Articles

Always Assume Your Assumptions Are Wrong

A potentially serious impediment to success in software projects is false assumptions. Both yours and everyone else's. If you act on false assumptions as though they're true, such as by assuming you understand exactly what your customers want, you may find yourself faced with flawed software and failed projects. In this column, Karten explores false, conflicting, and hidden assumptions, and how you can "surface" them.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
Get the Picture?

Peter TerMaat tells the story of a failing project and a chart that influenced a $2 million decision.

Peter TerMaat
Stuck in Neutral

Have you ever found yourself unable to get going on a project? Learn tips to help prevent this from happening to you and how to deal with it after it has happened. Esther Derby explains how she was able to move forward after being stuck.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Are You Ready?

 A contractor or new employee is about to start work in your department. Have you paved the way for the new arrival to hit the job running? Check out this guide to make sure you've thought of everything.

Michael Bolton's picture Michael Bolton
The Product Champion: Making Sure that Customer, Team, and Business Needs Are Well Represented in the Development Process

Having a close relationship with the customer is always a good idea. But with that relationship comes risks. Most projects could use a knight in shining armor to protect their product's future. Discover how a product champion can help your organization stay focused on the customer without losing sight of the big picture.

Linda Rising's picture Linda Rising
The ROTI Method for Gauging Meeting Effectiveness

When I visit software organizations, I often hear complaints that we spend too much time in meetings. Many people spend a significant portion of each day in meetings. Wouldn't it be great to give some of that time back?

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
When Should You Start Project Overtime?

Many managers believe that overtime, even extended overtime is a good thing, and will help a project make progress. However, most technical people who try to work more than two weeks of overtime make huge numbers of mistakes. Often, they don't realize the mistakes and have already wasted a lot of time and money.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Are You Lying to Your Customers?

It's important to be honest when dealing with customers, no matter what that honesty entails. You may not always be able to deliver your product on time, but not communicating that truthfully with your customer can be devastating to your business. Dare to tell your customers the truth. They don't like to hear bad news, but they'll appreciate you for giving it to them straight and giving it to them as soon as possible. This article will help motivate you.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
Give 'em the Business

Miscommunication is at the heart of most software defects. Being knowledgeable about a company as a whole, and not just about the specs of a particular project, is just one more way to safeguard against failures. Read on as Elisabeth Hendrickson explains the importance of technical people staying informed about business strategies.

Elisabeth Hendrickson's picture Elisabeth Hendrickson
Robert Charette on Risk Management

Risk Management can be divided into three general types: risk management and decision-making, the process and mechanics of IT risk management, and the practice of risk management. In this issue's "Reference Point," Bob Charette recommends some useful resources on risk management.

Robert Charette

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