Wednesday, June 13, 2007

"Managing the Design Factory" by Donald G. Reinertsen

The dude who wrote this book came to my office for two one-day seminars to turn all of us R&D types into more efficient designers, and the person who hired him bought some copies of the book, which he left around for us to read. Being a bit of a keener and wanting to get ahead, I took one home.

Wow. The presentation we took was eight hours of PowerPoint and anecdotes, and the book seemed like it was written pretty much from those same slides. The anecdotes weren't nearly as great when written down. It seemed like there were less of them, or maybe there was just more content in between them. I finished the book on a vacation day in one giant 90-page slog because I just wanted it over with, and wow, every section seemed like it was a fleshed-out slide heading, and then a list of bullet points underneath, kind of like this:

Reducing Boring Reading
There are four reasons to reduce boring reading, as described in the next paragraphs.
First of all, you should not read boring books, because they will make you fall asleep, which leads to napping, which in turn leads to poor night time sleeping.
Second, boring books make you start to hate reading, and knowledge comes from reading.

Well, I can't think of a third, but you get the idea. Each chapter had an extensive introduction, that was like a powerpoint overview slide. Each chapter had a summary at the end, which added nothing except a recap. I kept wishing he'd used more commas. The book didn't seem that well copy-edited. And when I notice that sort of thing, you can bet I'm bored.

I would say, if you can afford the course, do that. It will leave you way more inspired to reduce your queue sizes and plan better for your fuzzy front end.

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