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Book Review: A Methodology for Developing and Deploying Internet & Intranet Solutions

By Jan Rooijackers


The goal of A Methodology for Developing and Deploying Internet & Intranet Solutions is to be a ``guide'' for project managers. Almost all situations a project manager can face--from project members to backup media to making time lines--are described herein. The book consists of 11 chapters, plus appendices. Everything is written as a story from the authors, who combined have more than 20 years of computer experience. Every chapter contains small tips for the project manager.

In Chapter 1, the reader is introduced to employees of a company that is used as a study case throughout the book.

In the next chapter a proposal is put forth, and all facets of handling it from kick-off meeting to support organization to signing the contract are described. In this book, the project manager makes use of the WBS (work breakdown structure) model. This model breaks the project into phases and sub-phases so that each can reach its own milestone.

Chapter 3 puts the reader into the place of a successful project manager, who has convinced the ``customer'' to sign the contract. The customer could be either internal (a department) or external--imagine yourself as the consultant. This chapter begins with the internal kick-off meeting. Roles and activities are assigned and given deadlines, so everyone knows what to do when.

Discussion of the software development cycle begins in Chapter 4 with writing an approach document. This chapter explains to the project manager what the document must and must not contain--from requirements to education. Also, some development methodologies are discussed.

Next, we get to the fun part (only 20 pages)--development. This is familiar stuff which I face each working day with the Internet/Intranet. The authors discuss creating HTML pages, internal, unit and system testing and, last but not least, a checklist to see if everything is working.

The remaining six chapters (6 to 11) are short, averaging eight pages each. Implementation is handled in Chapter 6; networking and backup are discussed in Chapter 7. Chapter 8 covers the various applications and system testing at a high level, so that you get a complete picture of how everything fits into the project. The last three chapters are about putting the project on the user desk. Also, two appendices are included, the first of which is better: it is technical and briefly explains the operating system layers and the Internet. While this information is not presented in great detail, what is here is quite interesting. The other appendix deals with project management.

The book did not live up to my expectations. Too much of it is written in the form of a diary or personal anecdotes for my tastes; not enough is related to actual technical details of the Internet/Intranet. A Methodology for Developing and Deploying Internet & Intranet Solutions will bring no added value for persons who have already been working for some years in the IT area. However, I do think it is a good book for people who are new to the IT business, and who want to know more about project management in order to become a project leader.

Copyright © 1998, Jan Rooijackers
Published in Issue 30 of Linux Gazette, July 1998