Considerations About Being an Effective Manager

  In general, technical people don’t seem to make great managers (unless they’ve been trying to become great). A result of that is what Reifer says in his IEEE Software (May/June 2004) column Catching the Brass Ring: “software professionals aren’t often tapped for top corporate leadership positions.” He goes on to say “executives of my …

Users Can't Know Their Requirements Early

  I’ve been thinking more about requirements. In the most recent two assessments I’ve done, both organizations have been stuck on thinking they could define their requirements before design and implementation. IWBNI (It Would Be Nice If) users could know their requirements early. For small projects (a couple of people, maybe a couple of months) …

Showing Project Progress (NOT percent complete)

Last night at my SPIN talk someone came up to me at the end of the talk. I’d discussed earned value and inch-pebbles in my talk but hadn’t specifically discussed how to avoid the dreaded “percent complete” reporting problem to management. The percent complete problem occurs when you have to report progress to management as …

The Never-Ending Search for Higher Productivity

  On the face of it, higher productivity looks like a Good Thing. More products for less time. Who wouldn’t want this? But I wonder about this search for higher productivity. What do managers really want? If you want to understand about productivity for software organizations, read Putnam and Myers’ new book, Five Core Metrics: …