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Death March [Anglais] [Broché]

Edward Yourdon

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15 juin 1999



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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.

Biographie de l'auteur

Edward Yourdon is an independent management consultant, author, and developer of the Yourdon Method of structured system analysis. He is publisher of American Programmer Magazine, and best-selling author of Time Bomb 2000 (Prentice Hall PTR).

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Amazon.com: 3.9 étoiles sur 5  76 commentaires
28 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An excellent survival guide 3 janvier 2004
Par Thomas Duff - Publié sur Amazon.com
If you've been in IT for any length of time, you have undoubtedly experienced what Yourdon calls a "death march" project. These are projects that are underfunded, understaffed, or have deadlines that are unrealistic by a factor of 2x or more. You're expected to sacrifice your life and health for an extended period of time to complete an impossible task. And what's worse, this type of project is becoming all too common in today's business. The book "Death March", while it's unable to stop these projects, can help you survive and manage them.
Yourdon examines the reasons behind why companies run projects in this fashion, as well as some of the surrounding issues that can complicate an already impossible situation. For instance, you may have a tight deadline, but the "Policy Police" expect all the required paperwork to be filled out for each deliverable. Or even more common, you have decisions that need to be made by the customer, but the customer delays making those choices by days or weeks, thereby pushing the schedule off track even further. By understanding these situations, you can devise ways to work around them or to manage expectations so that you don't get saddled with all the blame for missed deadlines in the end.
Both managers and developers will find useful material in this book. It is slanted a bit more towards the management side, but it's useful for both parties to know and understand the external pressures that are affecting the outcome of their project.
If you are working on a death march project (or work for a company where they are all too common), this book can give you some practical ways to deal with the issues that cause them. The projects will not go away, but you will at least have a chance to survive them without losing your sanity.
30 internautes sur 34 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Practical book on how to survive Mission Impossible projects 19 juillet 2001
Par Linus W Freeman - Publié sur Amazon.com
I've recently read a lot of books on the new Software Engineering Institute's (SEI) defacto object oriented software development process, Rational Unified Process (RUP), the Object Management Groups new standard visual modeling language, Unified Modeling Language (UML), and good books on software architecture, however, Edward Yourdon's Death March is the most practical book with real world advice on how to handle yourself on projects that are 50% to 100% more aggressive on schedule, budget or staffing resources than "normal" projects. This book's perspectives makes it informative for not just project managers and their development staff but should also provide insight to senior management in both the customer and development organizations. Any person who will have either a vested outcome (stakeholder) in a difficult project or is involved in the decision making (shareholder) of a death march project, should find this book an invaluable resource.
Yourdon classifies death march projects into four types: 1) ugly style projects where there are expected casualties and project failure. 2) Suicide projects where the project has no chance of success but is established and staffed by persons with company loyalty and the belief that the company's continued survival is dependant on the team's last chance effort to save it. 3) Kamikaze style projects that are going to result in the destruction of the project team and staff but can result in the greater good of the company, if successful. 4.) The Mission Impossible project style is the most attractive type of death march because even though the odds are steeply weighed against success, a superb project manager with top notch developers on the team can pull off the impossible and become heroes in the company. The Mission Impossible project type is the most desirable death march project because the project team is eager to take on the challenge and possibly learn and use new exciting technologies in the process. Despite the fact that the chance of success is slim, it's possible to win with the right people
Not only is Yourdon's Death March informative on all possible project participant perspectives on what to do when confronted with a death march project, it is written by one the leading industry pundits and is a great enjoyable read.
16 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Essential item for your death-march survival pack 19 novembre 2000
Par Lee - Publié sur Amazon.com
Death March projects seem to be the norm in the software industry. This book explain about how "death march projects" comes about, and how to survive it. While reading this book, I always found the examples given so realistic that I wished that I have read the book before I have graduate from University.
Within it, you can also see software project management tips littered throughout the book. They are often found in project management books, but somehow they never got registered in our brains. For example, it talks about "triage". Putting it into simpler teams, it means classifying the features to build into must-do, should-do and could-do. This concept of "scope" have been widely been discussed, but people failed to put them into practice.
This is an informative book to understand about "Death Marches". Understanding is the first step into winning the war of "Death March Projects".
This is definitely a book that is worth you spending your bucks on.
14 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Software development is a defective industry 24 janvier 2005
Par Texas Techie - Publié sur Amazon.com
Death March does a great job of explaining what is wrong with the software development industry--and the problems are pervasive and horrible. I have been involved in plenty of disasters myself (everybody has), and I got a crick in my neck from wagging my head up and down as I read. Perhaps the most therapeutic part of the book is finding out that you are not the only one, and the grass is probably brown across the fence at the next company, too.

I loved the Napoleon quote: "It follows that any commander in chief that undertakes to carry out a plan which he considers defective is at fault; he must put forth his reason, insist on the plan being changed, and finally tender his resignation rather than be the instrument of his army's downfall." Great advice unless there are no alternatives and the Barbarians are storming the gates.

Yourdon does review the options for a team lead faced with no-win situations, and the book is useful for helping you think clearly and cast a wide net for solutions when you feel despondent and desperate. The oft-reiterated advice to quit is something I have done in the most egregious situations, and there is nothing like the feeling of relief when you walk out of a pressure-cooker for the last time. But realistically, you have to pay your bills.

What I can advise is to read this book to understand the sickness, and then do the best you can to change the industry. The problems are endemic, but plenty of other professions have reached a point where they can realiably estimate projects and complete them successfully (e.g. construction and building trades, manufacturing, even military planning).

Of course, you may want to move up in management, but then you might become part of the problem. This book could help you gain some vision for leading a successful IT organization. Arm yourself with knowledge and start a crusade as an enlightened IT leader!
20 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Ed's survival strategy misses the mark for embedded systems. 25 janvier 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Yourdon's descriptions of the corporate culture and circumstance that lead to "Death March" projects demonstrate clear insight into current software project management practices. However, some of the survival strategies are specific to software systems that are not complex in their implementation. Throwing out methodologies and design processes can only be done on systems where the implementation itself is not complex, such as a client/server database application. The system is complex, but the code is not. My 15+ years of experience in embedded real-time systems with very complex and challenging software solutions leads me to believe that the only way to succeed in a "Death March" is to do as much rigorous top down design as possible and push out the "combat coding" as long as you can. In this arena the methodologies save you from the "Death March". The commenter from a company in Montana pointed this out and mid-stream Yourdon had to slip in an abrupt recommendation to not really discard design methodologies. This appeared about 2/3 of the way into the book. I personally have been very successful in avoiding Death March projects by applying the methodologies that Yourdon, DeMarco, Ward, and Mellor pioneered and that Yourdon now says to discard to get projects done faster. In my last large project we shipped a new system five months early on a 17 month schedule through rigorous use of Structured Analysis and Structured Design (that is the methodology that the bureaucrats force us into and it works).
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