It Ain’t Rocket Science: A Common-Sense Guide to Making IT Projects Work

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We’ve all been there. You’re stymied by some sort of technical issue, and, despite management getting everyone and their mother involved, there seems to be no solution from IT or anyone else, for that matter. The issue has been talked to death in meetings, hours and hours have been spent trying to get to the core of what caused the problem, and as exhaustion and frustration set in, you’re right back where you started. Does it have to be this way?

No. Categorically no. At least not according to Susan C. Cooper, and after reading It Ain’t Rocket Science, I have every reason to agree with her.

Subtitled “A Common-Sense Guide to Making IT Projects Work,” Cooper’s handbook takes an interesting tack — presenting the idea that most problems involving IT and personnel are less about misunderstanding computers or technology and more about bad communication between people, whether those people are IT, staff, or managerial. Cooper takes us through numerous real-world examples of these situations, quickly identifying the key elements behind each scenario’s problem and laying it clear for all to see, in the hopes that we’ll be able to avoid the many obstacles and trespasses she has encountered during her career.

The phrase “ruthless efficiency” comes to mind, and I mean no disrespect when I say that. This book is 64 pages of concise, easily parsed, reliable advice and content. It’s idiot-proof, even considering the impressive idiots many of us encounter on a daily basis. Cooper attacks the anti-efficiency bugbears of massive meetings and micromanagement, as well as the false idea that all outsourcing saves money and helps companies in the long run. She even sets a hard baseline number for what IT people should be paid. Whether it’s proper tracking of information and responsibility, demystifying IT by eliminating unnecessary jargon, or even how to handle the sociopaths that you’ll encounter in office settings (take it from me, it’s a more frequent occurrence than you’d suspect), Cooper pulls no punches, offering hard truths that will make your company leaner and stronger.

Unlike most books that define themselves as “common sense guides,” this is not full of obvious, no-duh concepts. Cooper provides solid reasoning for every point she makes (especially the ones that seem counterintuitive at first glance), and never wastes her time stating things we already know. She directs and reinforces; she doesn’t condescend, overstate, or take you by the hand. It’s pragmatic and honest through and through, something we desperately need more of in the corporate structure on all levels.

And despite strong worlds, hard truths, and sobering revelations of the many issues plaguing companies today, Cooper still comes off as amiable and sincere in her efforts to help. Her professionalism is matched only by the laser-sharp humor that peppers the book. It may not be rocket science, but Cooper still makes it all sound easy.


Reviewed By:

Author Susan C. Cooper
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 66 pages
Publisher CreateSpace
Publish Date 2016-06-06
ISBN 0978153023241
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue August 2016
Category Technology
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