Making Things Happen : Mastering Project Management, Paperback Book

Making Things Happen : Mastering Project Management Paperback

4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


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 leaders and managers of projects everywhere.

Based on his nine years of experience as a program manager for Internet Explorer, and lead program manager for Windows and MSN, Berkun explains to technical and non-technical readers alike what it takes to get through a large software or web development project.

Making Things Happen doesn't cite specific methods, but focuses on philosophy and strategy.

Unlike other project management books, Berkun offers personal essays in a comfortable style and easy tone that emulate the relationship of a wise project manager who gives good, entertaining and passionate advice to those who ask. Topics in this new edition include: * How to make things happen * Making good decisions * Specifications and requirements * Ideas and what to do with them * How not to annoy people * Leadership and trust * The truth about making dates * What to do when things go wrong Complete with a new forward from the author and a discussion guide for forming reading groups/teams, Making Things Happen offers in-depth exercises to help you apply lessons from the book to your job.

It is inspiring, funny, honest, and compelling, and definitely the one book that you and your team need to have within arm's reach throughout the life of your project.

Coming from the rare perspective of someone who fought difficult battles on Microsoft's biggest projects and taught project design and management for MSTE, Microsoft's internal best practices group, this is valuable advice indeed.

It will serve you well with your current work, and on future projects to come.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 410 pages, 1, black & white illustrations
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Inc, USA
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Project management
  • ISBN: 9780596517717

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Scott Berkun's updated a revised edition of his already superb book about project management.I love it for it's straight to the point approach to project management and low on high brow theories that sometimes plagues these kind of books.

Review by

I didn't realize this was about managing software development when I checked it out (although I probably should have, given what was next to it on the shelf). Even though it's not completely compatible with what I do, I was engaged enough by the author's down-to-earth tone and humorous take on his own management experiences that I ended up reading the whole thing (I will admit to skipping the sections that were heavily focused on the software development process). The book was very well organized. It's divided into three primary sections: making plans, useful skills, and management techniques. I found the chapters in the skills section about decision making, workplace communication, and how not to annoy people to be especially helpful. The combination of easy-to-skim headings, useful lists and figures, and engaging teaching stories made this a fun read.The only real complaint I have is that some of the pages on my copy are already starting to fall out. Granted, it's a library copy, but it doesn't seem heavily used, so if you're considering buying a personal copy you might want to see if you can find an electronic version.