You can get some management anecdotes from these "final hours" Gamespot articles. This Prince of Persia one is particularly interesting...it all sounds so familiar. Some key points:
- extensive prototyping. They weren't content when they finished prototyping his motion, they wanted to lock down combat as well.
- by E3, they considered what they had "Just a demo". I wish I'd seen their E3 demo...it would be interesting to know how far along they were and how far they got in those few months since E3.
- they rewrote their renderer partway through. I'm beginning to think a renderer rewrite is an essential part of a good project: if you don't rewrite your renderer, your game will look so "two years ago." The key thing is to start development with an old renderer -- buy an engine if you don't have one -- so your production isn't held up while you're waiting for the new one to come online, and make sure you can convert your assets to the new system as painlessly as possible.
I haven't played Prince of Persia yet, but I'm already pretty sure I'm going to like it.