on December 9, 1998
This is a treatise on management techniques, not process improvement. The first two chapters detail the decision of which projects to speed up, implying that a manager can only speed up a project by overstaffing it and clearing its path of the usual bureaucracy. Therefore, there is no permanent process gain to be had. But it is a great guide for decision makers looking to cut some time off any (or every) project. The fundamental tenets are these:
1) Make the decision to develop a new product idea quickly.
2) Staff all functions to the project immediately and keep them on throughout (no ramp-up, no handoffs)
3) Specify it simply and quickly and do not change the spec (3 days, 3 pages).
4) Spend a little time on the product architecture, designing for modularity and quick development.
5) User overlapping development techniques (work on multiple modules simultaneously)
6) Make a successful transition to manufacturing to complete the project.
You can halve the development time of most projects just by changing the way you manage your projects, without doing a lot of overtime or increasing the cost of development. Many of the answers are in this book. Again, this is a must read book for all development managers.
on September 5, 2000
While the first edition was a bit dry to read in the first four chapters, the second edition is more fun. The value of the content has not been reduced with rev 2.0, on the contrary.
The book is full of sound business theory which is well explained and put into real life context to help the non-MBA to transfer the message to their respective challenges.
Also invaluable are the hints towards common pitfalls. They show that the authors have really applied the theory and are aware of the human factor in change processes.
I read rev 1.0 and 2.0 and will probably buy 3.0 as well.
on January 4, 2002
I found that this book was packed full of common sense, which is rare in a development management book. Although it has a lot of examples of manufacturing of phsyical goods, I found it great as a software manager. There aren't many spare words in this book, either -- it's terse and well edited, so you get the raw facts and the necessary stories to back them up, but not a lot (or any, really) fluff.
I am putting it on my bookshelf for software engineers, right next to Writing Solid Code and Debugging the Development Process, two classics for software engineers and team leads, respectively.
on August 8, 2001
Absolutely the best book there is on the subject of new product development. Of particular import is the discussion on market and pricing dynamics, which may be new to technical-types. Choosing the right product to develop is critical to avoid "The Innovators Dilemma". The book however needs to add more to the discussion of the importance (and risk) of rapid return of (partial) information to the team during the development cycle, as well as human (team) dynamics. I would therefore recommend "The Team Handbook" as a necessary adjunct.
on January 5, 2000
Over 14 years of software experience confirmed alot of what this book offered. It's well written, chalked full of great facts and gives you a perspective on the possibilities for software development. Let's face-it, software development has almost zero manufacturing issues. So, if your looking for the real reason to implement processes and methodolgies into your development processes, this book will take you there.