“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.
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
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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 (www.clarrus.com/resources.htm). 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.