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Content tagged with: people

[6 Dec 2012 | Comments Off on People Patterns in Software Projects | ]

We spend a large portion of our time thinking about code and technical project issues. What about the people side of things? The majority of project failures occur because of people, not technology. What we need are guides that help us navigate the waters between the people around us.

[2 Oct 2012 | Comments Off on Software Project Teams: Small is Beautiful | ]

The article “Familiar Metric Management – Small is Beautiful Once Again” (PDF) by Lawrence H. Putnam and Ware Myers discusses the fact that in software development projects, small teams are more efficient than larger one. They provides metrics showing that the concept of using small teams in software development is a really beautiful idea. The data was provided by 491 medium-sized projects between 35,000 and 95,000 working on new or modified source lines of code. This data shows that productivity of small project teams is higher and suggests that you …

[30 Aug 2012 | Comments Off on Competency Model For Project Managers | ]

In this interesting blog post, Glen Alleman discusses the concept of competency models for project managers. He lists a set of elements that should be used to assess project managers in the following areas of competence: performance measurement, status reporting, organizational processes, team building, staff development, perspective, negotiation, risk management, problem solving and decision making. Examples of elements in the decision making area are to a structured approach for all significant decisions and to seek (and listen to) both facts and opinions.

[21 Aug 2012 | Comments Off on Responsibility Matrix in Scrum Projects | ]

In this article, Christophe Le Coent discusses shared responsibilities and clear accountability in software development projects. He proposes a RACI+F matrix where the letters have the following meaning: Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed, Facilitate. This allows to create RACI+F matrix for the Scrum project activities for each Scrum roles. This matrix can helped your team align their thoughts and educate and guide people across the organization.

[13 Apr 2012 | Comments Off on The Psychology of Estimation | ]

Estimation in software project management is often an issue. This blog post discusses some psychological aspects of estimating in software development. It explains the following effect that impact our estimation activity: The “halo” effect, framing effects, overconfidence, attribute Substitution, base-rate neglect and anchoring. It defines what they are and give hints on how to improve our estimation capabilities.

[18 Jan 2012 | Comments Off on Knowing When to Break the Rules | ]

You often hear a lot of dogmatic advice. Never do big design up front. Always write tests before code. This is great when you are learning to develop, but when you begin to get better and advance in your career, this advice can hinder you if you don’t know when not to apply it.

[13 Jan 2012 | Comments Off on Small Teams More Efficient Than Large Teams | ]

Carl Erickson shares in this blog post a study done on 564 information systems projects that seems to indicate that smaller teams are more efficient than larger teams. Small teams were defined with less than 5 people and large teams with more than 20 people. To complete projects of 100,000 equivalent source lines of code the large teams just barely (by a week or so) beat the small teams. It presents also more interesting data about this study. Communication costs and defect rate are the causes that should explain higher …

[6 Sep 2011 | Comments Off on Appraisals and Agile Don’t Play Nicely | ]

In this blog post, Gary Reynolds explains why the traditional appraisal systems (performance reviews, 360 feedback, evaluations) are in conflict with Agile values because they focus on the individual and not on the teamwork. The challenge is that individuals within an organization expect and deserve feedback on their performance, thus he also shares some ideas on how to keep individual performance feedback.

[13 Jul 2011 | Comments Off on Power and Influence Charting: The Google Way | ]

The most successful projects are those that have a solid foundation and actively supportive sponsors. One key issue that must be addressed during project initiation is the identification of the “right” project sponsor; one who has enough political clout and backing to overcome the obstacles that arise in the lifecycle of any project.

[11 May 2011 | Comments Off on Improving Software Engineering Through Holistic Project Coaching | ]

The majority of factors related to software development failure are human factors. Including a Project Coach who is focused on human issues in the software engineering process will have a positive impact in addressing software engineering challenges.