Here are a variety of articles that you may find interesting and useful.
Click on the title to start a free download of each pdf file.
Agile Clouds (pdf 61k) Buzzwords abound in the Business IT world. You can’t ignore these words because they come at you from all sides. To help you cope with the possible hype you’ve been hearing, I offer you a brief overview of the realities of two of them– “Cloud” and “Agile”.
Playing the Management Game in Development (pdf 108k)
Management has a bad reputation in much of the product development world. Many people would say it is a well-deserved reputation. As part of the management team, you now have the chance to avoid the traps that led your previous bosses astray. To avoid them, you need a clear idea of what the goals of management are, and how they differ from the goals of people in other roles, such as project management, product marketing, and CTO.
This is an outline of a talk given to an audience of VPs of Engineering in Silicon Valley, and includes some of their responses to questions about managing development.
Working with Experts (pdf 36k)
Experts are a part of everyday life for attorneys in many fields of litigation. Here are some observations about relating to experts written by a technology expert with over 20 years experience as an expert in patent, copyright, trade secret, breach of contract and (in one case) personal injury litigation.
Competition as Stimulus (pdf 56k)
Competition benefits customers by letting them choose among products. It establishes a market with a range of solutions.
The success of your product strategy depends on understanding competition from the customer’s point of view. Here are three ways to use the customer frame of mind to stimulate your product development.
- When you are evaluating internal product development proposals, you should listen with a customer’s ear, understanding the priorities of the end-user of the product and the customer who makes the buying decision.
- While you are planning you own future products, you should also be projecting the future of competitors’ capabilities. This allows you to see how your products will be distinct from the competitors’ products, and how your features and services may be challenged by the competition.
- Getting outstanding products is often a matter of imagining possibilities. You can help your development staff by asking the right questions, questions which open up possibilities.
What Does Management Have To Do With Innovation? (pdf 88k)
This paper covers:
- What innovation is and isn’t
- Things a manager does
- What you shouldn’t do as a manager
- Managing a team to “win”
- Clearing the way for innovation
- Keeping the bosses happy
What Management Can Learn from Extreme Programming (pdf 76k)
Many theories and methodologies of development have come down from academic studies at business schools; others have come from project management methods that were developed in non-software disciplines like building construction. Extreme Programming (XP) and agile methodologies are different. They have come up from teams doing the real work of software development. The reality of doing the work keeps XP principles fresh and flexible. The bottom line is always, “does it work?” Managing software development teams has also suffered from trying to import methods from other disciplines. Doing management is not like doing software development, but anything that stimulates our thinking can be worthwhile. What if we tried to apply what we have learned from XP to management above the project team level?
Extreme Programming: Fast Iterations Mean Fewer Nasty Surprises (pdf 43k)
By Bart Eisenberg, Pacific Connection
Software Design magazine
” The interesting thing about XP is that it’s a grass roots movement from
practioners, not a theory from management schools or Carnegie Mellon’s
Software Engineering Institute, says John Levy, a management consultant and
long-time observer of XP.” — Bart Eisenberg
If XP is Good Management (pdf 57k)
Extreme Programming (XP) has adopted a set of principles that define a
consistent and reliable development process. These principles were not
discovered at random. Each one of them corrects one or more deficiencies in
prior development processes. What did we, as development managers, do wrong?
Let’s look at the principles one by one and remember our mistakes.
Twelve Things to Ask Your Software Team (pdf 36k)
A guide for executives whose product development process depends on software or firmware.
Managing High-Tech Teams (pdf 29k)
Managing a High-Tech Team successfully requires knowing what the team needs. Understanding the teams’ viewpoint makes it easy to fulfill the needs. This article describes some of the basic needs and desires of typical high-tech teams, and attempts to put those needs in context. Examples of what happens when the needs are met and when they are not met clarify the nature of the needs.
Coaching the Team — What’s Management’s Role? (pdf 35k)
You manage a lot of individuals and are responsible for a number of key teams. How do teams differ from individuals? What’s the best you can expect from a team? The winning team of Super Bowl XXVI teaches us some lessons.
The Era of the Personal Computer is Over (pdf 14k)
Not because PC’s are about to disappear, but because PC software and hardware will not define the direction of high-growth technology markets in the 21st century.
After reading one or more of our articles, you may be ready to learn more about How I Work.