Stand Back and Deliver

Leadership is not a topic that is easily discussed in a book. Pollyanna Pixton, Niel Nickolaisen, Todd Little, Kent McDonald have however produced a cohesive book that provides some tools to assess and manage your software development projects. The book presents four key principles: Purpose – Collaborate – Delivery – Decisions.

These principles are extensively discusses in the book and hints are offered on how to change your organization by putting them in practice. Some of the tools presented in this book are the purpose alignment model matrix, the context leadership model, and the value model. These presentations are supported by many case studies. I will highly recommend this book to every software project manager or software development manager as it provides a framework of effective tools that will both allow to have a higher level vision of what is happening and gives practical information on how to deliver better value.

Stand Back and Deliver by Pollyanna Pixton, Niel Nickolaisen, Todd Little and Kent McDonald

Reference: “Stand Back and Deliver”, Pollyanna Pixton, Niel Nickolaisen, Todd Little, Kent McDonald, Addison-Wesley, 162 pages

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Standing back does not imply abdicating all responsibility, but rather requires leaders to perform a careful balancing act between stepping back to let the right people in the organization do their thing and stepping up to provide steering when the team has strayed off course.

Purpose is not priority. Purpose identifies the design goals of a process, business rule, function, or feature. It does not define the sequence in which the work on that process, rule, function, or feature must occur. That being said, purpose can provide a framework for strategic and tactical planning.

Trust is essential to productive teams. Without trust, team members can waste time in clarifying communication and protecting their own backs. Unfortunately, you can’t make people trust one another. As a leader, you role, style and behavior will lay the groundwork for building trust.

You need a way to do the right things the right way. To do the right things the right way, you need to build a value model. This model helps you answer three critical questions: What do we do? When do we do it? Should we continue doing it? Even better, value models help you make decisions that deliver real value to your organization.

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