e-Talk Radio: Rothman, Johanna, 11 September 2001


on Quality Plus e-Talk! with Carol Dekkers after these short messages. Please stay tuned.

And we're back. I'm Carol Dekkers. And you've been listening to Quality Plus e-Talk! with Carol Dekkers. Our guest this week is Johanna Rothman, who is a senior management consultant, involved in high-tech product development and advising chief information officers and CEOs in major companies on how to build better software and how to make their people work more effectively. Johanna, I think your Hiring Technical People will be a phenomenal book. And do you have a date that you're planning on having that out?

Johanna: No. As soon as possible. I am in the midst of finishing off the final edits, and I… This is one project that I don't know how to plan very well. So, it turns out the testing has gone on a lot longer than I expected. So, but this is not something where I'm bound by a particular date. I want a really good product to get out there.

Carol: Well, somebody needs to set a ship date, I guess.

Johanna: Could be, yes.

Carol: One of the things that Johanna shared with us, that I've realized in the last hour, is that quality software is not an accident. And that we can all, as test managers, QA managers, project managers, users… We can all become more effective by knowing what they pay us to really do. And in doing that, in knowing what they really pay us to do, and doing our jobs, we can really build better software, which is the whole theme of our show and our sponsor, StickyMinds.com. I'd like to tell you a little bit about some upcoming shows that we've got. Next week we have the privilege of bringing back one of our guests, Tom DeMarco, who has written a plethora of books. And his latest book is called Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency. I just finished reading Tom DeMarco's book, and besides being a very easy communicator, he is… you don't need any major technical background to understand what Tom DeMarco says. It's a handbook for managers, entrepreneurs, and CEOs. And really, what he's saying is in our economy of working faster, stronger, cheaper, faster, stronger, cheaper, over and over and over, that actually, we haven't planned for slack. And are we really getting more productive by working more hours with less people, or is there really some hidden meaning and some hidden productivity in the slack that used to happen between people, and when we used to have secretaries? Tom uses a very illustrative example of how a secretary used to be shared by several people, and could always hop to whatever it was that somebody needed her to do immediately. Or her or him, I don't want to be sexist here. Whatever they needed to have done, it would be done very quickly. And in our efficiency building economy, we've got that secretary so incredibly planned down to the minute that we wonder why they can't hop to it anymore. So Tom DeMarco's going to be our guest next week. We've always got a series of guests coming up. We've got Ivy Hooks, who has written a book, it's wonderful, called Customer-Centered Products. And it's not specific to software. It's specific to any type of product. So I hope you'll join us for the coming shows. I'd also like you to take a look at our StickyMinds.com e-Talk radio page. And also go out and take a look at my personal company page, www.qualityplustech.com.

About the author

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman

Johanna Rothman, known as the “Pragmatic Manager,” helps organizational leaders see problems and risks in their product development. She helps them recognize potential “gotchas,” seize opportunities, and remove impediments. Johanna was the Agile 2009 conference chair. She is the technical editor for Agile Connection and the author of these books:

  • Manage Your Job Search
  • Hiring Geeks That Fit
  • Manage Your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects
  • The 2008 Jolt Productivity award-winning Manage It! Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project Management
  • Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management
  • Hiring the Best Knowledge Workers, Techies & Nerds: The Secrets and Science of Hiring Technical People

Johanna is working on a book about agile program management. She writes columns for Stickyminds.com and projectmanagementcom and blogs on her website, jrothman.com, as well on createadaptablelife.com.

AgileConnection is one of the growing communities of the TechWell network.

Featuring fresh, insightful stories, TechWell.com is the place to go for what is happening in software development and delivery.  Join the conversation now!