The story is centered around the development of six software products. Mr. Tompkins, a manager downsized from a giant telecommunications company, divides the huge staff of developers at his disposal into eighteen teams — three for each of the products. The teams are of different sizes and use different methods, and they compete against each other... and against an impossible deadline.
With these teams, and with the help of numerous consultants who come to his aid, Mr. Tompkins tests the project management principles he has gathered over a lifetime.
Key chapters end with journal entries that form the core of the eye-opening approaches to management illustrated in this entertaining novel.
"The Deadline: A Novel about Project Management" is a non-fiction, business management and leadership book by author Tom DeMarco.
While this book touches the critical areas of project management and gives helpful tips about not only managing projects but also the people who are involved in the projects, I found it to be a few hundred pages too long. I had to read over a lot of parts more than twice to get back into the story and understand what was really going on.
Fictionalizing real life concept was a good idea, but after a while, the story didn't carry me along. A lot of tag lines were missing, so sometimes it was difficult to say who was talking. I found myself going back to the beginning of a long conversation, and assigning names to sentences to know who was saying what.
At the end, I realized that I could have read only the journal entries and understood the message the author was trying to convey. Some books are in the fiction/non-fiction genres for a reason, sometimes, it's best to stick to the one that suits your work better.