Examples in Writing

Dwayne’s comment on my post, Architecting from the Features, made me realize I hadn’t provided an example of how I’d changed the book. Head slap on me! One of my rules of writing, which I use when I’m revising because I rarely remember as I’m writing the first draft, is to explain what I’m writing with an example. Examples can be a “for instance”, a story, an anecdotes–anything that connects my writing to the reader. Some people like stories first. Some like the idea first. But both of those kinds of readers will stay with your writing if they know you’ll get to the other part sometime soon.

So here’s the before an after table of contents for the project portfolio management book. I fully expect the chapter titles and contents to change.

Before After
Introduction Introduction
What everyone needs to know about portfolios What everyone needs to know about portfolios
Managing the portfolio from the top Basics of managing the portfolio
Collaborating to lead the portfolio from the middle Making Great Portfolio decisions
Organizing the portfolio from the bottom Pragmatic approaches to making portfolio decisions
Measure the essentials Define your mission
Pragmatic approaches to making great portfolio decisions Measure the essentials
Define your mission
What to measure

I’ve got the notions of the reader’s span of control in “Making Great Portfolio Decisions” rather than in separate chapters, which is making it easier for me to write that and the other chapters.

Dwayne, thanks for asking for an example.

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