Planning

Better Software Magazine Articles

Feedback without Fear

Does the word "feedback" make you cringe? How about "configuration management"? Steve Berczuk has a pain-free plan for using your build environments and software configuration management system to provide the feedback that is essential to a successful agile project.

Steve Berczuk's picture Steve Berczuk
Analysis Paralysis and the Law of Imperfect Plans

Humans don't handle complexity well, and we certainly can't see the future—which helps explain why our plans and designs so often are flawed. In response to this truth, our guest technical editor offers Payson’s Law of Imperfect Plans. Embracing this law can help you avoid the dreaded analysis paralysis and accept that perfection just isn't possible.

Payson Hall's picture Payson Hall
Attack of the Fifty-Foot Favors

When your boss constantly has you doing favors for another group, it can get in the way of fulfilling your own responsibilities. Find out how defining your work mission to your manager and illustrating how "small" favors potentially cut into company revenue can help to get everyone on the same page.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Seasons of Software Development

In this installment of Management Chronicles, Peter Clark introduces us to a programmer who is trying unsuccessfully to complete a project mired in underestimation. Find out what you can do to keep your estimates in the free and clear.

Peter Clark's picture Peter Clark
Beat the Odds

You know that old saying that the best way to schedule software development is to come up with your best guess and divide by three? In this article, Joel Spolsky explains how to take the guesswork out of estimations by simulating schedules and creating probability curves that are more than just a shot in the dark.

Joel Spolsky's picture Joel Spolsky
Take a Stand-Yes or No, not Maybe

It's happened again. Your boss corners you and pressures you to take on extra work. The additional project gives you more work than you can realistically do, let alone do well. Find out how you can stand up to your boss and work with him to create reasonable priorities for your time without damaging your relationship.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Up the Organization, Redux

Certain management principles are enduring and able to cross the boundaries of industry In this month's Technically Speaking, Lee Copeland takes a look at the software development applications of his favorite management book.

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
The Case of the Missing Fingerprint: Solve the Mystery of Successful End-of-Project Retrospectives

Through this tale of a planning spreadsheet and its effect on three different projects, learn the impact a single decision can have on a project--and pick up some helpful tools like fingerprint graphs and project timelines along the way.

Jennitta Andrea's picture Jennitta Andrea
A Few Good Bugs

When a factory comes to a screeching halt and the collected team managers start pointing fingers at team members and ducking blame, one manager sets a valuable example by offering up a name--his own.

Patrick Bailey's picture Patrick Bailey
The Power of Low-Tech Tools

The level of technology that goes into a tool is only as valuable as the service that you, as a user, get out of that tool. Some low-tech tools--such as the four that Esther Derby lists here--have a place in the technologist's toolbox, too.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby

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