I work as an IT professional. I read a lot in the course of my job. Be it technical manuals, project management tools, or software manuals, I read books constantly. Most are forgettable, in fact, most necessary only in the context of solving a specific problem. Boiling the IT Frog is different. This commonsense managerial guide is a page-turner. At 183 pages, the book only takes about four hours to read. However, it manages to impart a great deal of wisdom in a short time. I said “Wow, that makes sense” at least once a chapter.
I was assigned the book as part of required reading for an Information Services conference I hosted last week. I read it once before the conference and once again after the conference. This book has earned a spot on my top ten work-related books list, right next to number 1 - Getting Things Done.
Here are the specifics of this self-published jewel.
Title: Boiling the IT Frog
Subtitled: How to Make Your Business Information Technology Wildly Successful Without Having to Learn Anything Technical
Buy it here.
Since this book does not fit the core theme of my blog very well, I will only spend a few words on its content.
Chapter 9: Can Nine Women Have a Baby in a Month? This chapter deals with project restraints, a subject of grave importance to those of us who try to manage complex IT projects. The non-linearity of most IT projects is legendary. Developing the ability to describe this concept to your customers is worth the price of the book alone. A common refrain I hear from my users is "put more people on it". Basically, the more resources I add, the less time the project will take, however adding more resources will decrease the quality of the project while increasing the cost. In other words, adding another woman to a pregnancy does not decrease the length of the pregnancy, nor deliver a better baby. This chapter dissects this common misconception while suggesting common sense approaches to dealing with the issue. I've read this chapter four of five time already. I do not normally do this with a book, I normally read a book and then move on. This book will set in the reference section of my office bookshelf. It already has lots of little sticky notes popping out it and is full of my own handwritten comments.
Managing complexity is hard. This book focuses on a common sense approach to managing complexity within context of IT. I found it a little hard to read, mainly because I wanted to jump out and start fixing my problems. For those of you who work in the IT field, I recommend this book. For those of you who use IT services, this book will give you a unique look into the minds behind your IT team.