Humans don't handle complexity well, and we certainly can't see the future—which helps explain why our plans and designs so often are flawed. In response to this truth, our guest technical editor offers Payson’s Law of Imperfect Plans. Embracing this law can help you avoid the dreaded analysis paralysis and accept that perfection just isn't possible.
When your boss constantly has you doing favors for another group, it can get in the way of fulfilling your own responsibilities. Find out how defining your work mission to your manager and illustrating how "small" favors potentially cut into company revenue can help to get everyone on the same page.
It's happened again. Your boss corners you and pressures you to take on extra work. The additional project gives you more work than you can realistically do, let alone do well. Find out how you can stand up to your boss and work with him to create reasonable priorities for your time without damaging your relationship.
Through this tale of a planning spreadsheet and its effect on three different projects, learn the impact a single decision can have on a project--and pick up some helpful tools like fingerprint graphs and project timelines along the way.
Sometimes fate conspires to humiliate us. Other times, we do a pretty good job all on our own. This week, Peter Clark explores the latter and how the effects are similar to a face plant. Peter had a similar experience and in this week's column he explains how, in 20-20 hindsight, it all could have been avoided.
When planning your workload, it's easy to bite off more than you can chew. But as Michele Sliger explains in this tale of one overachiever's attempt to take on too much work, overcommitting yourself means overcommitting your team.
It's a fact of life that plans change, but the proper implementation of agile and release planning can get you back on track. Just be sure to keep the communication lines open and clear throughout the process. Stacia Broderick tells the tale of a department as it works out its kinks in the best interest of its customers.
You probably know at least one project that has been mired in controversy and indecision during analysis. Team members arm wrestle about a variety of issues: Should we write use cases or user stories? How does user interface design fit with use cases? What is the "right" size for a use case or story? In many situations, an effective remedy is to define your project's events. In this column, Mary Gorman looks at an example from a recent engagement.
Test managers are in the precarious position of being responsible to both the project and the team, but the manager and team know best whether overtime will help or hinder project progress. In this installment of "Management Chronicles," a test manager keeps the concerns of her team in mind when evaluating the need for overtime.
When Ipsita Chatterjee started testing about a decade ago, her test manager and mentor told her, "A good tester is not one who finds the most defects, but one who closes the most defects." After years of developing her testing and test management skills, she couldn't agree more. She now asks herself, how can a tester close more defects? Her answer: by using a fine combination of product and technical knowledge, intuition, and personal skills. With that in mind, this article focuses on the definition of defect advocacy; why, when, and how to approach it; and a few ways of achieving it to an optimum level, which should help you release quality software applications.