I started writing articles in 1996. These articles explore the issues of software project management, software management, engineering management, managing project risk, how to be a great manager, software requirements, how to hire people, how to be a great consultant, and more.
I've written over 300 articles.
Some areas you might be interested in:
Articles on project management where I explore how you help teams deliver successful products.
Articles on engineering and software management where I explore the issues and challenges of agile and more traditional management.
Articles on program management, the topic of my next book. Program management is how you bring together teams, often located all over the world, for the success of one business deliverable. It's difficult!
Or, just browse all articles. Check out the tag cloud on the side bar, too.
Serendipitous Communications in Geographically Distributed Agile Teams, PragPub, June 2019.
Distributed Teams Need Sufficient Communications Technology, PragPub, May, 2019
For Distributed Agile Teams, It’s Not All about the Tools, agileconnection.com, April 2018
Distributed Team Workspaces Start with Hours of Overlap, PragPub, April 2019
2019 Gurock Articles:
- Understand Your Geographically Distributed Agile Team, 2019/06/11
- Discover Long Feedback Loops, 2019/05/14
- Testing Is Not a Shared Service: How Testers Can Help Product Development, 2019/03/26
- Test Manager’s Role in an Agile Organization, 2019/02/21
- Reframe Test Failure to Learn Early, 2019/01/17
2018 Publications (I wrote too much in books to maintain this page. Argh.)
Eliminate Fake Certainty and Solve the Real Problem, agileconnection.com, October 2018
I wrote many articles for the Gurock blog:
- Agile Tester as Servant Leader, 2018/11/29
- Leading Your Agile Team Regardless of Your Role, 2018/10/19
- Experimenting Your Way to Better Test Automation, 2018/09/21
- Release Criteria at All Levels: Turtles All the Way Down, 2018/08/16
- Lead Your Agile Culture Change, 2018/06/28
- Leading the Agile Culture Change, 2018/06/15
- MVE and MVP: Defining the Difference, 2018/05/02
- Using the Best of Agile and Lean for Your Project, 2018/03/16
- Continual Planning: The Driver of Continuous Testing, Integration, & Delivery, 2018/02/28
- Feedback & Feedforward for Continuous Improvement, 2018/01/24
Unearthing Your Project's Delays, PragPub, October 2017
Agile Alternatives for a Geographically Distributed Team, projectmanagement.com, April 2016
Is Your Product Owner an Overloaded Operator?, agileconnection.com, April 2016
The Value of Taking Breaks, TechWell.com, March 2016
Servant Leadership: The Agile Way, projectmanagement.com, Feb 2016
Make the Effort to Invest in Yourself, TechWell.com, Feb 2016
Agile Does Not Equal Scrum: Know the Difference, TechWell.com, Jan 2016
Start the New Year with a Retrospective, TechWell.com, Dec 2015
What Do You Believe?, TechWell.com, Nov 2015
Making Time for Reflection, TechWell.com, Oct 2015
Self-Improvement, or How to Work Up to Your Potential, TechWell.com, Sept 2015
Is Agile a Cargo Cult or a Reality for Your Team?, projectmanagement.com, Aug 2015
What Are You Measuring?, TechWell.com, Aug 2015
What Do You Do When You’re Stuck on a Problem?, TechWell.com, July 2015
Become an Estimation Leader, TechWell.com, June 2015
How Much Time Do You Spend Doing Your Job versus Learning Your Job?, TechWell.com, May 2015
Is Agile Working for Your Project?, projectmanagement.com, May 2015
What Drives Your Behavior at Work?, TechWell.com, April 2015
Who Is Responsible for Happiness?, TechWell.com, March 2015
From a Fixed to Agile Mindset: How to Make the Transition, projectmanagement.com, Feb 2015
Let’s Stop Discussing Post-Agile: We Still Can’t Agree on Agile, TechWell.com, Feb 2015
What Do You Do on a Snow Day?, TechWell.com, Jan 2015
Does Agile Apply to Your Project?, projectmanagement.com, Jan 2015
Management Myth 35: You Have an Indispensable Employee, Stickyminds.com, Jan 2015
Management Myth 35: Friendly Competition is Constructive, December 2014
Management Myth 34: You're Empowered Because I Say You Are, October 2014
Management Myth 33: We Need a Quick Fix or a Silver Bullet, Sept 2014
Beware of Serial Status Meetings, Agileconnection, Sept 2014.
Applying Agile to Emergent Projects, projectmanagement.com, Sept 2014
Management Myth 32: I Can Treat People as Interchangeable Resources, Stickyminds, Aug 2014
Management Myth 31: I Don’t Have to Make the Difficult Choices, Stickyminds, July 2014
Design Your Agile Project (Part 2), NFJS Magazine, August 2014
Design Your Agile Project (Part 1), NFJS Magazine, July 2014
Management Myth 30: I am More Valuable Than Other People, Stickyminds.com, June 2014
Need to Learn More About the Work You are Doing? Spike It!, Agileconnection,com, May 2014
Management Myth 29: I Can Concentrate on the Run, Stickyminds.com, May 2014
Leading Your Organization's Transition to Agile, projectmanagement.com, May 2014
Management Myth 28: I Can Standardize How Other People Work, Stickyminds.com, April 2014
Management Myth 27: We Can Take Hiring Shortcuts, Stickyminds.com, March 2014
Debugging Your Geographically Distributed Agile Team, projectmanagement.com, February 2014
Management Myth 26: It’s Fine to Micromanage, Stickyminds.com, February 2014
Management Myth 24: People Don’t Need External Credit, Stickyminds.com, December, 2013
Management Myth 23: You Can Manage Any Number of People as a Manager, Stickyminds.com, November 2013
Keys to Chartering an Agile Project, projectmanagement.com, October 2013
Management Myth 22: If You’re Not Typing, You’re Not Working, Stickyminds.com, October 2013
Management Myth 21: It’s Always Cheaper to Hire People Where the Wages Are Less Expensive, Stickyminds.com, September 2013
Manage Your Personal Project Portfolio One Step at a Time, Better Software, September/October 2013
Management Myth 20: I Can Compare Teams (and It's Valuable to Do So) Stickyminds.com, August 2013
Management Myth 19: Management Doesn't Look Difficult from the Outside, So It Must Be Easy, Stickyminds.com, July 2013
Using Release Trains to Get on Track, projectmanagement.com, July 2013
Management Myth 17: I Must Solve the Team's Problem for Them, Stickyminds.com, May 2013
Management Myth 16: I Know How Long the Work Should Take, Stickyminds.com, April 2013
Managing Programs with Agile and Traditional Projects, projectmanagement.com, Mar 2013
What “Scrum Master” Are You Hiring, InfoQ, Mar 2013
Management Myth 15:I Need People to Work Overtime, Stickyminds.com, Mar 2013
Lessons Learned from Leading Workshops about Geographically Distributed Agile Teams, IEEE Software, March/April 2013
Management Myth 14: I Must Always Have a Solution to the Problem, Stickyminds.com, Feb 2013
Management Myth 13: I Must Never Admit My Mistakes, Stickyminds.com, Jan 2013
Think Small: Five Tips for Agile Program Management, projectmanagement.com, Jan 2013
Management Myth #11: The Team Needs a Cheerleader!, Stickyminds.com, November 2012
Management Myth #10: I Can Measure the Work by the Time People Spend at Work, Stickyminds.com, November 2012
How to Use Iteration Zero—Or Not, Gantthead.com, October 2012
Building a Team Through Feedback, Stuckyminds.com, October 2012
Management Myth #9: We Have No Time for Training, Stickyminds, October 2012
Management Myth #8: I Can Still Do Significant Technical Work, Techwell, September 2012
Management Myth #7: I Am Too Valuable to Take a Vacation, Techwell, August 2012
Managing Technical Debt in an Agile Project, Gantthead.com, July 2012
Agile Has Not Crossed the Chasm, A Contrarian View, July 2012, Cutter Executive Report
Management Myth #6: I Can Save Everyone, Techwell, July 2012
Swarming Across Distance, InfoQ, June 2012
Management Myth #5: We Can and Must Have an Objective Ranking System, Techwell, June 2012
Management Myth #4: I Don't Need One-on-Ones, Techwell, April 2012
Roll Your Own (Agile Lifecycle), Gantthead.com, April 10, 2012
Management Myth #3: We Must Treat Everyone the Same Way, Techwell, March 2012
Management Myth #2: Only the ‘Expert' Can Perform This Work, Techwell, February 2012
Management Myth #1: The Myth of 100% Utilization, Techwell, Jan 2012
Who's Playing Agile Schedule Games?, Gantthead.com, Jan 2012
Edit Those Epics, Techwell.com, Oct, 2011
What's an Agile PM to Do?, Gantthead.com, Sept 2011
Do You Need Titled Architects for Your Agile Programs?, Techwell.com, Sept 2011
Agile Architecture and Program Myths, Gantthead.com, May 2011
How do we Compare?, Stickyminds.com, May 2011
Not Ready for Agile? Start Your Journey with Release Trains, Stickyminds.com, April 2011
Timebox or Kanban: A False Dichotomy, Gantthead.com, February, 2011
I've Got Your Back (with Gil Broza), Stickyminds.com, Jan 2011
The Silent Project Killer, Gantthead.com, Nov 2010
Measure Throughput, Not Utilization, Stickyminds.com, Nov 2010
Agile Program Management: Possible or a Pipe Dream?, Gantthead.com, Sept. 2010
Which Obstacle Should You Tackle Today?, Stickyminds.com, Sept 2010
Six Behaviors to Consider for an Agile Team, Stickyminds.com, July 2010
The Agile Project Manager: To Facilitate, Serve and Protect, Gantthead.com, June 2010
Transitioning to Agile Testing, Stickyminds.com, May 2010
Project Portfolio Decisions–Decisions for Now, Agile Journal, April 2010
Working Together–Not Just Working Together, Better Software, Mar/April 2010
Agile Managers: The Essence of Leadership, Cutter IT Journal, March 2010, Vol 23, #3
Are You Making Progress or Spinning Your Wheels?, Stickyminds.com, Mar 2010
How to say ‘No', Projectmanagement.com, March 2010
The Role of the Test Manager in an Agile Organization, Stickyminds.com, Feb 2010
Agile Architecture, Gantthead.com, Jan 2010
Using the Project Portfolio to Move to Incremental Project Funding, PM Boulevard, Dec 2009
Seeing Work in Progress, Stickyminds.com, Nov 2009
Agile Project Management: No Planning Needed?, Ganthead.com, Sept 2009
Choosing the Strategically Important Work, PMBoulevard.com, Sept 2009
No: Such a Difficult Word, Stickyminds.com, July 2009
Point Play, Gantthead.com, June 2009
What's So Special About Specialists?, Stickyminds.com, April 2009
The Game of Risk, Gantthead.com, Feb 2009
Selecting a Ranking Method for Your Project Portfolio, Cutter IT Journal, January 2009
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions, Stickyminds.com, January 2009
Transitioning to Agile in the Middle of a Project, Stickyminds.com, October 2008
Does Exploratory Testing Have A Place On Agile Teams?, Stickyminds.com, July 2009
What Lifecycle? Selecting the Right Model for Your Project, Cutter IT Journal, Vol 21, #5, May 2008
What Are You Working On?, Stickyminds, April 2008
How Often Should You Review the Project Portfolio?, PMBoulevard.com, March 2008
Using Writing and Speaking to Recruit Candidates, Part 2, RecruitingTrends.com, Mar 2008
Make Your Mission Possible, Better Software, Feb 2008
Are You Done Yet? with J.B. Rainsberger, IEEE Software, January/February 2008 (Vol. 25, No. 1)
What Project Managers Need To Know About Testing, Stickyminds, Dec 2007
Using Writing and Speaking to Recruit Candidates, Part 1, RecruitingTrends.com, Dec 2007
What's Important to You about a Candidate? RecruitingTrends.com, Nov 2007
Are Your Pants on Fire, or Do You Suffer from Split Focus?, Stickyminds, Oct 2007
When to Use Staged Integration, CM Journal, Sept 2007
Recruiting “Failed” Candidates, RecruitingTrends.com, Aug 2007
Recruiting Managers: A Tricky Proposition, RecruitingTrends.com, July 2007
Eliminating the 90 Percent Done Game, Stickyminds, Jul 2007
Exploiting—But Not Manipulating—Your Alumni Network, RecruitingTrends.com, May 2007
What's Your Project Vision?, Stickyminds, April 2007
Take a Stand—Yes or No, not Maybe, Better Software, Mar 2007
Codependent Schedule Games, Stickyminds, Dec 2006
Recognizing Agile Candidates, Stickyminds, Sept 2006
An Incremental Technique to Pay Off Testing Technical Debt, Stickyminds, Jul 2006
Feedback Before Firing, Better Software, April 2006.
Agile Project Portfolio Planning, Cutter Cutter Agile Project Management E-Mail Advisor, March 2006.
Sunny Skies or Storms?, Stickyminds, Mar 2006.
Starting with Rolling Wave Planning, Cutter Cutter Agile Project Management E-Mail Advisor, Feb 2006.
How Much Building Is Too Much?, Stickyminds, Jan 2006.
Are We There Yet?, Better Software, Dec 2005.
Implement by Feature, Better Software, December, 2005.
Changing Minds about Context Switching, Better Software, Nov 2005.
Developing a Professional Portfolio, Inc/Fast Company, Nov 2005
How Much Work Can You Do?, Stickyminds.com, Oct 2005.
Planning for Technical Management Time, Cutter Business-IT Strategies E-Mail Advisor, Oct 2005.
Spark Your Salary, Computerworld, Oct. 2005.
Getting Up to Speed, Inc/Fast Company, Sept 2005.
Three Tips to Managing Across the Globe, (project management), Computerworld, Aug 15, 2005.
Rapid Ramp-Ups, Inc/Fast Company, July 2005.
What's on Your Not-to-Do List?, Stickyminds.com, June 2005.
Hiring for Team Fit, Cutter IT Journal, June 2005.
Make the Work Interesting, Inc/Fast Company, June 2005.
Don't Play ‘Schedule Chicken', Computerworld.com, May 2005.
Estimating Testing Time, Stickyminds.com, May 2005.
Getting Ahead, Computerworld, April 05.
Interviewing New College Grads, Fast Company/Inc. Hiring Center, April 2005.
Breathing Life into Your Employee Referral Program, Fast Company/Inc. Hiring Center, March, 2005
Five Warning Signs of Misalignment Between IT and Business Strategy, Cutter Business-IT Strategies E-Mail Advisor, March 2005.
Cultural Fits and Starts, Fast Company/Inc. Hiring Center, February, 2005
Hiring for an Agile Project , Cutter Cutter Agile Project Management E-Mail Advisor, February 2005
Detecting Great Testers Before the In-person Interview, Stickyminds.com, Jan. 2005.
How to Hire Technical Managers, Computerworld.com, Jan. 2005
Deck the Halls, Computerworld.com, Dec. 2004.
Asking Great Questions, Computerworld.com, November 2004
Building Better Test Teams, Stickyminds.com, Nov. 2004
Watching Testers in Action: Auditions During Interviews, Stickyminds.com, Sept 2004
By the Dashboard Light, Stickyminds.com, July 2004
So Many Tests, So Little Time, Stickyminds.com, May 2004
Multiprojecting: Progress by Illusion, Computerworld.com, April 2004
Multiprojecting: The Illusion of Progress, Stickyminds.com, March 2004
Using Inch-Pebbles to Track Project State, Computerworld.com, February 2004
Two Candidates. One Position, Better Software, February 2004
Investing in Architectural Infrastructure: A Business Conversation, Cutter IT Journal, January 2004
When Enough is Not Enough, Stickyminds.com, January 2004
No More Second Class Testers!, Better Software, January 2004
Hey, it could happen! A contrarian's approach to predictions, Computerworld.com, December 2003
Successful Software Management: 14 Lessons Learned, Crosstalk, December 2003.
How2 Create a Buddy (informal mentoring) Program, November 2003
Testers Shine on Agile Projects, Stickyminds.com, November 2003
Future Fixes, Software Development, Oct. 2003
Hire People, not Tools, Computerworld.com, Oct. 2003
Congratulations! You’re a Manager. Now What?, STQE, Sept/Oct 2003
11 Steps to Outsourcing: A Contrarian's View, Computerworld.com, Sept 2003
When do you say “No, that's not my job any longer”?, Computerworld.com, August, 2003
Teambuilding at Work, STQE, July/August 2003
Multitasking Overhead, Software Development, July 2003
Plan Perfect, Software Development, May 2003
Improve Tester Performance, Stickyminds.com, May 2003
Collaborating with Other Consultants, Diamond Harvard Business Review, May 2003
Clarify Your Ranking for System Problem Reports, Stickyminds.com, March 2003
Hiring in Alignment, Cutter Business-IT Strategies E-Mail Advisor, March 2003
What's Wrong with Wednesday?, Computerworld.com, January 2003
What's Your Fault Feedback Ratio?, Computerworld.com, November 2002
Beyond Tool Use, Software Development, October, 2002
Planning Your People Investment, June 2002
Climbing out of Technical Debt, AYE Conference web site, May 2002
Practice: A Necessary Part of Change, February 2002
Managing Multicultural Projects with Complementary Practices, Projects and Profits, January 2002
Release Criteria: Defining the Rules of the Game (presentation in pdf), updated October 2001
Manager, Heal Thyself: Improving Software Processes Means Changing Management Processes, Cutter IT Journal, October 2001
What Do They Pay You to Do? ( also as a presentation in PDF), October 2001
Successful Software Management: 10 Lessons Learned, August 2001
A Test Manager’s Output: What Is That?, June 2001
Creating a Successful Project When you Don't Know How to Define Success (in PDF), May, 2001
Managing Multicultural Projects with Complementary Practices, Cutter IT Journal, April 2001
What Do You Manage?, December 2000
Managing Testing Resources: Five Suggestions for the Project Manager, December, 2000, PMI ISSIG Review
No More Whining: Reframing the Not-Enough Question, September 2000. Also available in PDF
Shhhhhh! You Can?t Say That!, October 2000
Being a Successful Product and Services Company Oct 30-Nov 5, 2000
What to do When Your Project Slips, SPC E-SSENTIALS! September 2000
Make Telecommuting Work, September/October 2000, or in PDF
The Influential Test Manager, May – June 2000
Defining and Managing Test Priorities for COTS Software, Software Quality Professional, June 2000
The Four R's of Software Process Improvement: Requirements, Reviews, and Results, Crosstalk, May 2000
It Depends: Deciding on the Correct Ratio of Developers to Testers, Star East, Orlando FL, May 2000
Using Quality to Drive Project Lifecycles, PMI IS-SIG, Orlando, FL, May 2000
Web Business Under Pressure, in QSS's online newsletter, February 2000
Creating a Learning Culture, Software Development, November 1999
A Problem-Based Approach to Software Process Improvement: A Case Study ,Crosstalk, October, 1999.
Planning your Staffing Decisions, 9th International Conference on Software Quality, October 1999
Successful Engineering Management: 7 Lessons Learned, Electro '99, June 16, 1999, Boston, MA
How to use Inch-Pebbles When You Think You Can't, Cutter IT Journal, May 1999.
How to Help Your Client Pay You with Don Gray, Contract Professional, April 1999
Testing in the Dark with Brian Lawrence, Software Testing and Quality Engineering, March/April 1999.
Testing in the Dark, IEEE Software, March/April 1999.
Using Quality to Drive Product Development Processes SEPG '99, March 1999, Atlanta, GA
Determining Your Project's Quality Priorities, Software Development, February, 1999.
Defining and Managing Project Focus SM '99 , Feb '99
What to Do When the Right Person Doesn't Come Along, Cutter IT, January 1999.
Managing Test Priorities for Packaged Software, STAR West, Oct 1998
A Problem-Based Approach to Software Process Improvement: A Case Study, PNSQC/8ICSQ, Portland, OR, Oct 1998
Managing Test Priorities for COTS Software, PSQT, St. Paul, MN, Oct 1998
Managing Global Teams: Six Tips to Optimize your Global Development Effort, Software Development, August 1998
Achieving a Repeatable Process, Software Development, June 1998
Role of the Test Manager Quality Week, San Francisco, CA, May, 1998
Defining and Managing Project Focus, published in American Programmer, Feb 1998
Making Geographically Dispersed Product Development Work, Software Development '98
Quality-Driven Project Management, Applications of Software Measurement, Oct 1997
Iterative Software Project Planning and Tracking, Seventh International Conference on Software Quality, Oct 1997
Making Geographically Dispersed Product Development Work, Software Development '97, 9/29/97
Is Your Investment in Quality and Process Improvement Paying Off?, Quality Week '97, 5/27-5/30/97
Case Study: From “Chaos” to “Repeatable” in 4 months, SEPG '97, March 1997
Resistance to Process Improvement: A Personal Perspective, SEPG '97, March 1997
Test Scenario Design for Software Products, New England Quality Conference, Oct 1996
Applying Systems Thinking to the Issues of Software Product Development, Systems Dynamics Conference, July, 1996
Measurements to Reduce Risk in Product Ship Decisions, Quality Week, May, 1996
Software Quality Assurance: Should it remain a separate organization?, The Software QA Magazine, May 1996.
Software Management Practices: Positive and Negative Practices for Quality, Fifth International Conference on Software Quality, Austin TX, October 22-26, 1995