project planning

Better Software Magazine Articles

Par for the Course

What can happen over a game of golf? You learn what you don't know, you learn more about what you do know, and you learn to listen to what others know. See how two managers and a caddy team up for some valuable lessons about staying out of the rough.

Patrick Bailey's picture Patrick Bailey
Outside the Strike Zone

In a counterpoint to his previous Technically Speaking column, Lee explains why holding fast to one's beliefs is not necessarily a bad thing.

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
Countdown to Agility

Jean Tabaka believes in the power of an entire agile organization. These ten characteristics of an agile organization may seem counter to market success, but she explores why they are wholly embedded in twenty-first century business success.

Jean Tabaka's picture Jean Tabaka
It Takes a Village

Pair programming is an Agile practice that has been shown to greatly improve code quality without a huge increase in development time. This article explains the ins and outs of pair programming and some things you need to consider before you tell team members to grab a partner and get programming.

Ronica Roth's picture Ronica Roth
Rescuing a Captive Project

Allowing an individual to hold a project hostage to his knowledge and expertise is bad for the project and for the team. Fiona Charles describes one captive project and shows how it could have been remedied.

Fiona Charles's picture Fiona Charles
Predicting the Past

Developing an accurate prediction process is complex, time consuming, and difficult. But, basing predictions on causality rather than correlation and learning how to "predict the past" can help us gain confidence in the validity of our work.

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
Feel the Burn: Getting the Most Out of Burn Charts

Burn-down charts have become a popular project artifact, but too often, people accept the default chart from whatever project management tool they're using. What choices can we make about the chart format and scale that will help us create charts that answer the questions that are really important to us? And when the chart looks "funny," what could it possible mean?

George Dinwiddie's picture George Dinwiddie
Avoiding Half-baked Discovery

It can be difficult to explain to your customer why cutting half of the features doesn't cut half of the time and cost. Every software project has fixed costs that often get overlooked in project planning—setting up development environments, ramp-up, building frameworks, and setting up configuration management to name a few. Read on for some ideas on how you can position this with your customer.

Didier Thizy's picture Didier Thizy
Do You Know Why You Are Doing That?

It's easy to get caught up in the inertia of a project and forget to ask exactly what we are developing, who our customers are, and what their goals with our software might be. Few software projects have the time and budget to figure out what their project is through trial and error. Getting clarity on project focus not only helps productivity, working to create software that people actually need increases our chances for success.

Jonathan Kohl's picture Jonathan Kohl
Three Pounds of Manure in a Two-Pound Sack

Multitasking is not a magical cure for getting too much work done by too few resources. Listen in as Payson Hall eavesdrops on a coaching session between two managers about how to assign and prioritize work.

Payson Hall's picture Payson Hall

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