project management

The Pokayoke Software Development Guide

July 1, 2012

Aaron Swartz has written up a guide for software development from idea to launch. He calls it “The Pokayoke Guide to Developing Software”. I was unfamiliar with the word “Pokayoke”, but it means mistake-proofing, i.e., “eliminate product defects by preventing, correcting, or drawing attention to human errors as they occur”. Developing software from zero to […]

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Tracking Conversations

June 30, 2010

Steve Rowe has a management tip: When doing 1:1’s with your team (you are doing these regularly, right?), take notes to keep track of the conversations from week to week. I currently use a 5‑tab notebook with one tab for each direct report. Each person has their own section. Each week when we meet, I […]

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Decision-Making Protocol

June 24, 2010

One of my acquaintances is fond of saying, “Employees view managers as monsters, at the worst, and idiots, at the best.” The point being that, even good managers have to overcome mistrust about their intentions and judgment before employees accept their decisions. When a manager’s request comes into conflict with the opinions of employees, buy-in […]

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Are We Safer By Abolishing Rules?

June 14, 2010

Jurgen Appelo writes: In a Dutch article titled “Traffic is safer without rules” traffic expert Hans Monderman explained that the flow of traffic at an intersection can increase, while at the same time casualty rates decrease, when all traffic lights and road signs are removed. The reason is that, in a situation without rules or […]

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What Good Bosses Should Believe

June 1, 2010

Bob Sutton is hard at work on a new book and has put together a set of key beliefs that good bosses have. My thoughts on some of them: 1) I have a flawed and incomplete understanding of what it feels like to work for me. 12) Because I wield power over others, I am […]

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The Quality Imperative

May 10, 2010

Alan Skorks has an interesting post on different ways to look at software development: (emphasis in the original) the majority of companies that build any kind of software are ‘software as a destination’ companies. […] On the other hand, most individuals who build software for those companies would instinctively like to be (and in many […]

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Avoiding Software Car Wrecks

September 15, 2009

I.M. Wright’s post on risk management is worth reading: Software engineers do this all the time. They come up with a development schedule, unexpected issues come up, and they end up being late. Instead of informing their managers of the delay, they avoid facing conflict, rush the work, sacrifice quality, and slip the schedule, all […]

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Time, Budget, Scope

September 14, 2009

I understand what Glen Alleman is trying to do here when he insists that you can pick all three of time, budget and scope, but he totally misses the point: Put these estimates into a schedule, sequence the work. See what you get. Don’t like the outcome? Adjust One, Two, or Three of the variables […]

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Serialize Your Projects

September 13, 2009

Stephan Schmidt explains how doing several projects in parallel is counter-productive because of the high overhead costs involved. Projects must be tracked much longer, more documents are produced and must be tracked. All those status messages aggregate, flow upwards toward upper management, clog thinking and time. All those status messages flow to all stakeholders. Each […]

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The Manager’s Manager

August 30, 2009

The most important person in your professional life is the person who your manager is beholden to. In a large organization, it is simple to identify this person: it is your manager’s manager. In a smaller company, it could be a C‑level person or a customer. You see, the thing is that your manager is […]

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