Conference Presentations

Ten Practices of High-Performance Teams

With all the hype about agile, lean, CMMI®, and every other method du jour, we sometimes forget that our real goal is high performance. High-performance software teams consistently deliver products that delight their customers, all while remaining on schedule, keeping with agreed-to functionality, and maintaining high quality. These teams are proud of what they produce and are continuously improving the way they work. Over the past decade, Noopur Davis has worked with many high-performance teams in both large and small organizations. She has discovered that high-performance teams share a number of key practices, regardless of the process they use. Noopur shares these effective practices, including self-direction, openness and transparency, simplicity of work practices, focused use of data, an uncompromising commitment to quality, and others.

Noopur Davis, Davis Systems
Testing in Turbulent Projects

Turbulent weather such as tornados is characterized by chaotic, random, and often surprising and powerful pattern changes. Similarly, turbulent software projects are characterized by chaotic, seemingly random project changes that happen unexpectedly and with force. Dealing with turbulence is about dealing with change. Testing teams must contend with continuously changing project requirements, design, team members, business goals, technologies, and organizational structures. Test managers and leaders should not just react to change; instead, they need to learn how to read the warning signs of coming change and seek to discover the source of impending changes. Rob Sabourin shares his experiences organizing projects for testing in highly turbulent situations. Learn how to identify context drivers and establish active context listeners in your organization.

Robert Sabourin, AmiBug.com Inc
Crash Course in Proficient Presenting

Ben has to make a presentation at the next all-hands meeting. It'll be his very first presentation, and just thinking about it has sent him into a panic. Fortunately, he has the support of an experienced speaker and coach who offers advice and encouragement to help him become a proficient, panic-free presenter.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
Tale of a Yo-Yo Manager

There is much more to empowering your team than simply stating "You're empowered." Consider the three Ws of empowerment: "what," "when," and "why" when creating boundaries that define which decisions are the team's and which need management approval.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Lessons Learned in Project Management

You've managed projects, but they're never easy. They don't fit into the nice definitions found in project management books. Your schedules are generally off. There are always unkind surprises. Although you're not failing, you feel you could be more successful. There is a solution. Based on her many years of consulting with large and small software teams, Johanna Rothman coaches leaders to take a more pragmatic approach. Employ mini-projects and iterations to explore alternative technologies. Use incremental steps to finish features one at a time when you don't know how far along you are. Make sure stakeholders agree on what "done" really means. Learn how to escape the dreaded trap of "multi-tasking," a management style that drains energy from everyone whenever there is a task switch. One final secret every project manager must discover: There is no "one right way" to manage a project.

Johanna Rothman, Rothman Consulting Group, Inc.
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
Communicate, Don't Assimilate

Opening an offshore office can be a tricky situation. Learn how to spread corporate values and processes to your new team members by working together instead of forcing them to adopt your way of thinking.

Melissa Sienkiewicz's picture Melissa Sienkiewicz
The Art of Persuading Management

You can't get your manager to give you what you want if he won't listen to you. Naomi suggests some strategies-including being methodical, gathering data, properly timing your requests, and practicing what you plan to say-that can help you make your case to the powers that be.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
Make Your Mission Possible

Defining the work that belongs in your group and the work that doesn't belong can be challenging. A strong mission statement can help you defend your stance on what work you will and will not do, while ensuring you still provide the work your organization values.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman

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