Antipatterns: Managing Software Organizations and People


Book Title: Antipatterns: Managing Software Organizations and People
Author: Colin Neil, Phillip Laplante, and Joanna DeFranco
Publisher: CRC Press
List Price:  $79.95 USD
Format:   Hard cover; 298 pages
Publication Date:  2011
ISBN:         978-1439861868
Reviewer:   Austin Gardner
Review Date:  June 2012


Introduction to the Book

It is common for books on project management to present an idealistic, best-case scenario approach to managing projects and project teams. Unfortunately, this is often far from the reality of what project managers face in their workplaces, leaving them left wondering how to bridge the gap between an ideal situation and reality in order to successfully implement the best practices they have read about.

This book successfully deviates from this approach, instead presenting readers with recurring problems commonly faced by project teams, and providing them with the tools needed to combat these “antipatterns”. The authors weave advice and real world anecdotes together with humor and relevant pop-cultural references, making this an enjoyable read, useful both as a primer on how to lead project teams as well as a desk reference for when your team is struggling to achieve its full potential.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The primary focus of this book is to present readers with a catalog of antipatterns, which have been divided into two categories based on the root of the recurring problem. The authors introduce this concept in the introductory chapter of the book, which also provides a reference table that can be used to help readers identify which antipatterns may be at play in their workplace.

The next three chapters paint the backdrop for the antipatterns, providing an overview of human interaction and management theories. Depending on the background of the reader, these chapters can be equally effective whether used as an introduction to these theories or a helpful refresher for the experienced project manager.


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About the Reviewer

Austin Gardner

Austin Gardner is a full time graduate student with a background in software development. He has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Mathematics and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in the Project Management Program in the A. James Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA. Austin can be contacted at [email protected].

Editor’s note:  This book review is the result of cooperation between publishers, PM World and the Project Management Center For Excellence at the University of Maryland (www.pm.umd.edu) in the United States.  Publishers provide books to PM World, books are delivered to the university where they are given to graduate students or alumni for review.  Each reviewer provides a book review in a standard format; the reviews are then published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  Since reviewers are generally mid-career professionals, they represent the intended audience for most PM books.  If you are an author or publisher of a book related to program or project management, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected]