If you hear that someone doesn't have "both oars in the water," you know he's out of control, he doesn't "get it," or he's going in circles. Why? To move forward in a rowboat, you need both oars in the water to steer and to gain speed. In this week's column, Mary Gorman explains how this concept applies to modeling requirements.
Every team transitions to agile in different ways, and this column is one of those stories. But what makes this one different is that the main character, a project manager, is transitioning her team to agile in the middle of a project. From this story, Johanna Rothman details a potential survival guide for any project manager and team embarking on the same journey.
Everyone responds to change differently, whether managers know this or not. A good leader knows this, and doesn't hurt the morale of a team by expecting them to act a way that their incapable of, or that feels unnatural to them. Naomi Karten brings this all to light in this article.
Some things in life, like death and taxes, are a given. Software development teams face their own givens: Project schedules will always change and certain teams will suffer because of these changes. If that's to be expected, then why haven't most managers done anything to save their teams from undue stress and abuse? In this column, Dion Johnson explains that we've got to take care of our teams, or else we'll never see the end of team abuse.
The economy, like the weather, is a complex system that cycles through good times and bad. Dark economic clouds are brewing on the horizon. Predictions of inflation, stagnant growth, crushing debt, tightening credit are in the forecast. Payson Hall tells us how to weather the storm.
This column isn't for you; it's about you. Linda Hayes wants to find out what it takes to be successful in the testing profession these days—if such a thing is really possible. Too many good ideas, such as incentive and recognition plans, have backfired. Linda feels there are a few good practices out there, but she needs your help to find them.
Retrospectives work for most teams, yet some teams are convinced that retrospectives will never work for them. When Esther Derby came across several of these teams for which retrospectives had failed, she questioned why and discovered eight common reasons for those failures. In this column, she details these eight reasons and offers solutions for each one.
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.