Tom Gilb is one of the inventors of Agile thinking in management and hence also of radical management. His work in evolutionary project management is set out in his landmark books, Principles Of Software Engineering Management (Addison-Wesley Professional, 1988) and Competitive Engineering: A Handbook For Systems Engineering, Requirements Engineering, and Software Engineering Using Planguage (Butterworth Heinemann, 2005).
Tom's work provided the earliest published foundations for the appreciation of iterative and incremental feedback, the core of current Agile software development techniques, and also radical management. Tom's wonderful pioneering work is saluted on pages 129-130 of my book, The Leader's Guide to Radical Management.
Rapid feedback management
I love this book!
I would heartily recommend it to my professional friends and especially my client managers.
Let me give my take on the essence of the book - there are a lot of possible views.
1. Focus on your stakeholders
2. Focus on delivering real value on each small iteration of change to those stakeholders.
3. Learn what is real by the early and frequent realistic feedback you will get from the value delivery
4. Keep in mind the whole real system, not just some part of it like software.
5. Use the above to delegate decision making power to small teams.
These just happen to my own core professional beliefs! So of course I love the book!
Stephen has a website that gives blog length summaries of his ideas: http://www.stevedenning.com and http://stevedenning.typepad.com/
The revolution will take a long time, but Denning makes the interesting point that we can start it ourselves, wherever we are, and try to get it to spread. I know this works, I do it.
If there is one thing I would have wanted to convince Stephen of, and I will have a go, that is the idea that one powerful form of story is a numeric story, like "I think the time has come to get one order of magnitude better in the quality of all our products and services within the decade" (John Young, CEO HP, the 10X story. it worked!*
Stories are powerful tools, but for setting multiple improvement objectives a numeric story is often the most powerful and aligning inspiration, as was 10X at HP.
PS Declaration: I'm in the book too p 129-130, and so are a great many interesting thinkers with interesting insights. I found myself consistently reading his reference notes, they were very interesting, and far more than just references. They really added to the books value for non academic readers.
* No need to convince me of the power of the numeric story, Tom. I'm already a believer!