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Death March

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  632 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Describes the reasons why companies spawn Death Marches and provides you with guidance to identify and survive death march projects. This work covers the project lifecycle, addressing every key issue participants face: politics, people, process, project management, and tools.
Paperback, Second Edition, 230 pages
Published November 6th 2003 by Prentice Hall (first published April 2nd 1997)
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Alex Railean
This review is probably going to be a lot like the one for the previous book - "Practical guide to defect prevention", so please have a look at that one.

Having been exposed to other literature in the past, this book did not teach me a lot of new things.

p.s. I found multiple spelling errors, even though this is the second edition.
Feb 28, 2012 rated it liked it
I read this one specifically because of a project I was on at the time. And I left it out on my desk for a month or so afterwards so that my manager had to see it every time he stopped by to ask dumb questions.

It spoke to me at the time. It confirmed much of what I knew was wrong with the project. But, it didn't have the magic bullet I was looking for. That probably wasn't fair to expect, but golly it would have been nice.
Alex Ott
Oct 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sw-development
re-reading this classics - very actual for my current projects...

main thing to do - abstract from technical details, and concentrate on the organizational stuff - it wasn't changed in 20 years since initial release of the book
I read this the year I lived a death march project. Essentially, that's a project where you have too little resources in terms of time or personnel. Ironically, it was the most fun project of my career. We went down, but we went down together and in good spirits.
Kevin Connery
Aug 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I was expecting a lot more; this is a well-reputed classic, but it didn't really cover much that isn't elsewhere in the literature.
Oct 16, 2009 added it
Can't rate it as I read this book very long time ago. But I remember it been mildly entertainig and mostly unpractical. There is too much cultural difference.
Aug 02, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Tedious and repetitive, no useful info.
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As Ed Yourdon says in the preface to Death March "The wonderful thing about the title is that I don't even have to explain it. Every time I mention the book to friends and colleagues, they just laugh and say, 'Oh, yeah, you must be talking about my project.'

Though some may not need a definition,the book begins by defining a "death march" as any project where the schedule has been arbitrarily compressed by half, the budget has been reduced by 50% or more, the requirements of the project are more
Mar 15, 2017 rated it liked it
A very much needed dose of realism in software development.

For those who want more out of their career than to be a victim of forces beyond themselves in a corporate environment, then this book offers valuable advice or handling these situations.

I agree very much with the statement in the preface that if there is one piece of advice you should takeaway then it should be this: Cut features wherever reasonably possible. Reducing scope in a death march is essential to sanity.

An unfortunate number
Ivan Talakhovskyy
Боюсь, що я чогось не зрозумів, але в книзі ключові проблеми описані лише із сторони менеджера проекту, який в переважній більшості не приймає участі в написанні коду, а займається, хоч і не менш важливими, але іншими задачами. Тобто вирішення ось саме цих проблем, які і визначають описану безнадійність, зводиться до відстоювання менеджером необхідних умов розвитку проекту: терміни, бюджет, члени команди, нагорода. А ось що робити окремо взятому програмісту, залученому в цей проект - це вже суто ...more
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Интересная книга.

Понравился взгляд Йордона на различные нотации. Он говорит, что они прекрасно подходят для объяснения и понимания, но абсолютно не подходят в динамичных условиях, когда всё меняется часто и быстро. И управлять с помощью всех этих нотаций становится невозможным. Я согласен с этой точкой зрения. Та же нотация UML отлично подходит для объяснения паттернов проектирования или архитектуры тех или иных систем. Но в процессе разработки всё довольно часто и радикально меняется. И каждое
Mark Ruzomberka
Dec 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
I strongly disliked this book. I knew going in, as the title suggested, it would be a depressing topic, but geez, the reader is in for a slew of negative stories and thoughts on how to solve difficult projects. I realize the point is to help the reader cope with how to handle difficult projects where there is no way to really "win". But, after reading inspirational books like "The Mythical Man Month" and "Peopleware" in the past this book seems like one I wish I would have just given up on and s ...more
Rafael Bandeira
Nov 19, 2009 rated it liked it
A good book on software management culture and how it looks on the big picture when corp, business and sponsors are involved. A good overview of many concepts of what would soon become "Agile".
Not really focused on developers, it stands on the POV of the project manager most of the time, having little practical knowledge to be gathered by developers.
Nov 06, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read the Polish edition:

Good book, but I've read the 1999 edition, and felt some of the issues were a bit outdated. Lots of good suggestions and analysis that is still valid.
Anton Kan
Aug 08, 2014 rated it liked it
I recommend it to all project manager just to read and recognize yourself :) The book doesn't give too revolutionary advice of how to lead such projects to a success (and they hardly exist) but at least helps to understand that you're not alone and gives some ways to identify such projects on an early stage.
Jeff Keehr
Nov 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Rod Biggar at CSI reminded me of this book. So I borrowed it from the Thomson Library. I have decided that I don't care for Yourdon's view of things: he comes off as cynical and nasty. The book is so so. I do not think that CBS is on a true death march, but we are certainly on some variation of one.
Choesang Tenzin
Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Every programmer should have read this once before getting stuck in a death march project. It is one of those skills that you better learn from a book or a mentor & not from experience. It might save you & may be even the project.
James Snook
Apr 06, 2016 rated it liked it
How to recognize when your project has gone wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong. And how to (maybe) turn it around.
This is targeted towards big-company developers and managers; you'll never reach this point at a startup - you'll be bankrupt first.
Troy Swinehart
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tpm-books
Sadly it reads like Dilbert....but the guy is serious. One of the most intelligent books for managing real world situations that we all face. Get it! Buy it! Steal it! Do whatever you need to do to get a copy! (might even try Amazon) This is required reading for all of my staff!
Bernie May
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
From the thought-leader of technical productivity, still applicable today. Which makes it a classic.
Jan 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: computers
Ever been on a big computer project? It may not be Death March but it sometimes feels like the Lost Battalion.
Hrishikesh Choudhari
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Your education as an software professional is incomplete if you skip this book.
May 13, 2013 rated it liked it
An unfortunate survival guide to some projects, over and over again.
Rodion Krivoshein
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: it-management
Overtimes are bad. You have to recover and rejuvenate on a vacation for at least a week after a two-week (tops) deathmarching. Otherwise you're just wasting your project's LoE.
Jan 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
A handy survival guide for corporate programmers. :)
Frank Thun
Apr 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
Some projects are just like this, in big corporations
Jul 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Если в двух словах, то книга - руководство как избежать безнадежных проектов, а если уж вллипли, то как с максимальным профитом для всех его реализовать.
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good read on death march projects
Роман Шатерник
Классика жанра проектного управления. Про разруливание "безнадежных проектов".
Francis Liu
Aug 04, 2008 rated it it was ok
This could be useful if you were in the middle of a death march. But then, you wouldn't have any time to read it.
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