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Synopsis: 74831-9 The complete software developer's guide to surviving projects that are "doomed to fail." In the course of a career, practically every software developer and manager will encounter projects with outrageous staffing, scheduling, budgeting, or feature constraints: projects that seem destined to fail. In the wake of re-engineering, such "Death March" projects have become a way of life in many organizations. *Surviving projects that are "doomed to fail" ! *Negotiating the best deal up-front. *Managing people and setting priorities. *Choosing tools and technologies. *When it's time to walk away. Now, best-selling author Edward Yourdon brings his unique technology and management insights to the worst IS projects, showing how to maximize your chances of success-and, if nothing else, how to make sure your career survives them. Yourdon walks step-by-step through the entire project life cycle, showing both managers and developers how to deal with the politics of "Death March" projects-and how to make the most of the available resources, including people, tools, processes, and technology.Learn how to negotiate for the flexibility you need, how to set priorities that make sense-and when to simply walk away. Discover how to recognize the tell-tale signs of a "Death March" project-or an organization that breeds them. If you've ever been asked to do the impossible, Death March is the book you've been waiting for.

Review: Death march projects are becoming increasingly common in the software industry. The symptoms are obvious: The project schedule, budget, and staff are about half of what is necessary for completion. The planned feature set is unrealistic. People are working 14 hours a day, six or seven days a week, and stress is taking its toll. The project has a high risk of failure, yet management is either blind to the situation or has no alternative. Why do these irrational projects happen, and what, other than pure idiocy, leads people to get involved in them?

Edward Yourdon has produced a wise and highly readable book on the entire death march phenomenon and the best way to steer through one. He takes a close look at the types of projects that often become death marches and the corporate politics and culture that typically produce them; Yourdon helps you examine your own motivations and those of corporate managers who enable death marches to take shape.

Much of Death March is about the human element of highly stressful projects. The author's plain-spoken observations on the dysfunctional organization--the Machiavellian politics, naive optimism, lust for power, fear, and sheer managerial stupidity that guide so many death marches--make for a refreshing change from other project management books. You'll also find much practical advice to help you survive, everything from negotiating with upper management to breathing life into faltering projects. He'll even help you determine if you should look for another job.

If you've ever worked in a death march situation or been a client of a company addicted to death march management, this book will help you understand what happened. More importantly, it will help you prepare for future encounters with death marches. Death March is highly recommended for anyone involved in software development.

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Edward Yourdon
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