Saturday, April 28, 2007

Book, The Art of Project Management

Recently I have been reading The Art of Project Management written by Scott Berkun, and therefore no time to blog about scripting.

Am I going to move to project management related work, no. The reason I picked up this book is because I was inspired by this blog, Programmers are brain surgeons. The blog quoted something from the book -“Programmers should be trusted. If your brain surgeon told you the operation you need takes five hours, would you pressure him to do it in three?".

Here I will summarise some the quotes that Scott Berkun used in his book:

  • "If I had six hours to cut down a tree, I'd spend four hours sharpening the axe", Abraham Lincoln, chapter 3, how to figure out what to do
  • "A finger points to the moon. Do not confuse the finger for the moon", Zen parable, chapter 4, writing the good vision
  • "Computer are useless. They can only give you answers.", Pablo Picasso, chapter 5, where ideas come from
  • "The two most important tools an architect has are the eraser in the drawing room and the sledgehammer on the construction site.", Frank Lyoyd Wright
  • "There is no such thing as failure. Only giving up too soon.", Jonas Salk
  • "There's a way to do it better, find it.", Thomas Edison
  • "If you want to succeed, double your failure rate.", Tom Watson, IBM
  • "I like working with good people because if I come up with an idea, they come up with a better idea, then I come up with an even better one, and so on: It's a leapfrog process, and the work becomes much better than it would be if I only did exactly what I want.", Terry Gilliam, film director
  • "There are still enormous amounts of trial and error... You go back and forth from observation to theory. You don't know what to look for withour a theory, and you can't check the theory without looking at the fact... I believe that the movement back and forth occurs thousands, even millions of times in the course of a single investigation.", Joshua Lederberg, winner of Nobel Prize, 1958, chapter 6, what to do with ideas once you have them
  • "All know the way; few actually walk it.", Bodhidharma, chapter 8, how to make good decisions
  • "The cause of almost all relationship difficulties is rooted in conflicting or ambiguous expectations around roles and goals", Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, chapter 9, communication and relationships
  • "You can blame people who knock things over in the dark, or you can begin to light candles. You're only at fault if you know about the problem and choose to do nothing", Paul Hawken, chapter 11, what to do when things go wrong
  • "What should worry us is not the number of people that oppose us, but how good their reasons are for doing so", Alain de Botton
  • "Trust is at the core of all meaningful relationships. Without trust there can be no giving, no bonding, no risk-taking", Terry Mizrahi, Director of Ecco (Education Centre for Community Organizations), chapter 12, why leadership is based on trust
  • "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with you own reason and your own common sense", Buddha
  • "It is only as a man puts off all foreign support, and stands alone, that I see him to be strong and to prevail... He who knows that power is inborn, that he is weak because he has looked [only] for good out of him and elsewhere, and so perceiving, throws himself unhesitatingly on his thought, instantly rights himself, stands in the erect positions, commands his limbs, works miracles; just as a man who stands on his feet is stronger than a man who stands on his head", Ralph Waldo Emerson, from "Self Reliance"
  • "The world responds to action, and not much else", Scott Adams, chapter 13, how to make things happen
  • "Chances favors the prepared", Louis Pasteur, chapter 14, middle-game strategy
  • "No battle was ever won according to plan, but no battle was ever won without one", Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • "How you play a note is just as important as what the note is", Henry Kaiser, chapter 15, end-game strategy
  • "Every management act is a political act. By this I mean that every management act in some way redistributes or reinforces power", Richard Farson, Management of the Absurd: Paradoxes in Leadership (Simon and Schuster, 1996), chapter 16, power and politics
  • "If you don't know what you are doing, what will deliver which value to whom, and how it will be implemented, the project self-organizers around some other goal or goals. Typically, political wrangling of some kind erupts. This guarantees pointlessness", James Bullock, from Roundtable on Project Management

Also, this must read reference: Saying No: A Short Course for Managers by Richard Brenner



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