Surprise! Now You’re A Software Project Manager

Filed under Books, Career | Posted by PMStudent

I started reading Bas De Baar’s book today, “Suprise! Now You’re a Software Project Manager!” Bas is a fellow contributor over at PMLC, and after hearing his interviews on Controlling Chaos and The PM Podcast, I had to pick this one up.

In the introduction, Bas touches on many key points that I could relate to, and some that I am not sure about yet. Bas makes several references early on regarding how important it is to focus on the stakeholders in any project. He discusses the relationship and progression of interests, expectations, and requirements (which he terms “The Flow of Stakes”. I found this part very interesting as my last post was about soliciting good requirements, and a project I am involved with right now is having some issues creating great requirements.

He also touches on the delineation between project management and software development. This piqued my interest as I currently work on many small software development projects in which I am one of or the sole developer, in addition to managing stakeholder requirements and simplified project management. As I mentioned in my interview with Cornelius on The PM Podcast, once I started applying formal project management methods to my projects, my productivity increased dramatically. I can see the parallel with what Bas is asserting, because essentially I just split my software developer role into 2 roles. Now I am a project manager AND a software developer, even though I’m in the same job as before. By forcing myself to separate the two roles, I have become more proficient at both. I understand my expectations for each role better, and can focus on one mode of thought at a time instead of trying to both functions at once. (If anyone is wondering, I am not schizophrenic, I have just admitted the duality of my job and confronted it!)

Bas provides simple, elegant figures throughout the first chapter to illustrate his discussions. These are very helpful in understanding him fully. If the introduction is any indication, this should be a good read. I’ll keep you posted!