Rapid Development Review

Rapid Development is a book written by Steve McConnell that I decided to take a chance on after I enjoyed reading Code Complete.

If you work in software development, whether as a developer, a tester, a manager, or as a business analyst, buy this book! I got this book 2nd hand for £5. It’s such a steal I feel like I’ve just robbed someone. This book will give you a MUCH better understanding of how to run a successful project. And that is what we all want.

Don’t just take my word for it either. Take a look at all the other customer reviews you can find for it on your favourite online book retailer.


There are a couple of factual errors or misleading statements in this book as pointed out in chapter 2 of “Leprechauns in Software Engineering” by Laurent Bossavit.

Also this book was written 5 years before the Agile Manifesto and has no coverage of any Agile framework.

I will be updating this review with specific comments on each section.

Part 1 Efficient Development

  1. Welcome to Rapid Development
  2. Rapid Development Strategy
  3. Classic Mistakes
  4. Software Development Fundamentals
  5. Risk Management
  6. Part 2 Rapid Development

  7. Core Issues in Rapid Development
  8. Lifecycle Planning
  9. Estimation
  10. Scheduling
  11. Customer-Oriented Development
  12. Motivation
  13. Teamwork
  14. Team Structure
  15. Feature-Set Control
  16. Productivity Tools
  17. Project Recovery
  18. Part 3 Best Practices

  19. Change Board
  20. Daily Build and Smoke Test
  21. Designing for Change
  22. Evolutionary Delivery
  23. Evolutionary Prototyping
  24. Goal Setting
  25. Inspections
  26. Joint Application Development (JAD)
  27. Lifecycle Model Selection
  28. Measurement
  29. Miniature Milestones
  30. Outsourcing
  31. Principled Negotiation
  32. Productivity Environments
  33. Rapid-Development Languages (RDLs)
  34. Requirements Scrubbing
  35. Reuse
  36. Signing Up
  37. Spiral Lifecycle Model
  38. Staged Delivery
  39. Theory-W Management
  40. Throwaway Prototyping
  41. Timebox Development
  42. Tools Group
  43. Top-10 Risks List
  44. User-Interface Prototyping
  45. Voluntary Overtime

Part 3 Best Practices

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