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Does anyone know of a good site, or book that gives a good overview of project management fundamentals in a very condensed form. I am looking for man project-management or "Project Management in a Nutshell".

I would like to learn the basic vocabulary and really the most fundamental concepts involved, if that exists for this topic. What I would like is something pretty technical, for example: "There a projects, projects have tasks with dependencies, each task has a task manager, each task a soft amd hard due date..." or something like that (I am just making that up, could be totally off, but you get the idea hopefully).

Ultimately, I need to work on a project plan for moving a datacenter, have found useful information on that topic in Limoncelli's book and websites, but I figured there might be something to be gained in general by exploring project management a little in addition to the specific task at hand.

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The problem with this question is that what constitutes project management isn't clearly defined or agreed upon, nor is there any sort of agreement as to how such things should be done. "Project Management" is no more precise a term than the layman's use of the word "Programming" (which usually includes HTML and anything done at a command line). Finding a condensed synopsis of either just isn't possible, because they're not well-defined topics. –  womble Jan 14 '10 at 21:11
    
Just as an example, from your question: whilst many people would agree with your example, there isn't universal agreement that tasks should have explicit dependencies or due dates. It's more about philosophies and religious differences than anything. –  womble Jan 14 '10 at 21:14
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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I learned a lot from the PMI Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, and would recommend to have a look at it. The book will teach you the vocabulary used by most project management professionals: project charter, stakeholders, work breakdown structure (WBS), etc.

PMI is one school of thoughts. Scrum, Agile mentioned above are others.

Also, we have opened a stackexchange site (which works in the same way as serverfault, with votes etc) focused on project management at askaboutprojects.com. Don't hesitate to post your project management questions there.

The following page gives some very basic key elements needed for most projects:

What are the absolute minimum requirements of any project?

Hope it helps.

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man project-management:

  • find and use a mentor
  • read books and blogs and articles in journals (online and offline)
  • do project management tasks, even if you are only managing yourself as a project
  • track results and repeat things that work well for you
  • don't be afraid to mix & match methodologies or tools
  • keep an open mind
  • communicate upwards to managers and downward to team members and across to adjacent project managers
  • rinse
  • repeat

My personal favorites for project management are the agile styles:

  • scrum
  • kanban

These 2 books are very concise quick reads on scrum:

Sites:

Videos:

Also google around for articles and videos, there is a tech talk at google by Schwaber which is pretty good.

Further, there are many web-based software tools for tracking features and/or tasks.

That's my $.02, and I believe this is one of those questions where you take what you like, and leave the rest.

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