Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  1,543 ratings  ·  32 reviews
In the updated edition of this critically acclaimed and bestselling book, Microsoft project veteran Scott Berkun offers a collection of essays on field-tested philosophies and strategies for defining, leading, and managing projects. Each essay distills complex concepts and challenges into practical nuggets of useful advice, and the new edition now adds more value for leade...more
ebook, 410 pages
Published March 25th 2008 by O'Reilly Media (first published March 25th 2001)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Pete Aven
Apr 13, 2008 Pete Aven rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: developers, software teams, project managers
Great, Quick Read. A lot of useful information here. I've read many books on managing software projects, and they often tend to tell you what goes wrong or can go wrong, which I know already, as I've lived it. This book actually provides many helpful solutions. The book makes an effort to recognize that processes should support the workers, not the other way around, so the topics are not obsessed with schedules and charts and the rigidity you find in most pm books. The author takes into the huma...more
This book taught me a new respect for project management. In a lot of ways my job isn't too different from software development. But this book really applies to any job where you (1) deliver something to a client or (2) work as part of a team. Project management is hard, that's why some people make careers out of it. At work we don't really have project managers, in fact they try to keep responsibility as diffuse as possible. Which is fine if you want to avoid drama and internal strife but reall...more
An excellent book that talks about Project Management from beginning to end. Berkun summarizes knowledge gained from years of experience as a Project Manager at Microsoft, from developing a plan all the way to politics. Each chapter includes tons of real world examples. It's structured so someone can use it as a textbook, right down to the chapter summaries and exercises.

I found the language to be very clear and Berkun offered easy to follow (usually) suggestions for how to do project management...more
This book is really good. A recruiter from Microsoft recommended it to me, saying if I would like to know something about project management, I don't want to miss this book. I bought it and yes it's true! The author gives plenty of details on how to get people involved and how to deal with difficulties in project management. Pretty useful. However, as a student then I could not remember or experience all he said in the book. I took a class in software management and the professor used this book...more
Jun 01, 2008 Wendy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: budding project managers and anyone who works in software development
Shelves: manager-fu
Lots of food for thought for budding (or experienced project managers). The thing I like the most about this book is that Scott Berkun has clearly been there working on the kinds of projects that I've worked on. I can see enough similarities between the situations he's described and one's I've been in that I really feel like I can trust what he has to say.

I think this is a book that I'll want to return to again as my career evolves and I find myself handling different kinds of projects.
Kevin O'Brien
This is an excellent book for anyone who wants to understand project management on a practical level. The author, Scott Berkun, was a project manager at Microsoft, working on Internet Explorer, and draws on this experience in presenting his ideas on managing projects. One thing I like is that he shows his own growth and how he learned lessons in the course of his work, instead of just handing down pronouncements from on high. And the book is definitely full of experience and practical advice. Wh...more
Scott Berkun proposes an alternative, more casual and empirical approach to Project Management, and many elements of this book highlight that, from the hand-drawn diagrams to the chapter titles and of course the writing style. The result is a pleasant read that feels lightweight yet deep. There's a lot of good advise in there, drawn from both Berkun's personal experience with Microsoft and from third-party sources. Not every chapter is equally good however and some sections feel rushed or shallo...more
Blake Kanewischer
I've been a project manager for nearly 10 years, and I can't recommend this book highly enough. While the author's background is software development-centric, it's still broadly applicable to any sort of intraorganizational project. I picked up a couple of nuggets, and one in particular resonates with me: "Everything is an ordered list."

Well worth the read--even for experienced PMs. It's essentially your guide to hacking any project.
Elizabeth Schlatter
So it's a great book, but it's a killer to read because, uh, it's about project management. I mean, I'm in awe of how well the author wrote about this subject, weaving human dynamics, philosophy, psychology, and more, including a sense of humor, into analysis of project management practices. But it's a pretty dry and dense topic. And the book is skewed towards software development. There's lots of fantastic advice and wisdom, but I'm not sure how much will "stick" for me and my work situation. O...more
Although the book is basically a how-to book for Microsoft style project managers (a hybrid team lead/software designer role), it's got some good advice for just about anyone in an engineering field. From "How to start a project" and "How to keep your team on schedule" to "How to run meetings that don't suck" and "How to write emails that won't waste everyone's time."

Berkun includes enough anecdotes to keep the material readable, though I can't imagine reading the whole thing in a couple of sitt...more
Ahmad Tarek
One of the best books for Project Management. Full of experience, tips and guidelines.
Robert Chapman
Finally picked this one back up and finished it. This book is about so much more than just project management. It's a great read for anyone in the software industry in a leadership role. The book refers a lot of to how Microsoft does things, which is great as my company is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.

There is nothing I don't like about this book, and I refer it to people all the time.
Въпреки, че малък процент от книгата ми беше полезна е доста добре написана. Хареса ми систематичният и последватален стил. Ако сте в голяма компания е точно за вас. Частите за боравене с хора, конфликти и простите неща много ми харесаха. За съжаление голяма част от книгата е политика, комуникация в по-големи организации. Но пък лесно се усещах кои моменти да пропусна :-)
Tyson Titensor
This book was a bit more software-specific than I was expecting, but many of the concepts are applicable to non-software projects. The book doesn't include a lot of specific methodology (i.e. look elsewhere if you want to learn about Gantt Charts and project management software), but the book has a lot of practical and useful insights.
Very good I"m currently re-reading again (in the hopes of getting more of the advice/value/insight to stick). Takes you on a great journey of PM (especially if you are introspective). Not really a how-too book nor a reference (not even a cheat-sheet for PMP), but a good view into why/how/& what needs to happen on a project.
Each chapter has a summary--great to review and reinforce the material--and thought provoking questions and scenarios. Displays both an academic and experiential knowledge of software project management. Practical advice on communicating with people and improving office politics.
A very very practical guide to project management - written by a program manager who was at Microsoft for 10 years. Loved it! After 4 years in the trenches, this book helped bring all the past experiences together.
A must read for any new project manager, or someone who works with a project manager. Teaches you how to think in a logical and cohesive manner to stay in control and organized.
Ray Kyo
It's worth to read. Scott uses his own experience and conclude it into a methodology which could be a good reference for people who want to learn more about project management.
Todd Nemet
Aug 03, 2009 Todd Nemet marked it as on-hold  ·  review of another edition
This is a fine book and an excellent overview of project management, but for various reasons unrelated to the book I didn't make it through.
John Hieb
A great perspective on project management. While more relevant to software projects, there is still a lot of value and broad perspective.
Excellent project management book, although primarily focused on software projects everyone will get something from this book.

Good book for project managers at any level. In case of a seasoned PM the last chapters is a welcome read.
It was the best project management book that ever read. It contains a lot of useful and practical lessons.
Praval Singh
Gets a little too generic as it progresses. Not a bad read for project managers.
Ahmed Nasser
Amazing book for PMs
Contains a lot of recommendations and quotes from other books

Review will follow in a few days. Need time to collect my thoughts :)
Kind of fluffy for quite a few interviews, but overall a good read.
Apr 23, 2009 Brian is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book so far, plenty of practical examples.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Like this book? Join the O'Reilly Media Fan Page 1 8 Oct 28, 2009 09:26AM  
  • Results Without Authority: Controlling a Project When the Team Doesn't Report to You - A Project Manager's Guide
  • Learning from the Future: Competitive Foresight Scenarios
  • Turning Numbers into Knowledge: Mastering the Art of Problem Solving
  • Indispensable: How to Become the Company That Your Customers Can't Live Without
  • Bankable Business Plans
  • The New Business Road Test: What Entrepeneurs and Executives Should Do Before Writing a Business Plan
  • Getting Started in Consulting
  • Growing Great Employees: Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers
  • 3-D Negotiation: Powerful Tools to Change the Game in Your Most Important Deals
  • Marketing Metrics: 50+ Metrics Every Executive Should Master
  • Purpose: The Starting Point of Great Companies
  • Fail-Safe Investing
  • Self-Directed Behavior: Self-Modification for Personal Adjustment
  • How to Read a Financial Report: Wringing Vital Signs Out of the Numbers
  • Bit Literacy: Productivity in the Age of Information and E-mail Overload
  • The New Leader's 100-Day Action Plan: How to Take Charge, Build Your Team, and Get Immediate Results
  • The Simplicity Survival Handbook: 32 Ways To Do Less And Accomplish More
  • Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less

Goodreads is hiring!

If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you.
Learn more »
Scott Berkun is the author of four popular books, Making Things Happen, The Myths of Innovation, Confessions of a Public Speaker and Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds. His work as a writer and speaker have appeared in the The Washington Post, the New York Times, Wired, the Economist, Fast Company, Forbes, CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, National Public Radio and other media. His many popular essays and ente...more
More about Scott Berkun...
Confessions of a Public Speaker The Myths of Innovation The Year Without Pants: and the Future of Work The Art of Project Management Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds

Share This Book