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Here are some excellent references on product development. I most highly recommend the first reference.
Ulrich, Karl and Steven Eppinger. Product Design and Development, McGraw Hill, 2000.
Wheelwright, Steven C. and Kim B. Clark. Revolutionizing Product Development, The Free Press, 1992.
Tabrizi, Behnam and Rick Walleigh. "Defining Next-Generation Products: An Inside Look," Harvard Business Review, NovemberDecember, 1997.
Gorchels, Linda. The Product Manager's Handbook, NTC Business Books, 1995.
For over 20 years, Prof. Barry Boehm and his students at the University of Southern California have been studying software development productivity. The results of this effort may be found in
Boehm, Barry. Software Engineering Economics, Prentice Hall, 1981.
Boehm et al. Software Cost Estimation with COCOMO II, Prentice Hall, 2000.
Many who develop software believe that the chaotic nature of the field is due to its immaturity. These texts show the dynamics are much the same for more established fields.
Sabbaugh, Karl. A Jet for the New Century: The Making and Marketing of the Boeing 377, Scribner, 1996.
Sabbaugh, Karl. Skyscraper: The Making of a Building, Penguin, 1991.
Fred Brooks was the first author to document the nonlinear nature of software projects in this classic:
Brooks, Frederick P., Jr. The Mythical Man-Month (Anniversary ed.), Addison-Wesley, 1995.
This is one of the first books to explore the management implications of object-oriented development. It has many good insights.
Booch, Grady. Object Solutions: Managing the Object-Oriented Project, Addison-Wesley, 1996.
There have been several books for the layman on the nature of nonlinear systems. Three of my favorites are
Bak, Per. How Nature Works, Copernicus, 1999.
Kauffman, Stuart. At Home in the Universe: The Search for Laws of Self Organization and Complexity, Oxford University Press, 1996.
Lewin, Roger. Complexity: Life at the Edge of Chaos (2nd ed.), University of Chicago Press, 1999.
One of the best books on the application of nonlinear dynamics to management is this recent text.
Lewin, Roger and Birute Regine. The Soul at Work: Listen, Respond, Let Go, Simon & Schuster, 2000.
This is the classic paper on the limits of people's ability to process information. You will be able to find it online as well.
Miller, George A. "The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information," Psychological Review, 63, 8197, 1956.
At this writing, a summary of the history of scientific management may be found at
Accel-Team.Com, Scientific Management. Lessons from Ancient History through the Industrial Revolution, online, http://www.accel-team.com/scientific/index.html, 2000.