Is the Most Productive Employee Really the Most Productive?

I’ve discussed this situation with several managers recently. The manager says, “I have a wonderful developer, who can code circles around everyone else. If he doesn’t like someone else’s code, he rewrites it over the weekend. If he sees a hole, he writes a ton of code over the weekend He starts work early and …

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: …

What if Managers Worked Smarter?

I was reading David Anderson’s Working Smarter Not Harder and thought about managers. David’s right, a few small improvements can dramatically increase a team’s productivity and therefore lower the cost of development. But I contend that most of the productivity costs in software is the way we mismanage software projects. If managers worked smarter, they …