content Online; Development; Chapter 1: Know the System; 1.1 Two Percent Over, with a Lot of Explaining to Do; 1.2 The Hollywood System of Production Management; 1.3 A Similar Model for the Technology Industries; 1.4 Management Objective: The Project from the System; 1.5 Case in Point: Modernization Project at the Internal Revenue Service; Chapter 2: Know Your Properties; 2.1 Rocky XXIII, Friday the 13th Part 14, and Titanic 2Makin It to the Top; 2.2 IT Portfolio Management as Strategic Positioning; 2.3 The Need for Applications Portfolio Management; 2.4 The Adverse Consequences of Black Box Management; 2.5 Hollywood and Portfolio Management; 2.6 Launching IT Portfolio Management; 2.7 Case in Point: Kohls Department Stores; 2.8 For a Deeper Look. . .; Chapter 3: Establish Green-Light Rules; 3.1 Inside the Hughes Hangar; 3.2 Technologys Unlocked Gate; 3.3 The Green-Light Path in Hollywood; 3.4 Project Portfolio Management for IT Organizations; 3.5 Case in Point: CalPERS of California; 3.6 For a Deeper Look. . .; Chapter 4: Invest in a Solid Script; 4.1 The Package Drives the Script; 4.2 The Business of Weak Requirements; 4.3 Continuing the Parallels at Parallel Entertainment; 4.4 Addressing Requirements Development; 4.5 Case in Point: Athena Technologies; 4.6 For a Deeper Look. . .; Chapter 5: Time Box the Projects; 5.1 Form, Format, and Formula; 5.2 IT Runaways and Throwaways; 5.3 Toward a Controlled Development Tempo; 5.4 Benefits of the Time Box Approach; 5.5 Case in Point: Time Boxing at Oatland Container Corp.; 5.6 For a Deeper Look. . .; Preproduction; Chapter 6: Strip Board the Script; 6.1 The Time-Money Equation; 6.2 Form Following Function in Technology Development; 6.3 The Two-Dimensional Work Breakdown Structure; 6.4 Benefits of Source-Organized Work Breakdown Structures; 6.5 Case in Point: Pryor Development Services; 6.6 For a Deeper Look. . .; Chapter 7: Staff to the Genre; 7.1 The Central Role of Casting; 7.2 Any Casting Is Not Right Casting; 7.3 Assign By Design; 7.4 Benefits of "Type Staffing"; 7.5 Case in Point: Athenati Integration Services; 7.6 For a Deeper Look. . .; Chapter 8: Budget to the Board; 8.1 Liberty Within Limits; 8.2 The IT Budget and the Bottom Line; 8.3 Budgeting Tips for Technology Projects; 8.4 Benefits of Multifaceted Budgeting; 8.5 Case in Point: Westpoint-Taylor; 8.6 For a Deeper Look. . .; Chapter 9: Sign on the Dotted Line; 9.1 Contracts and Commitments; 9.2 Stakeholder Involvement for IT Projects; 9.3 Facilitating Stakeholder Involvement; 9.4 Benefits of Stakeholder Agreement; 9.5 Case in Point: Kohls Department Stores Revisited; 9.6 For a Deeper Look. . .; Production; Chapter 10: Stick to the Script; 10.1 The Script as Bible; 10.2 The Requirements as Contract; 10.3 Hollywood-Style Change Control; 10.4 Moving Toward Improvement; 10.5 Case in Point: The Fall of Indus; 10.6 For a Deeper Look. . .; Chapter 11: Work to the Call Sheets; 11.1 Yes Man; 11.2 Tracking the Work in IT; 11.3 Incrementing the Solution; 11.4 Benefits of a Work Authorization System; 11.5 Case in Point: Palter-Taft Technologies; 11.6 For a Deeper Look. . .; Chapter 12: Ante Up the Completion Bond; 12.1 Gospel Hill; 12.2 Losing Sight of Process in IT; 12.3 Establishing Project Quality Assurance Oversight; 12.4 Benefits of Project Quality Assurance; 12.5 Case in Point: Pitney Bowes; 12.6 For a Deeper Look. . .; Chapter 13: Manage the Hot Costs; 13.1 The Trailer Next to Sound Stage 4; 13.2 Floating Over the Numbers; 13.3 Managing by the Numbers; 13.4 Benefits of Managing Through Measures; 13.5 Case in Point: Micronetix; 13.6 For a Deeper Look. . .; Chapter 14: Cut as You Go; 14.1 Way Down East; 14.2 Waterfall Ahead; 14.3 Integrating an Iterative Test Approach; 14.4 Benefits of Iterative Testing; 14.5 Case in Point: Public Health Software Systems; 14.6 For a Deeper Look. . .; Post-Production; Chapter 15: Edit to the Investment; 15.1 The Butchers Wife; 15.2 Divergence and Discontinuity; 15.3 Continuity of Quality; 15.4 Benefits of Peer Reviews; 15.5 Case in Point: MCI Worldcom; 15.6 For a Deeper Look. . .; Chapter 16: Study the Test Cards; 16.1 Changing the End; 16.2 Working with the User; 16.3 Listening to the User; 16.4 Benefits of User Acceptance Testing Togetherrrrrr; 16.5 Case in Point: Agilys; 16.6 For a Deeper Look. . .; Chapter 17: Count the Box Office; 17.1 The Bucket List; 17.2 The Unconscious Organization; 17.3 Leveraging Knowledge Management; 17.4 Benefits of Leveraging Lessons Learned; 17.5 Case in Point: Advantage Computers Inc.; 17.6 For a Deeper Look. . .; Wrap-Up; Chapter 18: Honor the System; 18.1 The System Is the Solution; 18.2 Hesitation in IT Shops; 18.3 Project Management as an Operational Asset; 18.4 The Lean Machine at Work; 18.5 The Secret to Project Management Success; 18.6 Case in Point: Thoughtmill; Chapter 19: The Lessons Reviewed; 19.1 Treat Your Business Like a Business; 19.2 Lesson 1: Establish a Project Management System; 19.3 Lesson 2: Manage Your Applications Portfolio; 19.4 Lesson 3: Establish Project Assessment and Approval Guidelines; 19.5 Lesson 4: Devote Time for the Development of Requirements; 19.6 Lesson 5: Employ Incremental Development Windows; 19.7 Lesson 6: Use WBSs as a Basis for Estimation and Planning; 19.8 Lesson 7: Identify Needed Knowledge and Skill Sets; 19.9 Lesson 8: Establish Budgets and Schedules That Tie Directly to the WBS; 19.10 Lesson 9: Obtain Commitments from Key Stakeholders; 19.11 Lesson 10: Focus on the Delivery of Required Functionality; 19.12 Lesson 11: Manage Through Incremental Progress Targets; 19.13 Lesson 12: Welcome the Quality Auditors; 19.14 Lesson 13: Track Scope, Schedule, Budget, and Quality on a Regular Basis; 19.15 Lesson 14: Test Early, Build Often; 19.16 Lesson 15: Test to Verify Requirements; 19.17 Lesson 16: Focus on User Acceptance Testing; 19.18 Lesson 17: Conduct Project Retrospectives Across Stakeholder Groups; 19.19 Lesson 18: Follow Your Project Management System; 19.20 Summary; Credits; Jim Behnke; Michael Beugg; Alan Blomquist; Pat Crowley; Carey Dietrich; Stephen Dunn; Marty Ewing; Bill Fay; Eric Jones; Amy Kaufman; Patty Long; Peter Macgregor-Scott; Scott Rosenfelt; James R. Persse;