project management


When Trust Goes AWOL

Trust is invisible, but the symptoms of its absence are not. That is the theme of this column, in which Clarke Ching recounts the difficulty one of his clients went through to rebuild trust with a customer. The customer had long ago lost faith in the quality of the products provided by this client since every piece of software delivered seemed buggy. But both were determined to make the relationship work. That's when Clarke Ching stepped in and took an agile approach to relationship therapy.

Clarke Ching's picture Clarke Ching
Meeting Agenda #1: Start on Time

Our society is founded on the importance of meetings, and it seems that the higher on the corporate ladder one climbs, the more meetings he must attend. Indeed, one of Michele Sliger's coworkers calculated that the amount of time she spends arranging meetings, getting to meetings, and in meetings equates to almost her entire workweek-thirty-six hours on average. Even though we may lose track of time in meetings, we all are painfully aware of the time we spend waiting for everyone to show up. In this column, Michele Sliger explains some of the tactics she's seen teams use to ensure that meetings start on time.

Michele Sliger's picture Michele Sliger
Eye on the Prize: Best Practices for Aligning Agile Efforts with Business Goals

A phrase heard often in Agile discussions is "Let the product lead." Applied correctly, these four words powerfully focus an Agile team's energy directly on work that provides the highest business value. Deep focus on technology decisions breaks the line-of-sight with business goals, creates opportunities for over-engineering, and requires complex tracing activities, which ultimately slow the process.

Guy Beaver's picture Guy Beaver
11 Ways Agile Adoptions Fail

Usually, when Jean Tabaka lists practices, techniques, ideas, or recommendations about software development, she sticks with the number ten. It's nice and neat and has a fine history of enumeration cleanliness dating back to the Old Testament. But for agile adoption failures, Jean thinks it is time to invoke some Spinal Tap and go to eleven. Here are her top eleven signs that your agile adoption is headed down a slippery slope to failure.

Jean Tabaka's picture Jean Tabaka
How Not to Create Customer Satisfaction

Given a choice, most people would rather have happy, satisfied customers than angry, complaining customers. But how to create customer satisfaction is sometimes a mystery. In this column, Naomi Karten describes one person's experience that backfired and taught him some lessons.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
What's Your Project Vision?

Clarify the fuzzy front end of project planning by focusing on the overall vision. In this column, Johanna Rothman says clear project vision helps everyone involved in the project move forward better and more smoothly than a detailed project schedule. She also explains how to write succinct project visions in three simple steps.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
How Do You Think?

What are the attributes of a good tester—of a great tester? As every test manager knows, identifying the right people for a test team can be a struggle. In this column, Fiona Charles describes the qualities of mind she looks for in testers, and the interview questions she asks candidates so that she can evaluate how they think.

Fiona Charles's picture Fiona Charles
Sharing the Vision

In this article, Michele Sliger discusses why sharing the vision with the project team is so important and how this knowledge helps the team in its delivery. With examples from Walt Disney and software development, Michele explains how bringing everyone together and getting team members on the same page allows for belief in and commitment to the project, which is a must for a successful outcome.

Michele Sliger's picture Michele Sliger
Skiing, Heart Attacks, and Software Development

When a man suffered a cardiac arrest on a ski slope, a medley of medical personnel from different countries and backgrounds mustered together to take charge of the man's health. Despite language barriers, they were successful in stabilizing the man. While this incident may seem to have little to do with software development, Clarke Ching sees that the makeshift emergency team shared specific characteristics found in all strong software development teams. In this column, he details these characteristics and how applying them can turn your team into a more successful team no matter how dissimilar individual teammates may be.

Clarke Ching's picture Clarke Ching
Codependent Schedule Games

There's a vicious game being played daily in the lives of software developers. The rules to this game are not clear cut, and it can change its structure rapidly. If you're not careful, the game will end up controlling your work schedule for quite some time. In this column, Johanna Rothman gives a referee's point of view of this game and reveals the secrets to winning.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman


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