Software Teamwork: Taking Ownership for Success

Software Teamwork: Taking Ownership for Success

by Jim Brosseau

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Software Teamwork: Taking Ownership for Success by Jim Brosseau

“If your desire is to effect change or have more influence on a software team, you could either stumble around in the dark for a few years, experimenting with different techniques, or you could buy, read, and apply the techniques in this book. This choice, of course, is up to you.”–Matthew Heusser


“Jim Brosseau’s understanding of the true dynamics of the IT workplace shows through in Software Teamwork. For those on the IT solution delivery front lines, and for those who manage them, his insights and wisdom will lead to not only better projects, but a better work life as well.”–Bruce A. Stewart, Chief Executive Officer, Accendor Research, Inc.


Optimizing the Human Side of Software Development:

Real Solutions Based on Real Data and Experience


Software Teamwork is a compelling, innovative, intensely practical guide to improving the human dynamics that are crucial to building great software.


Drawing on years of work with a wide range of teams, Jim Brosseau shows how to drive powerful improvements through small, focused changes that deliver results. These changes are designed to work for the whole team and respect existing organizational culture. Better yet, Brosseau identifies solutions you can start implementing right now, as an individual, without waiting for executive buy-in.


Whatever your methodology, technology, or organization, Software Teamwork demonstrates how to apply solutions to realistic development challenges involving complex sets of stakeholders. Along the way, Brosseau shares important new insights into the attitudes, motives, and personal relationships that project management software just can’t track.


Software Teamwork is a revelation–and an invaluable working resource for every project team member, leader, and stakeholder.



Preface xv

Acknowledgments xxi

About the Author xxiii


Part I: The Problem Space

Chapter 1: Why Are We So Challenged? 3

Chapter 2: Do the Right Thing 23

Part II: Individuals

Chapter 3: The Right Stuff 39

Chapter 4: A Quality Focus 53

Chapter 5: Facing Challenges 65

Chapter 6: Proactive Effectiveness 81

Chapter 7: Sustainability 95

Part III: Groups

Chapter 8: Communication 109

Chapter 9: Motives and Expectations 125

Chapter 10: Playing Well Together 143

Part IV: Teams

Chapter 11: Alignment 161

Chapter 12: Organization 177

Chapter 13: Coordination 199

Chapter 14: Guidance 217

Part V: Stakeholders

Chapter 15: Customers 235

Chapter 16: Setting Goals 243

Chapter 17: Specification 259

Chapter 18: Prioritization 273

Chapter 19: Change 283

Chapter 20: Progress 295

Part VI: Putting It All Together

Chapter 21: Pick Your Battles 311

Chapter 22: Flexibility and Rigor 323

Chapter 23: Progress Revisited 335

Chapter 24: Change Revisited 345

Chapter 25: Constant Vigilance 361

Part VII: Appendix

Appendix: Core Tools 375


Index 387


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780132702607
Publisher: Pearson Education
Publication date: 10/31/2007
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 432
File size: 894 KB

About the Author

Jim Brosseau has been in the software industry since 1980, in a range of roles from tester and developer to manager and director. He has developed software and managed teams in embedded avionics, ATC systems, and commercial software packages. A common thread through his experience has been a search for more effective collaboration across teams. Jim is principal of the Clarrus Consulting Group, and since 1998 he has consulted with organizations worldwide to improve their approaches for successfully delivering software. He publishes the Clarrus Compendium, a weekly newsletter with a unique perspective on the software industry ( He has published numerous technical articles and has presented at major conferences and local professional associations. Jim lives with his wife and two children in Vancouver.

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