Tag Archives: Organization

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions: Should you Commit, Kill, or Transform?

2012 Johanna Rothman If youre working on more than one project at a time, or if your managers are asking you to do so, its time to make some decisions. You shouldnt start every project. You shouldnt even finish every … Continue reading

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Make Your Mission Possible

Copyright 2008 Johanna Rothman, originally published in Better Software Janice strode down the hall and made a sharp right at a cubicle decorated with dragons. “Hey, Steve, got a minute? I need your help with a problem.” “Janice, the last … Continue reading

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The Blame Game

©2007, 2009 Don Gray and Jerry Weinberg Engelbert watched Pam nervously chew on her knuckle as she stood in the door of his office, answering his call. “Come in and close the door.” He motioned her to a seat, then … Continue reading

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Drawing Out the Facts: The Art of the Discovery Interview

(c)2007 Steven M. Smith “What?” raced through Janet’s head as she read the email. “Now that’s a surprise.” The message was from Jack Johnson, vice president of development. It said she would receive a meeting request from Rajan Alak, an … Continue reading

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Is Collaboration the Right Way to Work?

©2008-2009, Esther Derby As a manager, your job is to organize people and work for success. That includes work design–figuring out whether you have a group or a team, and creating an environment where people can do their best work. … Continue reading

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Climbing Out of Technical Debt

© 2002 Johanna Rothman, www.jrothman.com Have you ever had a conversation like this one? Vice President: In the last release, you were able to bring the release date by over a month by cutting the testing. Do that again, ok? … Continue reading

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Choosing Facilitation

© 2003 Johanna Rothman, www.jrothman.com Meetings are a fact of our lives. Most of the time we don’t need a facilitator to help move our meeting along; we can manage to accomplish the goals of the meeting without a formal … Continue reading

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Beyond Blaming

© 1996 Jean McLendon and Gerald M. Weinberg, www.satir.org and www.geraldmweinberg.com “England, though at present enjoying a very high state of prosperity, still shows some symptoms of a decaying nation. Propose to an Englishman any principle, or any instrument, however … Continue reading

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How to Improve Meetings When You’re Not in Charge

©2004, Esther Derby This column originally appeared on Stickyminds.com Are you tired of attending endless meetings where the conversation goes in circles and nothing gets done? Even if you can’t stand up and take control, you can nudge the meeting … Continue reading

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The ROTI Method of Gauging Meeting Effectiveness

©2003 Esther Derby. This column originally appeared on Stickyminds.com If you lead meetings, you can make improvements starting tomorrow. For a small investment of your time, you can return time to your staff by eliminating unnecessary meetings and improving the … Continue reading

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Should a ScrumMaster Give Performance Appraisals?

©2006 Esther Derby A ScrumMaster recently asked me if he should take over responsibility for year-end performance evaluations since he was closer to the work than the functional manager for the team. It’s not the first time I’ve heard this … Continue reading

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The Secret Ingredients of High Morale

©2004 Esther Derby This column originally appeared on Stickyminds.com Jessica and Sean scowled as they headed back to their cubicles after the company spirit meeting. “I can’t believe they wasted two hours of our time with that award ceremony and … Continue reading

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Focus Your Project

©2003 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com Do you ever wonder what you’re really supposed to focus on for your project? Companies create a variety of products, and different releases of those products, for many reasons. Some product releases can tolerate glaring defects; … Continue reading

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Hiring Testers

©2002 Johanna Rothman, www.jrothman.com This article originally appeared on stickyminds.com Summary: Whats the best way to wade through those thousands of resumes youve received for the new testing position? To start, you could ruthlessly weed out those who dont show … Continue reading

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How 2 Buddy

©2004 Johanna Rothman www.jrothman.com Introduction If you’ve hired new people or transferred people into your group, you know that they’re not immediately productive when they start. If you’re lucky, they start to be useful in a month, but you most … Continue reading

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Planning for Technical Management Time

©2005 Johanna Rothman I recently spoke with a manager who’d just incorporated another group of four people to his original three. “I was doing fine with my three people before I took over this group. I had time to manage, … Continue reading

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Multiprojecting: The Illusion of Progress

©2005 Johanna Rothman This article was originally published on Stickyminds.com Your CIO has two projects he wants finished in the next month. “We can share this project manager and that test team on both of these high-priority projects,” he declares … Continue reading

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How Much Work Can You Do?

Developing and Managing Your Project Portfolio (c) 2005 Johanna Rothman This article appeared previously on stickyminds.com. I meet many managers in the course of my work, and they all share a common complaint: They have too much work to do. … Continue reading

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What’s On Your Not-to-do List

©2005 Johanna Rothman This article originally appeared on stickyminds.com. I’ll bet you’re one of those people who have too much to do. (I haven’t met anyone in the past few years who didn’t have too much to do, so it’s not … Continue reading

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The Identified Patient Pattern

©2006 Don Gray and Jerry Weinberg Engelbert frowned, trying to understand why Pamela had been acting strangely. Her programming skills were among the best in the company. She had a way of getting things completed. That’s why he made her … Continue reading

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Designing Useful Metrics: Using Observation, Modeling, and Measurement to Make Decisions

©2000 Esther Derby www.estherderby.com Originally published in STQE magazine, May/June 2000 As a manager, you want to increase effectiveness and improve the quality of software. Using measurement as a tool for accomplishing this, however, may be something you’re skeptical about. … Continue reading

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What’s Wrong With Wednesday?

2005 Johanna Rothman Many of the project schedules I review contain milestone completions on Fridays and new task or phase beginnings on Mondays. With a Friday or Monday milestone, what you’re really saying is that people can work overtime all … Continue reading

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Watch for Falling Rocks: Unpredictable Risks

©2000 Johanna Rothman, www.jrothman.com I was recently driving on some back roads in New Mexico, and saw the sign “Watch for Falling Rocks.” I turned to my husband, Mark, and said “Now, why do they tell us to watch for … Continue reading

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