Book review: It Sounded Good When We Started – A Project Manager’s Guide to Working with People on Projects

There are a lot of books on software project management best practices. But usually, they are not guides to work with people. And it is people who make projects, not money or computers.

Content and opinions

Strangely, the book is not about software projects, its content mainly stems from a hardware project. I find this great, as there are no reasons why people issues are different between different types of project.

I won’t dwell in the details of all chapters of the book, as it is quite long (25 chapters), with no subpart. The basic content of a chapter is an introduction based on stories that happened mainly during a project the authors call Delphi. Based on these stories, the authors talk about what was badly done, then advice on what should have been done, ending in a conclusion for signs to detect before everything goes bad and solutions.

Of course, during the 25 chapters, there are some common good practices, mainly around communication that help solving several issues. But there are enough stories inside that you don’t get bored when reading the same piece of advice twice.


For once, a book on software management (I found it on the IEEE website, so I consider it as such) that can be applied on any project. It’s refreshing, still accurate, although the book is almost a decade old.

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