This article utilizes real project scenarios to demonstrate a set of techniques that support common patterns employed by many effective technical managers across a range of organizations. Planning, status, metrics, and communication (with task performers and senior management) are addressed. If you are a lead engineer, technical manager, or project manager in a growing organization that is striving to institutionalize its processes, this article will provide you with a wealth of insights and practical techniques that could help you become more effective in your job today. If you are a senior manager this article could help you develop more effective technical managers for your organization tomorrow. The techniques shared are particularly relevant to companies that frequently find themselves operating in chaotic environments but are serious about change
Beyond technical skills, Agile Development depends on effective interactions and collaboration. In this article, Esther Derby outlines key collaboration skills that help teams maintain productive relationships, avoid destructive conflicts, and benefit from everyone’s best ideas.
Scrum doesnt cause team dysfunctions, but it certainly exposes the ones you already have. This article explores common problems through example and analysis. Then, it suggests ways to overcome these obstacles so that your Scrum team functions at optimal levels.
Software organizations face challenges when trying to recruit highly competent software practitioners who can successfully participate in and contribute to a cooperative working environment. This article suggests—based on the presented research conducted in a large international communication company—that recruiting practitioners with high levels of self-efficacy can contribute to the organization on both the individual and team levels. This article also describes the research and its findings and discusses specific recommendations based on the research.
We all know that conflict is a difference of opinion and therefore neutral-neither good nor bad. Right? But try telling that to a project manager or business analyst embroiled in conflict. Conflict can threaten to destroy the team and sabotage efforts to elicit requirements. But it doesn't have to. Having a strong, neutral facilitator and a process for conflict resolution can reduce tensions and bring about a positive outcome.
It is not always easy to have management responsibilities in software development when you come from a technical position. This is also true in software testing. In this article, Mark Garzone shares some tips on how to be a better test leader or test manager.
Many engineering managers came to management through the technical ranks. Although they may have had plenty of engineering training and mentoring, they frequently learn management skills the hard way, through trial and error. Managers have two primary jobs: to get the best work out of the people who work for you and to create an environment that enables people to get work done (so they can do their best work). This article describes some of the lessons I have learned about each of these management jobs.
If you have never experienced a well-run retrospective, then it is hard to imagine what it is like by simply reading a book. Nevertheless, this chapter tries to tie many of the discussions in this book into a single experience. It is based on one real-life retrospective, but spiced up with a few pieces from other retrospectives. I'm certain the participants would recognize themselves, but I hope I have changed enough of the trivia to protect their privacy.
The software development industry has spent decades – with little success – attempting to make large productivity improvements through technology changes. But some projects have broken the productivity barrier by applying common sense practices to the people side of the development process. This article gives a set of commandments from lessons learned from projects with major productivity successes.