Project Management

Better Software Magazine Articles

Developing Your Professional Network

Do you shudder at the thought of having to learn social etiquette in order to manage your professional network? Networking rituals do have to evolve to fit with new communication mechanisms. But the workings of the human psyche haven't changed, and you still need to learn the skills that are necessary to develop a network that can bolster your career.

Danny R. Faught's picture Danny R. Faught
When Your Manager Is No Techie

It's a pretty good bet that at some point in your career you and your work will be managed by someone who doesn't really understand what you do. Here are some ways to close the communication gap when you have a nontechnical manager.

Alyn Wambeke
I Think, Therefore I Prototype

Prototypes can help you deliver the right software. Here, Technical Editor Brian Lawrence gives examples of prototypes and some guidelines for prototyping.

Brian Lawrence
(Management) Process Improvement

Few people know intuitively how to manage process, projects, and people. Like anyone else learning a new skill, new managers need training, guidance, and mentoring. And just like technical staff, experienced managers need to keep their skills current and evolve with an evolving workplace. Technical Editor Esther Derby gives advice on how to develop your management abilities.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Reference Point: The Software Project Manager's Handbook

The Software Project Manager's Handbook is an excellent reference for the experienced or moderately experienced project managers who are looking to expand their "bag of tricks." Use this book as a reference to bone up on a specific topic, or use the case studies and questions to help you design and implement a feasible project plan.

Maureen A. O’Hara
Making Numbers Count

Numbers count—no two ways about it. But any numbers you include in a bug report should also include the appropriate units of measure. In an example from their experience, David Wilson and Leonidas Hepis explain the importance of using consistent terminology and units of measure.

A Cautionary Tale

Technical Editor Brian Marick uses a fairy tale format to warn software professionals against using easy-to-acquire numbers in place of human judgment.

Brian Marick
Software Requirements

Brian Lawrence and Johanna Rothman recommend Software Requirements by Karl Wiegers, a "readable, practical book about gathering and managing requirements, focused on best practices."

Measuring Up

You measure because you want to make better-informed decisions. But even simple, harmless-looking measures can be dangerous. For example, they can give you a nice, clear picture of an illusion. Do you want to base your decisions on illusions? Technical Editor Brian Lawrence advises that, before you dive into measuring anything, ask yourself, "Will measuring do more harm than good?"

Brian Lawrence
EXtreme Documentation

The kind of collaboration that Extreme Programming engenders can benefit both publications and development. Writing, like programming, is a naturally iterative, revisionary process. Dana De Witt Luther shares what she's learned about documenting an Extreme Programming project, using iterative planning meetings and story cards.

Dana De Witt Luther

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