Evan's book reviews

Business processes edition

I read a lot - not all of it related to agile or business management, but enough. Below are some of the important books that have shaped my thinking (and writing). Not all of them a great (as you can see from my ranking), but they all contain some interesting ideas. This group of reviews will focus on those books that relate to supporting business practices.

coverITIL and the Software Lifecycle: Practical Strategy and Design Principles (IT Management Topics) by Brian Johnson, and John Higgins


A Novel take on ITIL; applying it to the SDLC. Well written, although mostly theoretical, I would suggest this book is mostly relevant to organizations with heavy ITIL service management divisions.

coverThe Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb


This is, by far, the best book on risk and risk management out there. Informative, enlightening and entertaining; this book takes a profound look at the impact of the unexpected, and unexpectable (if such a word exists), on the world we live in. On the downside, Taleb often over-extends his metaphors and comes across as overly antagonistic on traditional thinking and thinkers.

coverWaltzing With Bears: Managing Risk on Software Projects by Tom DeMarco


One of the best books on risk management I’ve ever read. Too many organisations to not understand how to identify, treat and mitigate risks. And those that do, often overcompensate. Waltzing with Bears takes readers on a journey of risk and risk management in a very entertaining and enlightening way. My only criticism of the book; in many places Tom doesn’t support his statements with sufficient evidence. Any much of the evidence that is put forward in anecdotal, qualitative or statistically insignificant. That being said, I would recommend this book to any new software or project manager.

coverThe Management and Control of Quality by James R. Evans and by William M. Lindsay


Practical in its approach yet comprehensive in its breadth. The Management & Control of Quality is a great examination of quality management. I loved the case studies and the accessible style of writing.

Bonus non-Agile Review: cover50 Top IT Project Management Challenges by Premanand Doraiswamy


A useful resource for beginner project managers. It clearly outlines many common issues and puts forward practical resolutions. However, for any experience project manager, this book is probably too basic. I’d give it a miss if you’ve got more than 2-3 years experience as a PM, but if you’re starting out this is a good resource.