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!

Articles on hiring technical people .

Or, just browse all articles. Check out the tag cloud on the side bar, too.

2021 Publications

I wrote a series of 5 articles with Michael Mahlberg. The Agile Alliance published these articles on their blog in Feb-March, 2021. We offered insights about how we can bring lean principles back into how people practice their agility today:

2020 Publications

Another year where I wrote books and blog posts over articles. See my articles:

  • Want More Innovation? Manage For Change (Nov 2020
  • Can You Make a Hybrid Approach Work for Your Project? (Part 2), Sept 2020
  • Can You Make a Hybrid Approach Work for Your Project? (Part 1), Sept 2020
  • Why Your Remote Team Needs a Separate Chat Backchannel, Sept 2020
  • 3 Interpersonal Communication Tools You Need for Every Remote Team, Aug 2020
  • How to Plan for Uncertainty in Uncertain Times, July 2020
  • 3 Approaches to Transform Talent Management to Environment Management, June 2020
  • Choose Again: Re-Evaluate Your Project Portfolio for Adaptability, May 2020
  • 3 Agile Estimation Alternatives, Feb 2020

2019 Publications

Creating Time for Collaboration with Distributed Teams and Agile Approaches,, Sept 2019

Serendipitous Communications in Geographically Distributed Agile Teams, PragPub, June 2019.

Distributed Teams Need Sufficient Communications Technology, PragPub, May, 2019

Distributed Agile Approaches Optimize for the Team over Individuals,, May 2019.

For Distributed Agile Teams, It’s Not All About the Tools,, April 2018

Distributed Team Workspaces Start with Hours of Overlap, PragPub, April 2019

2019 Gurock Articles:

2018 Publications (I wrote too much in books to maintain this page. Argh.)

Eliminate Fake Certainty and Solve the Real Problem,, October 2018

I wrote many articles for the Gurock blog:

2017 Publications

Unearthing Your Project's Delays, PragPub, October 2017

2016 Publications

Agile Alternatives for a Geographically Distributed Team,, April 2016

Is Your Product Owner an Overloaded Operator?,, April 2016

The Value of Taking Breaks,, March 2016

Servant Leadership: The Agile Way,, Feb 2016

Make the Effort to Invest in Yourself,, Feb 2016

Agile Does Not Equal Scrum: Know the Difference,, Jan 2016

2015 Publications

Start the New Year with a Retrospective,, Dec 2015

What Do You Believe?,, Nov 2015

Making Time for Reflection,, Oct 2015

Self-Improvement, or How to Work Up to Your Potential,, Sept 2015

Is Agile a Cargo Cult or a Reality for Your Team?,, Aug 2015

What Are You Measuring?,, Aug 2015

What Do You Do When You’re Stuck on a Problem?,, July 2015

Become an Estimation Leader,, June 2015

How Much Time Do You Spend Doing Your Job versus Learning Your Job?,, May 2015

Is Agile Working for Your Project?,, May 2015

What Drives Your Behavior at Work?,, April 2015

Who Is Responsible for Happiness?,, March 2015

From a Fixed to Agile Mindset: How to Make the Transition,, Feb 2015

Let’s Stop Discussing Post-Agile: We Still Can’t Agree on Agile,, Feb 2015

What Do You Do on a Snow Day?,, Jan 2015

Does Agile Apply to Your Project?,, Jan 2015

Management Myth 35: You Have an Indispensable Employee,, Jan 2015

2014 Publications

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,, 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,, 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,, May 2014

Leading Your Organization's Transition to Agile,, May 2014

Management Myth 28: I Can Standardize How Other People Work,, April 2014

Management Myth 27: We Can Take Hiring Shortcuts,, March 2014

Debugging Your Geographically Distributed Agile Team,, February 2014

Management Myth 26: It’s Fine to Micromanage,, February 2014

2013 Publications

Management Myth 24: People Don’t Need External Credit,, December, 2013

Management Myth 23: You Can Manage Any Number of People as a Manager,, November 2013

Keys to Chartering an Agile Project,, October 2013

Management Myth 22: If You’re Not Typing, You’re Not Working,, October 2013

Management Myth 21: It’s Always Cheaper to Hire People Where the Wages Are Less Expensive,, 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), August 2013

Management Myth 19: Management Doesn't Look Difficult from the Outside, So It Must Be Easy,, July 2013

Using Release Trains to Get on Track,, July 2013

Management Myth 18: I can Move People Like Chess Pieces,, June 2013

Management Myth 17: I Must Solve the Team's Problem for Them,, May 2013

Management Myth 16: I Know How Long the Work Should Take,, April 2013

Managing Programs with Agile and Traditional Projects,, Mar 2013

What “Scrum Master” Are You Hiring, InfoQ, Mar 2013

Management Myth 15:I Need People to Work Overtime,, 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,, Feb 2013

Management Myth 13: I Must Never Admit My Mistakes,, Jan 2013

Think Small: Five Tips for Agile Program Management,, Jan 2013

2012 Publications

Management Myth #12: I Must Promote the Best Technical Person to Be a Manager, December 2012

Management Myth #11: The Team Needs a Cheerleader!,, November 2012

Management Myth #10: I Can Measure the Work by the Time People Spend at Work,, November 2012

How to Use Iteration Zero—Or Not,, October 2012

Building a Team Through Feedback,, 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,, 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),, 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?,, Jan 2012

2011 Publications

Edit Those Epics,, Oct, 2011

What's an Agile PM to Do?,, Sept 2011

Do You Need Titled Architects for Your Agile Programs?,, Sept 2011

Agile Architecture and Program Myths,, May 2011

How do we Compare?,, May 2011

Not Ready for Agile? Start Your Journey with Release Trains,, April 2011

Timebox or Kanban: A False Dichotomy,, February, 2011

I've Got Your Back (with Gil Broza),, Jan 2011

2010 Publications

The Silent Project Killer,, Nov 2010

Measure Throughput, Not Utilization,, Nov 2010

Agile Program Management: Possible or a Pipe Dream?,, Sept. 2010

Which Obstacle Should You Tackle Today?,, Sept 2010

Six Behaviors to Consider for an Agile Team,, July 2010

The Agile Project Manager: To Facilitate, Serve and Protect,, June 2010

Transitioning to Agile Testing,, 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?,, Mar 2010

How to say ‘No',, March 2010

The Role of the Test Manager in an Agile Organization,, Feb 2010

Agile Architecture,, Jan 2010

2009 Publications

Using the Project Portfolio to Move to Incremental Project Funding, PM Boulevard, Dec 2009

Seeing Work in Progress,, Nov 2009

Agile Project Management: No Planning Needed?,, Sept 2009

Choosing the Strategically Important Work,, Sept 2009

No: Such a Difficult Word,, July 2009

Point Play,, June 2009

What's So Special About Specialists?,, April 2009

The Game of Risk,, Feb 2009

Selecting a Ranking Method for Your Project Portfolio, Cutter IT Journal, January 2009

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions,, January 2009

2008 Publications

Transitioning to Agile in the Middle of a Project,, October 2008

Does Exploratory Testing Have A Place On Agile Teams?,, 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?,, March 2008

Using Writing and Speaking to Recruit Candidates, Part 2,, 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)

2007 Publications

What Project Managers Need To Know About Testing, Stickyminds, Dec 2007

Using Writing and Speaking to Recruit Candidates, Part 1,, Dec 2007

What's Important to You about a Candidate?, 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,, Aug 2007

Recruiting Managers: A Tricky Proposition,, July 2007

Eliminating the 90 Percent Done Game, Stickyminds, Jul 2007

Exploiting—But Not Manipulating—Your Alumni Network,, May 2007

What's Your Project Vision?, Stickyminds, April 2007

Take a Stand—Yes or No, not Maybe, Better Software, Mar 2007

2006 Publications

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.

2005 Publications

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?,, 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?,, 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',, May 2005.

Estimating Testing Time,, 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,, Jan. 2005.

How to Hire Technical Managers,, Jan. 2005

2004 Publications

Deck the Halls,, Dec. 2004.

Asking Great Questions,, November 2004

Building Better Test Teams,, Nov. 2004

Watching Testers in Action: Auditions During Interviews,, Sept 2004

By the Dashboard Light,, July 2004

So Many Tests, So Little Time,, May 2004

Multiprojecting: Progress by Illusion,, April 2004

Multiprojecting: The Illusion of Progress,, March 2004

Using Inch-Pebbles to Track Project State,, 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,, January 2004

No More Second Class Testers!, Better Software, January 2004

2003 Publications

Hey, it could happen! A contrarian's approach to predictions,, 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,, November 2003

Future Fixes, Software Development, Oct. 2003

Hire People, not Tools,, Oct. 2003

Congratulations! You’re a Manager. Now What?, STQE, Sept/Oct 2003

11 Steps to Outsourcing: A Contrarian's View,, Sept 2003

When do you say “No, that's not my job any longer”?,, August, 2003

Teambuilding at Work, STQE, July/August 2003

Multitasking Overhead, Software Development, July 2003

Plan Perfect, Software Development, May 2003

Improve Tester Performance,, May 2003

Collaborating with Other Consultants, Diamond Harvard Business Review, May 2003

Plan PerfectSoftware Development, May 2003

Ready, Aim… Hire, STQE, March/April 2003

Clarify Your Ranking for System Problem Reports,, March 2003

Hiring in Alignment, Cutter Business-IT Strategies E-Mail Advisor, March 2003

What's Wrong with Wednesday?,, January 2003

Shaking off the “Shoulds” Part 1, and Pardon Sisyphus, Part 2Software Development, January and February, 2003

2002 Publications

What Does Your Title Say about Your Job?, December, 2002

What's Your Fault Feedback Ratio?,, November 2002

Beyond Tool Use, Software Development, October, 2002

What Testers Can Do About Technical Debt, Parts 1 and, August 2002

Managing for ResultsSoftware Development, June 2002

Planning Your People Investment, June 2002

Taking a Risk: How to Make Risk Conversations More, May 2002

Climbing out of Technical Debt, AYE Conference web site, May 2002

Advice on How to Hire, April 2002

Release Criteria: Is This Software Done? STQE Magazine, March/April 2002

No More Meeting MutiniesSoftware Development , March, 2002

Practice: A Necessary Part of Change, February 2002

Tips for Passing the BatonSoftware Development , February, 2002

What Does it Cost to Fix a Defect?, February, 2002

What does Success Look Like?, January, 2002

Managing Multicultural Projects with Complementary Practices, Projects and Profits, January 2002

2001 Publications

Risk Analysis, December, 2001

Testing Your Worth, Measuring Value in a Tight Job, October 2001

Release Criteria: Defining the Rules of the Game (presentation in pdf), updated October 2001

Livable LayoffsSoftware Development, November, 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

Other People's ProblemsSoftware Development, September 2001

Successful Software Management: 10 Lessons Learned, August 2001

Measuring Up: Measuring Test Managers from an Organization’s Perspective,, August 2001

Crisis? What Crisis? A Contrarian's Perspective, June 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

Where's Charlie?!, April 2001

Managing Multicultural Projects with Complementary Practices, Cutter IT Journal, April 2001

Looking Back, Looking AheadSoftware Development, February 2001

You're Too Valuable Where You February 2001

2000 Publications

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

What Does it Cost You to Fix a Defect, and Why Should you Care?, 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

It Depends: Deciding on the Correct Ratio of Developers to Testers, May 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

Taking the Crunch out of Crunch TimeSoftware Development, April 2000

The Influential Test ManagerSoftware Testing and Quality Engineering, March/April 2000

Web Business Under Pressure, in QSS's online newsletter, February 2000

1999 Publications

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

How to use Inch-Pebbles When You Think You Can'tCutter IT, May 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 AlongCutter IT, January 1999.

1998 Publications

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

1997 Publications

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

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