The Manager's Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change

Camille Fournier - 2017
    Tech companies in general lack the experience, tools, texts, and frameworks to do it well. And the handful of books that share tips and tricks of engineering management don t explain how to supervise employees in the face of growth and change.In this book, author Camille Fournier takes you through the stages of technical management, from mentoring interns to working with the senior staff. You ll get actionable advice for approaching various obstacles in your path, whether you re a new manager, a mentor, or a more experienced leader looking for fresh advice. Pick up this book and learn how to become a better manager and leader in your organization. * Discover how to manage small teams and large/multi-level teams * Understand how to build and bootstrap a unifying culture in teams * Deal with people problems and learn how to mentor other managers and new leaders * Learn how to manage yourself: avoid common pitfalls that challenge many leaders * Obtain several practices that you can incorporate and practice along the way

Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management

Johanna Rothman - 2005
    It's possible to see the results of great management, but it's not easy to see how managers achieve those results. Great management happens in one-on-one meetings and with other managers---all in private. It's hard to learn management by example when you can't see it.You can learn to be a better manager---even a great manager---with this guide. You'll follow along as Sam, a manager just brought on board, learns the ropes and deals with his new team over the course of his first eight weeks on the job. From scheduling and managing resources to helping team members grow and prosper, you'll be there as Sam makes it happen. You'll find powerful tips covering:Delegating effectively Using feedback and goal-setting Developing influence Handling one-on-one meetings Coaching and mentoring Deciding what work to do---and what not to do ...and more. Full of tips and practical advice on the most important aspects of management, this is one of those books that can make a lasting and immediate impact on your career.

Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great

Esther Derby - 2006
    The tools and recipes in this book will help you uncover and solve hidden (and not-so-hidden) problems with your technology, your methodology, and those difficult "people" issues on your team.Project retrospectives help teams examine what went right and what went wrong on a project. But traditionally, retrospectives (also known as "post-mortems") are only helpful at the end of the project--too late to help. You need agile retrospectives that are iterative and incremental. You need to accurately find and fix problems to help the team today.Now, Derby and Larsen show you the tools, tricks, and tips you need to fix the problems you face on a software development project on an on-going basis. You'll see how to architect retrospectives in general, how to design them specifically for your team and organization, how to run them effectively, how to make the needed changes, and how to scale these techniques up. You'll learn how to deal with problems, and implement solutions effectively throughout the project--not just at the end.With regular tune-ups, your team will hum like a precise, world-class orchestra.ContentsForwardPrefaceIntroduction1. Helping your team inspect and adapt2. A retrospective custom-fit for your team3. Leading retrospectives4. Activities to set the stage5. Activities to gather data6. Activities to gather insights7. Activities to decide what to do8. Activities to close the retrospective9. Releases and project retrospectives10. Make it soA1. Facilitation suppliesA2. Debriefing activitiesA3. Activities quick reference matrixA4. Resources for learning facilitation skillsA5. Bibliography

Kanban in Action

Marcus Hammarberg - 2013
    Kanban leverages visual management techniques to involve stakeholders and to facilitate understanding of how the work works. Through limiting the amount of work in process, and by focusing on finishing that work as soon as possible, kanban helps you to adjust demand to capacity, to reduce lead times and to create a driver for continuous improvement.Kanban in Action is a down-to-earth, no-frills, get-to-know-the-ropes introduction to kanban. It's based on the real-world experience and observations from two kanban coaches who have introduced this process to dozens of teams. In this book, you'll discover basic but powerful techniques on how to visualize and track work, how to construct a kanban board, how to visualize queues and bottlenecks, and much much more. You'll learn the principles of why kanban works as well as nitty-gritty details like how to use different color stickies to help you organize and track your work items.

Becoming a Technical Leader: An Organic Problem-Solving Approach

Gerald M. Weinberg - 1986
    The book emphasizes that we all contain the ingredients for leadership, though some elements are better developed than others. "Anyone can improve as a leader simply by building the strength of our weakest elements, " author Gerald M. Weinberg writes. "Mr. Universe doesn't have more muscles than I do, just better developed ones."On one level, the book is an extremely down-to-earth, how-to guide. On a second, it is a set of parables, full of analogies that stick in the mind -- the art of management taught through stories about pinball, tinkertoys, and electric blankets. On yet another level, this is a book about the philosophy and psychology of managing technical projects. On every level, the author brings these entertaining and enlightening elements together to teach you the essentials of leadership.You'll learn how to-- master your fear of becoming a leader-- be creative in solving problems-- motivate people while maintaining quality-- gain organizational power-- plan personal change.-- Whether you manage people, are managed by people, or just want to change the way you interact with others, this book is about success. How to plan it, how to make it happen -- Becoming a Technical Leader shows you how to do it!

NoEstimates: How To Measure Project Progress Without Estimating

Vasco Duarte - 2016
    I wrote it because I believe we can do better than the accepted "status quo" in the software industry. It took me years to learn what I needed to learn to come up with my version of the #NoEstimates approach. You can do it in weeks! The techniques and ideas described here will help you explore the #NoEstimates universe in a very practical and hands-on manner. You will walk through Carmen's story. Carmen is a senior, very experienced project manager who is now confronted with a very difficult project. One would say, an impossible project. Through the book, and with the help of Herman, Carmen discovers and slowly adopts #NoEstimates which helps her turn that project around. Just like I expect it will help with the project you are in right now. The book also includes many concrete approaches you can use to adopt #NoEstimates, or just adopt those practices on their own.

Succeeding with Agile: Software Development Using Scrum

Mike Cohn - 2009
    Leading agile consultant and practitioner Mike Cohn presents detailed recommendations, powerful tips, and real-world case studies drawn from his unparalleled experience helping hundreds of software organizations make Scrum and agile work. "Succeeding with Agile" is for pragmatic software professionals who want real answers to the most difficult challenges they face in implementing Scrum. Cohn covers every facet of the transition: getting started, helping individuals transition to new roles, structuring teams, scaling up, working with a distributed team, and finally, implementing effective metrics and continuous improvement.Throughout, Cohn presents “Things to Try Now” sections based on his most successful advice. Complementary “Objection” sections reproduce typical conversations with those resisting change and offer practical guidance for addressing their concerns. Coverage includes: - Practical ways to get started immediately–and “get good” fast - Overcoming individual resistance to the changes Scrum requires - Staffing Scrum projects and building effective teams - Establishing “improvement communities” of people who are passionate about driving change - Choosing which agile technical practices to use or experiment with - Leading self-organizing teams - Making the most of Scrum sprints, planning, and quality techniques - Scaling Scrum to distributed, multiteam projects - Using Scrum on projects with complex sequential processes or challenging compliance and governance requirements - Understanding Scrum’s impact on HR, facilities, and project managementWhether you've completed a few sprints or multiple agile projects and whatever your role–manager, developer, coach, ScrumMaster, product owner, analyst, team lead, or project lead–this book will help you succeed with your very next project. Then, it will help you go much further: It will help you transform your entire development organization.

Waltzing with Bears: Managing Risk on Software Projects

Tom DeMarco - 2003
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Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition

Lyssa Adkins - 2010
    More and more frequently, ScrumMasters and project managers are being asked to coach agile teams. But it's a challenging role. It requires new skills--as well as a subtle understanding of when to step in and when to step back. Migrating from "command and control" to agile coaching requires a whole new mind-set. In Coaching Agile Teams, Lyssa Adkins gives agile coaches the insights they need to adopt this new mind-set and to guide teams to extraordinary performance in a re-energized work environment. You'll gain a deep view into the role of the agile coach, discover what works and what doesn't, and learn how to adapt powerful skills from many allied disciplines, including the fields of professional coaching and mentoring. Coverage includes Understanding what it takes to be a great agile coach Mastering all of the agile coach's roles: teacher, mentor, problem solver, conflict navigator, and performance coach Creating an environment where self-organized, high-performance teams can emerge Coaching teams past cooperation and into full collaboration Evolving your leadership style as your team grows and changes Staying actively engaged without dominating your team and stunting its growth Recognizing failure, recovery, and success modes in your coaching Getting the most out of your own personal agile coaching journey Whether you're an agile coach, leader, trainer, mentor, facilitator, ScrumMaster, project manager, product owner, or team member, this book will help you become skilled at helping others become truly great. What could possibly be more rewarding?

Leading Lean Software Development: Results Are Not the Point

Mary Poppendieck - 2009
    They go far beyond generic implementation guidelines, demonstrating exactly how to make lean work in real projects, environments, and companies.The Poppendiecks organize this book around the crucial concept of frames, the unspoken mental constructs that shape our perspectives and control our behavior in ways we rarely notice. For software leaders and team members, some frames lead to long-term failure, while others offer a strong foundation for success. Drawing on decades of experience, the authors present twenty-four frames that offer a coherent, complete framework for leading lean software development. You'll discover powerful new ways to act as competency leader, product champion, improvement mentor, front-line leader, and even visionary.Systems thinking: focusing on customers, bringing predictability to demand, and revamping policies that cause inefficiency Technical excellence: implementing low-dependency architectures, TDD, and evolutionary development processes, and promoting deeper developer expertise Reliable delivery: managing your biggest risks more effectively, and optimizing both workflow and schedules Relentless improvement: seeing problems, solving problems, sharing the knowledge Great people: finding and growing professionals with purpose, passion, persistence, and pride Aligned leaders: getting your entire leadership team on the same page From the world's number one experts in Lean software development, Leading Lean Software Development will be indispensable to everyone who wants to transform the promise of lean into reality--in enterprise IT and software companies alike.

Impact Mapping: Making a Big Impact with Software Products and Projects

Gojko Adzic - 2012
    The result is a tremendous amount of time and money wasted due to wrong assumptions, lack of focus, poor communication of objectives, lack of understanding and misalignment with overall goals. There has to be a better way to deliver!This handbook is a practical guide to impact mapping, a simple yet incredibly effective method for collaborative strategic planning that helps organisations make an impact with software. Impact mapping helps to create better plans and roadmaps that ensure alignment of business and delivery, and are easily adaptable to change. Impact mapping fits nicely into several current trends in software product management and release planning, including goal-oriented requirements engineering, frequent iterative delivery, agile and lean software methods, lean startup product development cycles, and design thinking.Who is this book for?The primary audience of this book are senior people involved in building software products or delivering software projects, from both business and delivery sides. This includes business sponsors and those whose responsibilities include product ownership, project oversight or portfolio management, architecture, business analysis, quality improvement and assurance and delivery. - Business people assigned to software projects will learn how to communicate their ideas better.- Senior product or project sponsors will learn how to communicate their assumptions more effectively to delivery teams, how to engage delivery teams to make better strategic decisions, and how to manage their project portfolio more effectively.- Delivery teams that are already working under the umbrella of agile or lean delivery methods, and more recently lean startup ideas, will learn how to better focus deliverables and engage business sponsors and users.- Delivery teams moving to agile or lean delivery methods will get ideas on how to address some common issues with scaling these practices, such as creating a big picture view, splitting work into small chunks that still have business value and reporting progress more meaningfully.About the authorGojko Adzic is a strategic software delivery consultant who works with ambitious teams to improve the quality of their software products and processes. Gojko won the 2012 Jolt Award for the best book, was voted by peers as the most influential agile testing professional in 2011, and his blog won the UK Agile Award for the best online publication in 2010. To get in touch, write to or visit

Lean from the Trenches

Henrik Kniberg - 2011
    Find out how the Swedish police combined XP, Scrum, and Kanban in a 60-person project. From start to finish, you'll see how to deliver a successful product using Lean principles. We start with an organization in desperate need of a new way of doing things and finish with a group of sixty, all working in sync to develop a scalable, complex system. You'll walk through the project step by step, from customer engagement, to the daily "cocktail party," version control, bug tracking, and release. In this honest look at what works--and what doesn't--you'll find out how to: Make quality everyone's business, not just the testers. Keep everyone moving in the same direction without micromanagement. Use simple and powerful metrics to aid in planning and process improvement. Balance between low-level feature focus and high-level system focus. You'll be ready to jump into the trenches and streamline your own development process.ContentsForewordPrefacePART I: HOW WE WORK1. About the Project1.1 Timeline 51.2 How We Sliced the Elephant 61.3 How We Involved the Customer 72. Structuring the Teams3. Attending the Daily Cocktail Party3.1 First Tier: Feature Team Daily Stand-up3.2 Second Tier: Sync Meetings per Specialty3.3 Third Tier: Project Sync Meeting4. The Project Board4.1 Our Cadences4.2 How We Handle Urgent Issues and Impediments5. Scaling the Kanban Boards6. Tracking the High-Level Goal7. Defining Ready and Done7.1 Ready for Development7.2 Ready for System Test7.3 How This Improved Collaboration 8. Handling Tech Stories8.1 Example 1: System Test Bottleneck8.2 Example 2: Day Before the Release8.3 Example 3: The 7-Meter Class9. Handling Bugs9.1 Continuous System Test9.2 Fix the Bugs Immediately9.3 Why We Limit the Number of Bugs in the Bug Tracker9.4 Visualizing Bugs9.5 Preventing Recurring Bugs10. Continuously Improving the Process10.1 Team Retrospectives10.2 Process Improvement Workshops10.3 Managing the Rate of Change11. Managing Work in Progress11.1 Using WIP Limits11.2 Why WIP Limits Apply Only to Features12. Capturing and Using Process Metrics12.1 Velocity (Features per Week)12.2 Why We Don’t Use Story Points12.3 Cycle Time (Weeks per Feature)12.4 Cumulative Flow12.5 Process Cycle Efficiency13. Planning the Sprint and Release13.1 Backlog Grooming13.2 Selecting the Top Ten Features13.3 Why We Moved Backlog Grooming Out of the Sprint Planning Meeting13.4 Planning the Release14. How We Do Version Control14.1 No Junk on the Trunk14.2 Team Branches14.3 System Test Branch15. Why We Use Only Physical Kanban Boards16. What We Learned16.1 Know Your Goal16.2 Experiment16.3 Embrace Failure16.4 Solve Real Problems16.5 Have Dedicated Change Agents16.6 Involve PeoplePART II: A CLOSER LOOK AT THE TECHNIQUES 17. Agile and Lean in a Nutshell17.1 Agile in a Nutshell17.2 Lean in a Nutshell17.3 Scrum in a Nutshell17.4 XP in a Nutshell17.5 Kanban in a Nutshell18. Reducing the Test Automation Backlog18.1 What to Do About It18.2 How to Improve Test Coverage a Little Bit Each Iteration18.3 Step 1: List Your Test Cases18.4 Step 2: Classify Each Test18.5 Step 3: Sort the List in Priority Order18.6 Step 4: Automate a Few Tests Each Iteration18.7 Does This Solve the Problem?19. Sizing the Backlog with Planning Poker19.1 Estimating Without Planning Poker19.2 Estimating with Planning Poker19.3 Special Cards20. Cause-Effect Diagrams20.1 Solve Problems, Not Symptoms20.2 The Lean Problem-Solving Approach: A3 Thinking20.3 How to Use Cause-Effect Diagrams20.4 Example 1: Long Release Cycle20.5 Example 2: Defects Released to Production20.6 Example 3: Lack of Pair Programming20.7 Example 4: Lots of Problems20.8 Practical Issues: How to Create and Maintain the Diagrams20.9 Pitfalls20.10 Why Use Cause-Effect Diagrams?21. Final WordsA1. Glossary: How We Avoid Buzzword BingoIndex

The Effective Engineer: How to Leverage Your Efforts In Software Engineering to Make a Disproportionate and Meaningful Impact

Edmond Lau - 2015
    I'm going to share that mindset with you — along with hundreds of actionable techniques and proven habits — so you can shortcut those years.Introducing The Effective Engineer — the only book designed specifically for today's software engineers, based on extensive interviews with engineering leaders at top tech companies, and packed with hundreds of techniques to accelerate your career.For two years, I embarked on a quest seeking an answer to one question:How do the most effective engineers make their efforts, their teams, and their careers more successful?I interviewed and collected stories from engineering VPs, directors, managers, and other leaders at today's top software companies: established, household names like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn; rapidly growing mid-sized companies like Dropbox, Square, Box, Airbnb, and Etsy; and startups like Reddit, Stripe, Instagram, and Lyft.These leaders shared stories about the most valuable insights they've learned and the most common and costly mistakes that they've seen engineers — sometimes themselves — make.This is just a small sampling of the hard questions I posed to them:- What engineering qualities correlate with future success?- What have you done that has paid off the highest returns?- What separates the most effective engineers you've worked with from everyone else?- What's the most valuable lesson your team has learned in the past year?- What advice do you give to new engineers on your team? Everyone's story is different, but many of the lessons share common themes.You'll get to hear stories like:- How did Instagram's team of 5 engineers build and support a service that grew to over 40 million users by the time the company was acquired?- How and why did Quora deploy code to production 40 to 50 times per day?- How did the team behind Google Docs become the fastest acquisition to rewrite its software to run on Google's infrastructure?- How does Etsy use continuous experimentation to design features that are guaranteed to increase revenue at launch?- How did Facebook's small infrastructure team effectively operate thousands of database servers?- How did Dropbox go from barely hiring any new engineers to nearly tripling its team size year-over-year? What's more, I've distilled their stories into actionable habits and lessons that you can follow step-by-step to make your career and your team more successful.The skills used by effective engineers are all learnable.And I'll teach them to you. With The Effective Engineer, I'll teach you a unifying framework called leverage — the value produced per unit of time invested — that you can use to identify the activities that produce disproportionate results.Here's a sneak peek at some of the lessons you'll learn. You'll learn how to:- Prioritize the right projects and tasks to increase your impact.- Earn more leeway from your peers and managers on your projects.- Spend less time maintaining and fixing software and more time building and shipping new features.- Produce more accurate software estimates.- Validate your ideas cheaply to reduce wasted work.- Navigate organizational and people-related bottlenecks.- Find the appropriate level of code reviews, testing, abstraction, and technical debt to balance speed and quality.- Shorten your debugging workflow to increase your iteration speed.

The Elements of Scrum

Chris Sims - 2011
    Written by Chris Sims, a top scrum trainer and pioneer of experiential learning, and Hillary Louise Johnson, a novelist and business journalist, it demonstrates the principles, practices and pitfalls of the scrum framework through lively storytelling and vividly told example.The Elements of Scrum opens with a blow-by-blow description of a week in the life of a scrum team, then briefly details the history and origins of scrum, comparing it to traditional methodologies and providing context for how scrum applies to the cultural history of the software industry. Next, the principles and practices set forth in the Agile Manifesto are broken down and illustrated with real-world examples, putting the reader inside the heads of the founders of scrum and agile for a thorough grounding in theory.The meat of the book explains every aspect of the scrum process, including team composition, scheduling and work flow management, in crisp, clear, example-laden prose designed to provide insight to novices and experienced practitioners alike.The book concludes with a section on supporting technical practices like Test Driven Development and Pair Programming, to help the reader apply scrum at the practical level.The Elements of Scrum is taught at colleges and universities across the country, including UCLA, George Mason University, Arizona State, SUNY Potsdam, Wofford College, and Becker College. It has been translated into Mandarin, and is soon to appear in other international editions.

Team Topologies: Organizing Business and Technology Teams for Fast Flow

Matthew Skelton - 2019
    But how do you build the best team organization for your specific goals, culture, and needs? Team Topologies is a practical, step-by-step, adaptive model for organizational design and team interaction based on four fundamental team types and three team interaction patterns. It is a model that treats teams as the fundamental means of delivery, where team structures and communication pathways are able to evolve with technological and organizational maturity.In Team Topologies, IT consultants Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais share secrets of successful team patterns and interactions to help readers choose and evolve the right team patterns for their organization, making sure to keep the software healthy and optimize value streams.Team Topologies is a major step forward in organizational design for software, presenting a well-defined way for teams to interact and interrelate that helps make the resulting software architecture clearer and more sustainable, turning inter-team problems into valuable signals for the self-steering organization.