Help decide the title of a book

For reasons I can’t fully explain here, the 2nd edition of Art of project management will have a new title. Yes, it’s a huge pain in the ass, but this stuff happens – and i swear, my publisher and I would avoid this if we could, but as things turned out, we can’t – that’s all I can say. We’ll do everything we can to make sure this change is clear to people who pick up the book.

As far as the 2nd edition itself:

Based on your feedback, the current goal is to add:

  • Exercises & situations for applying lessons from each chapter (TOC here)
  • A discussion guide, for use in reading groups
  • A new chapter (topic TBD)
  • Updated references, corrections, and other trivia

Now – the hard part – the title: my editor are debating options and wanted to ensure input from readers of the first edition, and possible readers of the 2nd – That’s you. If you want to write in a candidate, hit other. Some candidates are close to the original title, others go their own way.

I promise the results will be part of the decision making process. Cheers.

26 Responses to “Help decide the title of a book”

  1. Scott

    Unfortunately, we can’t use “The book formerly known as the art of project management” as the title :)

  2. Alex

    Just a note on the 2nd edition : Please, please, please put the footnotes at the bottom of the page they happen on. I found this to be the *only* thing wrong with the 1st edition (and as I love footnotes it was a pain to go back and forth).

  3. Angyl

    I definitely like the “Making Things Happen” bit. I mean, that’s what your book really is all about. So far the voting weight is strongest on the options with that phrase, too. Sounds like a keeper.

  4. Angyl

    Oh and, agreed on the footnotes, flipping back was a huge pain.

  5. M.

    How ’bout: The Tao Of Project Management?

  6. Rob

    So… why a new chapter, if the topic is TBD?

  7. Rob

    BTW, your name is still spoken with hushed reverence on large email lists at Microsoft. Make sure it’s not small on the cover… :-)

  8. Mike Nitabach

    For some reason the voting doohickey is not working for me. I do like the “Making things happen” title, but not the “handbook” concept. How about this:

    Making things happen: a guide to project management

  9. Keith Instone

    My mind starting racing with ways to add *1-2 letters* to “Art” to radically change the title (or to get by the legal problems causing the change). The Cart…? Dart? HeArt? StArt? The Wart of Project Management? And of course, then the F-word.

  10. Linda Lee

    I agree with Mike Nitabach. I don’t like the handbook thing–sounds too small and insignificant. “Guide” occurred to me, which is why I proposed “Project Management User Guide” as a title, but had Mike’s choice been visible, I’d have voted with him.

  11. Chris McEvoy

    Project Management For Humans

  12. andrew grangaard

    I don’t like the “Making Things Happen” variants. I just don’t like “Things” in the title. Not withstanding two excellent books, Drucker’s _The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done_, and Allen’s _Getting Things Done_.

    My vote was for _Berkun on…_ which is a solid and bold title. (Too bold?)

  13. Steven Levy

    Suggested title: “Late. Again. What’s a Project Manager to Do?”

    They say that the first step of getting folks to address a problem is formulating a dramatic problem statement!
    — Steve

  14. Scott

    I love it – you guys rock. 160+ votes so far: great info for me to bring back to my editors. Stay tuned!

    What fascinates me is how everyone has an opinion, and how passionate everyone is even though its entirely subjective! Who knew people where this passionate about project management books :)

  15. Tetsuo

    How about crate coherence with your last book ? Like your personnal writer’s brand :

    The Myths of Innovation

    so you have

    The Myths of Project Management

    And your third book

    The Myths of …

  16. Steve Smith

    I suggest Pragmatic Project Management: Going Beyond Technique.

  17. Dan Becker

    With apologies to Don Norman (who had to change the title of “The Psychology of Everyday Things”, or as he called it, P.O.E.T., to “The Design of Everyday Things”): The Psychology of Project Management.

    Ok, that’s an in-joke that no one will get.

    Seriously, I like both Tetsuo’s Myths suggestion, and also the title that starts with “Making Things Happen”.

  18. Marcus Ferreira

    ‘The Craft’ is simple and stays tuned to the 1st edition. It is like an evolution of the book.

    ‘Making Things Happen’ sounds me like a cheap shortcut to gain attention.

    ‘Berkun on Project Management’ is a very nice second option. Your name puts a nice weight of relevance on the subject.

  19. Scott

    Just fyi: Making things happen is one of the chapter titles in the book (or close – the actual title is how to make things happen). So that’s where that title idea came from.

  20. Scott

    Dan: Good one – I thought about that. I tried to go through all of the books I knew of that had title changes (it happens more often than people think) to see if I could learn anything, but sadly there isn’t much to learn.

  21. Andreas

    Don’t like “Making Things Happen”, it’s too cheap of a plug. Don’t like “Berkun on …”, since this should be used for very well established authors – don’t get me wrong (and no offense), but after only two books, I wouldn’t use it. I like “The Craft of …” the most, since it works well as a continuation of your first edition’s title.

  22. Jasper Wright

    I agree with Marcus and co. ‘Making Things Happen’ almost contradicts what I thought was one of your strongest points; it’s all about making good stuff happen.



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