teams

Articles

Going the Distance: Five Tactics to Compensate for Distance on Distributed Teams

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.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Strengthening Your Speaking Savvy

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.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
Do We Have to Choose Between Management and Leadership?

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.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
How Much Building Is Too Much?

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.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Helping Your Team Weather the Storm

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.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
How Much Work Can You Do—Developing and Managing Your Project Portfolio

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.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Executor or Engineer

Software testers are typically grouped en masse in the world of information technology (IT). Many in the software testing profession, however, know that this should not be the case. In this column, Dion Johnson exposes the dichotomy in testing that has produced two distinct groups—software test engineers and software test executors—and why these groups are embroiled in a struggle to possess the crown as the industry's true software quality professionals.

Dion Johnson's picture Dion Johnson
Unearthing Buried Feedback

Most managers realize that giving feedback is an important part of their job. But not all managers are skilled at providing feedback. Some make vague comparisons, mistakenly apply labels as feedback, and others just hint and hope you'll get the message. Esther Derby offers advice on how to probe for the information that will help you understand your manager's concerns when he doesn't state them clearly.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Information Gathering

If your customer interview questions focus too narrowly on a problem that must be solved, you run the risk of missing information that could be critical to a successful outcome. In this column, Naomi Karten says playing detective improves your ability to gather information. To improve the odds of success, it's important to ask questions from multiple perspectives—and to pay attention not only to the customers' response, but to how they say it as well.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
What's on Your Not-to-Do List?

Drawing up a to-do list sounds like a logical starting point when you want to prioritize your workload. But if you have an extra-long list of tasks, the list you should start with is the not-to-do list. Doing so forces you to take an extra hard look at what you're doing and if you should be doing it. Learn more about Johanna Rothman's not-to-do list, how it helps you stay focused on the most important tasks, and how it inevitably helps you maintain your value to the organization.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman

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