People & Teams

Better Software Magazine Articles

Keys to Top-Notch Estimates

If the construction industry estimated projects as poorly as the IT industry does, we would still be living in mud huts. Yet inaccurate project estimates have become the norm in the software industry. Find out how you can turn your estimates into reasonable predictions of project performance.

A Culture of Trust

So, you've been asked to take over the leadership of a struggling, disconnected team. Now what? Create a culture where the building of trust between team members is fostered, flourishes, and thrives--where people who have not begun to trust each other can discover the possibility.

Pollyanna Pixton's picture Pollyanna Pixton
Exit, Stage Left

Many technology workers are drawn to the industry from seemingly unrelated professions. Don't underestimate the importance of a liberal arts education and general life experiences to the technology field. These workers can bring a lot of value and wisdom to your team.

Patrick Bailey's picture Patrick Bailey
Going on a Picnic with James Watt

What if you had a picnic and no one brought potato salad? Find out what picnic planning and steam engines have to do with project success and not just satisfying your customers but delighting them.

Clarke Ching's picture Clarke Ching
How to Fail with Agile

A switch to agile often conflicts with personal career goals such as maintaining the status quo and working no harder than necessary. These twenty guidelines will help you sabotage your agile project, helping you fail quickly and spectacularly.

Advice for the New Leader

As a new manager it's easy to fall into the trap of taking on more of your team's responsibilities than you should. Learn how to guide your team to success by stepping back and letting team members solve their own problems, learn from their mistakes, and most of all do what you hired them to do.

Michele Sliger's picture Michele Sliger
The Mission Is the Message

A mission statement is supposed to guide and inspire the members of an organization as well as define the organization's purpose, the business it is in, and its responsibilities to its clients. Is your statement sending the right message?

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
The Myth of Risk Management

Risk management is an illusion. We must recognize that software projects are inherently risky and admit to ourselves that it's not the known problems that are going to cause our projects to fail. It's the risks that are unmentionable, uncontrollable, unquantifiable, or unknown that make projects crash and burn.

Pete McBreen's picture Pete McBreen
When to Step Up, When to Step Back

Leaders can stifle progress when they unnecessarily interfere with team processes. However, as a leader, you don't want your project to go over the cliff and fail miserably or deliver the wrong results either. There are times when leaders should stand back and let the team work things out for themselves—and other times when leaders should step up and really lead. 

Pollyanna Pixton's picture Pollyanna Pixton
Let's Talk Agile

Agile development employs more oral communication, feedback, and interaction than traditional development. These communication tools can help ease the transition into the more interactive agile team relationship.

Ken Pugh's picture Ken Pugh

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