Modern day reporters tend to write their articles using what is known as the "inverted pyramid" style. They start with the most important information in the first sentence, followed by the next most important, and so on. This format not only gives the reader the biggest bang for his buck as he reads it also gives both the reporters and their editors huge flexibility in their uncertain and fast-changing environments. Clarke Ching shows how modern software development techniques use the same idea to give customers the best bang for their buck—in equally uncertain environments.
Many managers claim to have an open-door policy. They want to be available to their employees. But do they really have an open-door policy, or is it a handy name for a commendable intention? Naomi Karten describes the flaws in open-door policies and offers suggestions for making them work.
Negotiation skills are useful in life and essential for professional success. This week, Payson Hall provides a short tutorial on project negotiations that includes a technique to help you look for solutions. The use of motivation and the "Iron Triangle" is a good starting point.
One characteristic of agile development is continuous involvement from testers throughout the process. Testers have a hard and busy job. Jeff has finally starting to understand why testing in agile development is fundamentally different.
Do you manage a team or a group? How can you tell the difference, and is it important to differentiate the two? In this column, Esther Derby explains that identifying your associates as one or the other is paramount to how they should be managed.
Geographically Distributed Development (GDD) is a common strategy in the software world today. Organizations are gaining experience in developing software globally and are discovering that the competitive demand for best-in-class, high quality applications requires greater agility in quality management. Unfortunately, IT budgets are not keeping up with the staff required for quality management and the response is to accelerate quality management by leveraging global teams. This article compares and contrasts agile GDD testing strategies for affecting quality management.
There are no best practices for creating a productive, global development organization, just a few good ideas to think about and tailor around your particular objectives. Consider three universal issues every organization must grapple with to make a global agile team successful: data considerations, communications needs, and a company's agile readiness. How you handle each of these issues will vary widely, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every organization.
Esther Derby has noticed something lately, namely that when people write about collaboration, they discuss facilitated meetings. Well-run meetings that encourage participation and building consensus are certainly valuable, but there's more to collaboration than just well-run meetings. Esther explains that true collaboration assumes shared responsibility and shared ownership and boosts creativity and learning.
Michele Sliger uses a simple exercise to exemplify the changes self-organized teams cause in any company, especially with the project manager. In this column, Michele explains how to conduct this exercise and how to review and use the results to improve work relationships and communication. Above all, this exercise should help your whole organization understand how everyone's knowledge of a project's initiatives and goals affects the project's success.
Decision making should be approached just like a software project: You have to map out what you want and how you're going to get it. Payson Hall tells the story of a team that set out to find the perfect product—without an official plan. Learn how to avoid the mistakes they made.