Project Portfolio Management 101

by Johanna Rothman. Originally published in Cutter’s Business-IT Alignment E-Mail Advisor, October 17, 2001. Too many projects? Not sure which projects are most important? Welcome to project portfolio management. A client, Tim, is having trouble with his portfolio management. Senior management is organizing next year’s budget and hiring plan. They want more projects in the …

Manager, Heal Thyself: Improving Software Processes Means Changing Management Processes

© 2001 Esther Derby and Johanna Rothman. This article was originally published in Cutter IT Journal, October 2001. Suppose you are a manager in a software development organization that isn’t achieving the financial results that senior management wants. The good news is that your management understands that one way to reduce costs is to increase effectiveness of …

What Do They Pay You to Do?

© 2001 Johanna Rothman. This article was originally published in STQE, September/October 2001 issue, as the Last Word column. One of my colleagues recently took a job as a software quality assurance manager at a commercial software company. Jill had always been determined to improve the product development process wherever she’d worked, and seeing “process …

A Problematic Truth: You’re Too Valuable Where You Are

“No Fred, we’re not considering you for that promotion. You’re too valuable where you are.” How many of us have heard those words, or said them at least once to our staff? Sometimes, we use the “too valuable” phrase to avoid discussing problems with a staff member, problems you can bring out in the open …

Managerial Competence: The Key to Surviving Change

by Johanna Rothman. Originally published in Cutter’s Business-IT Alignment E-Mail Advisor, April 26, 2000. In response to Jim Highsmith’s Business-IT Strategies E-Mail Advisor of 1 March, “Change Is Changing,” I’d like to ask: Is the Internet really changing everything? I’m not so sure. In the 14 February issue of Business Week, there was a fascinating …

Making Telecommuting Work

© (2000) Johanna Rothman and IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from Johanna …

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

© 2000 Johanna Rothman. Abstract Many of us would like a precise answer to the question: “What’s the correct staffing ratio for developers to testers in my product development organization?” Usually though, the only answer is “It depends”. Your answer depends on your situation: the kind of project you’re working on, your schedule constraints, the …