"Part-timers just don't seem to fit in with the team," a manager complained to Esther Derby recently. "I do everything I can to impress on them the importance of teamwork and team spirit, but they just don't gel with the team. What can I do to motivate these people to fit in?" In this column, Esther Derby reveals the truth of the part-timers' mindset and what you can do to motivate this group.
Offshore resources have proved useful, and companies continue to try and cash in on the cost savings. But those savings might not be what you or your company expected. In this column, Linda Hayes warns that outsourcing has some pitfalls we should always look out for.
Conflict is inevitable at work. Sooner or later, you will disagree about what to test, when to test, or how long to test software. How you and the person you disagree with approach the conflict affects both the outcome and how you feel about the exchange. In this column, Esther Derby explains some of the ways people approach conflict and how they affect solutions and relationships.
Personality differences often pose challenges for people who need to work together. One such difference is that which separates introverts and extroverts. Just by being themselves, introverts and extroverts can drive each other crazy. But they can also benefit from each other's strengths. In this column, Naomi Karten explains this personality difference and helps introverts and extroverts better understand and appreciate each other.
Teams communicate quickly and freely when they work in the same room. There's no time wasted walking down the hall, going to another floor, or waiting for a return email or call back. Collocation is the most effective arrangement for teams, but that's not always possible. Esther Derby shares five tactics that help teams compensate for distance.
Speaking at a conference can work wonders for your credibility. Delivering a presentation is an opportunity to share your insights, convey valuable information, and gain a reputation as an expert on your topic. Provided you keep a few key points in mind. In this article, Naomi Karten offers suggestions for successful presentations.
Do organizations need fewer managers and more leaders? Do the qualities of one outweigh those of the other? In this article, Esther Derby defines leadership and management, and shows how one test manager incorporates both.
Staged integration versus continuous integration—which does your team prefer? Can't decide if one is better than the other? In this column, Johanna Rothman explains that you can create the perfect blend of the two. Developers and testers benefit from frequent builds, but be careful with how much you build. Build too much or too little and a project could topple.
Jim is mad at Hal. Sara is complaining to Jason. Hal feels hurt; Susan shows up late. Jason thinks only Sara and he have a clue. Is this team falling apart—or just experiencing a normal part of group development? In this column, Esther Derby describes what their team leader Jenny goes through as she learns about the predictable ups and downs of team formation and the one thing any team member can do to help.
Knowing how much work your group can accomplish—and how much it takes to complete that work—is critical to your success as a manager. Johanna Rothman explains how to ascertain your team's potential and how to use that information to define and manage your project portfolio so it doesn't manage you.