personal improvement

Articles

Helping Your Team Weather the Storm

Jim is mad at Hal. Sara is complaining to Jason. Hal feels hurt; Susan shows up late. Jason thinks only Sara and he have a clue. Is this team falling apart—or just experiencing a normal part of group development? In this column, Esther Derby describes what their team leader Jenny goes through as she learns about the predictable ups and downs of team formation and the one thing any team member can do to help.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Six sigma distribution Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side of the Fence?

We may be creatures of habit—adhering to and promoting processes we know well—but we also habitually look to other work environments that appear capable of nurturing our ideas once an old environment becomes depleted. Ed Weller believes that searching for greener pastures is unnecessary. You just need to learn how to cultivate your managers in order to create an environment that will harbor your ideas. Ed explains why you'll end up grazing fruitlessly if you can't plant your ideas with management.

Ed Weller's picture Ed Weller
Free time Free Time is Not Free

Unpaid overtime has negative personal and business consequences. Although regarded as free time by many organizations, there is a true business cost to not estimating or counting overtime hours, whether paid or not. Ed Weller presents the argument that those who do not count free time in their planning and tracking will make poor decisions and often invest in the wrong projects.

Ed Weller's picture Ed Weller
How to Improve Meetings When You're Not in Charge

What can you do if you have to attend other people's horrible meetings? Even if you can't stand up and take control, you can nudge the meeting in the right direction from where you sit. Now that you're on the edge of your seat, keep reading!

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
First Things First: Emotions in the Workplace

What do you do when you're upset about something at home and you know you need to focus on work? Do you try to push your emotions aside and tough it out? Paradoxically, when we ignore our emotional responses they poke back up and get in the way. When emotions are acknowledged, people are better able to focus on the task at hand. Esther Derby offers some advice for dealing with the "human stuff."

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Pennywise

The go-go days of the '90s are gone, and with them extravagant hiring budgets. Most companies are being more conservative in making offers to candidates. If you're working on a tight hiring budget, how can you make the most of your hiring power? Esther Derby offers some advice on how to increase productivity after the candidate is in the door.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
How to Make Risk Conversations More Effective

Project managers may be reluctant, even unwilling, to discuss problems that testers discover in a project. In this column, management expert Johanna Rothman gives tips on how best to tell management that "the sky is falling," and how to respond if they don't want to hear about potential problems before they occur.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Advice on How to Hire Testers

What's the best way to wade through those thousands of resumes you've received for the new testing position? To start, you could ruthlessly weed out those who don't show experience with your organization's particular toolset. But in this column, Johanna Rothman warns against this type of approach to hiring. By not looking at the person beyond the tools, you might be letting a star slip through your fingers.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
A Child's-Eye View of Software Testing

You've had to explain and justify your job to Management, to Human Resources, and to everyone at your high school reunion. But now comes the ultimate test: Your child's assignment for the next show-and-tell is to describe what her mom or dad does for a living. You scramble for an easy way to explain—maybe for the first time—what you do at the office, but your software testing reference books just don't have enough pictures of cute animals to really do the trick. This book might be just what you're looking for.

Alyn Wambeke

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