Better Software Magazine Articles

Pine Needles and Better Communication

As a new Army Ranger, Payson acquired many hard-earned lessons. But dodging snakes and alligators while navigating a Georgia swamp one moonless night, he learned two lessons in particular that can help project managers navigate their software projects.

Payson Hall's picture Payson Hall
Taking It Personally

Ah, the annual review. It's time to find out what your boss has planned for your career over the next twelve months. But wait, it's your career. Don't wait for your employer to direct your growth and development—take responsibility your future.

Alicia Yanik's picture Alicia Yanik
Let Your Values be Your Guide

A company expresses its values through its mission statement, but an individual expresses his values through his actions. What happens if these values don’t mesh? Discover ways to examine the values that drive behavior in your organization and bring them to the forefront of discussion to guide you down the career path that is right for you.

Michele Sliger's picture Michele Sliger
3... 2... 1... Liftoff!

The amount of effort put into a project's initiation lays the groundwork for all the work that follows. Learn six activities every project manager perform at initiation to ensure the project starts (and finishes) strong.

Karl E. Wiegers's picture Karl E. Wiegers
The Measure of a Management System

Traditional management systems were designed to measure conformance to plan, not adaptability. So in order to achieve truly agile, innovative organizations, a change in our approach to performance management systems is necessary. Find out why a switch to an adaptive performance management system can unleash the full potential of agile methods.

Jim Highsmith's picture Jim Highsmith
Tending Communication Paths

Unfortunately, distrust is common in the relationship between managers and employees. But it doesn’t have to be. Taking the time to keep your communication path “weed free” by finding time for one-on-one communication, being open and honest, and listening to your team members’ input will cultivate an open, honest, and trusting culture within your team.

Payson Hall's picture Payson Hall
What's on Your Dashboard?

Just because a metric is easy to capture doesn't mean it is useful. The metrics that are really needed are the ones that can help you make good decisions. Find out how to establish a project dashboard with meaningful metrics that will guide your project safely to its destination without getting bogged down in an endless pursuit of unnecessary information.

John Fodeh's picture John Fodeh
The Lecture

Whether you're being admonished for having more than ten items in the express lane at the supermarket or you are telling off a tester for missing a bug, at some point we've all been on the giving and on the receiving end of The Lecture. We're all human and fallible. Isn't there a more effective (and mature) way to communicate when a problem arises?

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
Skills for Software Smokejumpers

Sometimes the only way to get a fire under control is to call in the smokejumpers. These specially trained firefighters parachute into a region to take on a blaze and contain it before any more damage is done. Some software development projects have smokejumpers, too. These professionals enter struggling projects midstream, assess the situation, and hopefully lead the team to a successful outcome.

Don Gray's picture Don Gray
Extreme Programming Is People

Agile agents of change, listen up. Do you remember the Agile Manifesto? How about the part about valuing people over process? J.B. Rainsberger fears that as Extreme Programming becomes more widespread, teachers, consultants, and mentors are losing sight of one of agile’s most important components—teamwork.

J.B. Rainsberger's picture J.B. Rainsberger


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