Better Software Magazine Articles

Improving Quality and Value Delivery with T-Shaped Team Members

Thomas Wessel presents how T-shaped and pi-shaped teams based on each member's span of knowledge, ability to collaborate, and depth of expertise play an important part in how effectively your team performs.

Thomas Wessel's picture Thomas Wessel
World Cup and Agile What the World Cup and Agile Development Have in Common

There are a surprising number of similarities between successful World Cup and agile teams. Both must be diligent in four areas in order to reach their “goals.” This article explores the parallels between the two for selecting the team, getting up to speed, consistency, and game plans.

Michael Rosenbaum's picture Michael Rosenbaum
Spiral of an Organization Avoiding the Organizational Death Spiral

The death spiral supersedes the death march in that the death march is a singular event, whereas the death spiral is systemic. It is the result of organizational dysfunction where teams march toward deadline after deadline without reflecting on or questioning if there is a better way to deliver software. There is! Take these positive steps.

Thomas Wessel's picture Thomas Wessel
Growth of Agile How Agile Is Growing as It Goes into Its Teenage Years

Agile is growing up and is now officially a teenager. It has moved from being a somewhat rumbustious child with some overzealous followers and a skeptical management crowd to something that is generally accepted by the mainstream IT community and particular management. Has the agile community lost something? Are the founding members and early practitioners evolving the practice? Is this good? Well, the answers are yes, yes, and maybe.

Jon Hagar's picture Jon Hagar
Agile Team Challenges Five Agile Challenges for Distributed Teams

The framework for agile development empowers the diverse environments of modern business. While some project teams can be collocated, many projects are undertaken by teams who are distributed geographically or organizationally. This article focuses on five challenges faced by these distributed agile development teams and provides some solutions.

Harsha Vemulapalli's picture Harsha Vemulapalli
Making Difficult Choices Myth 31: I Don’t Have to Make the Difficult Choices

"Don't bring me problems; bring me solutions." Sound familiar? Sounds like a management cop out to Johanna Rothman. A primary purpose of managers is to help their teams perform to the best of their abilities, and that includes stepping up and making tough decisions to help solve problems.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Hopeless Projects The Advantages of Hopeless Projects

Team members involved in hopeless projects become dejected, stressed, and overworked. Are there any silver linings to working on a doomed project? This article argues that there are. When you and your teammates are stretched to your limits, you can learn a lot about each other, your managers, and what it takes to make a successful product.

Maryna Kaliada's picture Maryna Kaliada
Why Am I Always Getting Bad News in the Eleventh Hour?

This article is a departure from previous columns. Kenton and Ryan role play the stress and friction between a typical product manager and an engineering team lead. This article may make you squirm, but it brings out the issues of teams attempting to do the best thing from completely different perspectives.

Kenton Bohn's picture Kenton Bohn Ryan McClish
Effective Prioritizing Prioritizing Effectively as a Team

If you’ve ever worked on a development project, you know you can never be that sure that everything will be completed on deadline. By prioritizing actively, you can change success from something binary—either we make it or we don’t—into something more gradual. By doing this, you increase the chance of succeeding in delivering something. If you prioritize really well, that something may even turn out to be far more valuable than anything you penned down in your initial plan.

Tobias Fors's picture Tobias Fors
My Team Is Agile, but My Organization Is Not! What Can I Do?

In this FAQ column, Sanjiv Augustine advises how to upgrade your organization's portfolio management by addressing inefficient, outdated, and value-killing portfolio management processes.

Sanjiv Augustine's picture Sanjiv Augustine

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