people management

Articles

The Space Shuttle Challenger launch Prevent Disaster by Righting Cultural Dysfunction on Your Team

The space shuttles Challenger and Columbia were two of NASA's biggest disasters. Investigations into these accidents discovered the engineering issues responsible, but management practices and cultural barriers also were found to be contributing factors. Does your organization have a healthy culture that lets you safely voice concerns? It could help you prevent tragedy.

Payson Hall's picture Payson Hall
Hands put in the center of the group For Agile to Succeed, Put People First

There’s a lot of buzz in the agile world today about becoming more technical, automating everything, and learning the next miracle tool. While it’s important to establish a process, and tools can help with many steps of the software development lifecycle, the human contribution to project delivery is still the most important. Here are some qualities agile teams should encourage.

Leanne Howard's picture Leanne Howard
Evaluation with "Excellent" checked Are You Agile? An Assessment Can Tell You

Plenty of companies want to be agile and go through the motions but are not really agile. An agile assessment allows you to evaluate how teams or even organizations are doing in their agile journey. But like any useful tool, there is no shortage of assessment options available. Here are the acceptance criteria to look for and a framework for using an agile assessment.

Joel Bancroft-Connors's picture Joel Bancroft-Connors
Code on a computer screen Code Health Kaizen: Self-Organizing for Agile Improvement

People at Ben Kopel's organization were interested in improving their code health. It was something the engineers had control over and leadership didn't need to be involved, so code health was a great candidate for a self-organized initiative. Ben details the meeting they held, their discussions and plans, and how an agile team empowered themselves to improve.

Ben Kopel's picture Ben Kopel

Better Software Magazine Articles

The Secrets of High- Performance Software Teams The Secrets of High-Performance Software Teams

Of all issues that impact getting quality products out on time, the team should never focus on simply managing costs. To minimize the risk of perpetual product delivery delays, define what “done” really means.

Steve Mezak's picture Steve Mezak
tolerate You Get What You Tolerate

We’ve all worked with a talented developer who can be a frustrating challenge to manage. First-time managers may unknowingly encourage bad behavior. There are several innovative ways to resolve the situation.

Andy Kaufman's picture Andy Kaufman
handstand The Power of Thinking Upside Down

Software developers can become bogged down trying to keep up with agile process and procedures. Get better results by rethinking your approach to balancing focus, agility, management, and testing.

Paul McMahon's picture Paul McMahon
Do You Really Want to Be a Manager Do You Really Want to Be a Manager?

The majority of managers are promoted due to their software development expertise. But becoming a successful manager requires a drastic change of focus. There is a set of expectations to consider before making that leap to the “dark side.”

Ron Lichty's picture Ron Lichty MW Mantle

Interviews

Isabel Evans How Leaders Can Help Software Teams Thrive: An Interview with Isabel Evans

In this interview, Isabel Evans, a quality and testing consultant, talks about the traits most often seen in effective leaders. She details different leadership styles that work best in different situations, how you can learn to lead agile teams, and what leaders can learn from the animal kingdom.

Josiah Renaudin's picture Josiah Renaudin
Mary Thorn The Tester's Role on Small and Large Agile Teams: An Interview with Mary Thorn

In this interview, Mary Thorn, the director of agile practices at Ipreo, explains why there shouldn’t be any real differences between large and small agile teams. She details the qualities of an interchangeable tester and breaks down manual versus automated testing.

Josiah Renaudin's picture Josiah Renaudin
Bob Galen Trust Your Testing Team and Stop Leading from the Front: An Interview with Bob Galen

In this interview, Bob Galen, an agile methodologist, practitioner, and coach, explains why you shouldn't lead your testing team from the front. He details how agile has changed the dynamics of a testing team and how you can lead both developers and testers by example.

Josiah Renaudin's picture Josiah Renaudin
Selena Delesie Leadership Lessons to Bolster Your Software Team: An Interview with Selena Delesie
Video

In this interview, visionary speaker Selena Delesie explains how successful teams embrace specific principles, including listening deeply, believing people truly matter, having an addiction to learning, serving others, flowing through change, moving through fear, and following joy.

Jennifer Bonine's picture Jennifer Bonine

Conference Presentations

Collocated West Logo Product Management: The Innovation Glue for the Lean Enterprise
Slideshow

At a time when organizations of all sizes both want and need innovation, exciting approaches including lean startup and agile development have risen to the forefront. Although there is no shortage of resources and expertise on these approaches, less guidance is available on the daunting...

Mimi Hoang and George Schlitz
Collocated West Logo Create Brainstorming Commandos for Creative Problem Solving
Slideshow

Agile teams are solving real-world complex problems every day. These problems require creative problem solving by team members. In its truest sense, brainstorming is intended to be a practical approach to this task. Brainstorming entails “using the brain to storm a creative problem and...

Pradeepa Narayanaswamy
Collocated East Logo You Don't Have All the Answers: So Stop Giving Advice and Start Asking Questions
Slideshow

Many of us are raised to recognize the value of experts. When we work in a technical arena, seeing our own value as experts is re-enforced. We often are rewarded or promoted based on our knowledge. Our tendency is to want to solve problems by giving our colleagues, teams, and mentees sound...

Judith Mills, Judith Mills LLC
Applying Courtship Principles: Hiring for the Long Term
Slideshow

As managers, we tend to focus on improving our processes. But have you considered that good people—not processes—are really the foundation of high-quality software? Competent and skilled people—combined with good process—can consistently produce higher-quality software...

Philip Lew, XBOSoft

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