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Reflections on Management: How to Manage Your Software Projects, Your Teams, Your Boss, and Yourself

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Reflections on Management: How to Manage Your Software Projects, Your Teams, Your Boss, and Yourself


  • Sorry, this book is no longer in print.
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  • Copyright 2010
  • Dimensions: 6-1/4" x 9-1/8"
  • Pages: 288
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-321-71153-X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-321-71153-3

 “Whether you are in a startup or Fortune 500 company; are a developer, development manager, or CEO; use agile, lean, waterfall, or other methodology–if software and quality are important to you, you should read and pay attention to Watts’s reflections.”

–Bill Ihrie, Former SVP & CTO, Intuit

“You will enjoy this collection for its down to earth, accessible prose, its pragmatism, optimism, and, above all, Watts’s demonstration that software quality improvement is vitally important and very achievable.”

–Aidan Waine, Information Solutions General Manager, Microsoft Entertainment & Devices Division

“Watts has developed a real weapon for beating your competition: a reliable, repeatable way to create software that has excellent quality and reduces the time to deliver it to your customer and lowers the cost of the entire software life cycle and improves employee morale. All at the same time!”

–Michael J. Cullen, Vice President, Quality, Oracle Communications Global Business Unit

A Lifetime of Invaluable Management Insights from Legendary Software Quality Guru Watts S. Humphrey

In 1986, Watts S. Humphrey made an outrageous commitment: a promise to transform software development. As the pioneering innovator behind SEI’s Capability Maturity Model (CMM), Personal Software Process (PSP), and Team Software Process (TSP), Humphrey has more than met that promise. But his contributions go beyond methodology: For decades, his deeply personal writings on project management have been admired by software engineers worldwide.

Reflections on Managementbrings together Humphrey’s best and most influential essays and articlessharing insights that will be indispensable for anyone who must achieve superior results in software or any other endeavor.

Collected here for the first time, these works offer compelling insights into everything from planning day-to-day work to improving quality, encouraging teamwork to becoming a truly great leader.

All of these writings share a powerful vision, grounded by a life in software that has extended across nearly six decades. The vision is this: To succeed, professionals must effectively manage far more than plans, schedules, and codethey must manage teams, bosses, and above all, themselves.


Related Articles

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 10: The Fortune Interview, IBM Lawsuits, and Virtual Memory

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 9: Family History, Phase Plans, and Labs Around the World

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 1: Beginnings

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 11: Skiing with Tom Watson and Why RCA Failed

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 12: IBM Corporate Policy, Contracts, and Lawsuits

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 13: The IBM PC and International Business

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 14: Jay Forrester, Program Pricing, and the FS System

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 15: The SHARE Meeting, the MVS Review, Release 15/16, and the Compatibility Letter

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 16: Semiconductor and Software Quality and the Revolution of CI-105

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 17: Measuring and Improving Software Quality

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 18: The Move to SEI

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 19: Starting at SEI

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 2: the Navy, College, and Wrestling

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 20: The SEI 5-Level Maturity Model

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 21: The Personal Software Process

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 22: The Process Conferences and the PSP Course

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 23: IBM Tool Development, the Academic Advisory Board, and the Speak Out Article

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 24: Mary Shaw Meetings and the Ashton-Tate Story

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 25: SEI Strategy and the Trouble with Trivial Errors

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 26: Catastrophic Software Failures and the Limits of Testing

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 27: Formal Methods, the Failure of PSP, and Tragedy of Beautiful Software

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 28: Early TSP Trials and the Teradyne Team Launch

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 29: The Task-Time Measure and Presenting the Plan to Teradyne Management

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 3: Sylvania and Northeastern University

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 30: The TSP Team and Six Months to Live

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 31: Expanding TSP Use and Lack of Academic Interest

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 32: International TSP Use and the Trouble with Knowledge Work

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 33: The Boeing B2 System and the "Last Liar Problem"

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 34: Women in Software and the Change Problem

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 35: The National Medal of Technology

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 36: Agile Methods, Open Source, and Cloud Computing

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 37: Language Trends, the Future, and Advice to Young People

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 4: Building a Computer Group and Starting at IBM

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 5: Early Projects at IBM

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 6: The IBM 360

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 7: The Director of Programming Role at IBM

An Interview with Watts Humphrey, Part 8: The Model 91 Announcement

Sample Content


Reflections on Management: A Goal Is Something You Want to Achieve

Reflections on Management: Leadership Must Be Earned

Reflections on Management: What Do You Want From Life?

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Chapters 4.3, 7.12, and 8.4 and Index)

Table of Contents

Preface xvii

Prologue xxi

About the Authors xxv

Part I: Managing Your Projects 1

Chapter 1: Committing to High Quality 3

1.1 The Software Quality Challenge 3

1.2 What Is Software Quality? 6

1.3 Defects Are Not “Bugs” 10

1.4 Quality Is a Journey That Never Ends 11

1.5 Start by Defining Your Goal 14

Sources 16

Chapter 2: Planning for High-Quality Projects 17

2.1 The Hardest Time to Make a Plan Is When You Need It Most 18

2.2 Make Two Kinds of Plans: Period and Product 20

2.3 Make Product Plans for Every Major Task 23

2.4 Review Detailed Plans with Your Management 25

2.5 Everyone Loses with Incompetent Planning 27

2.6 Plans Must Meet Five Basic Requirements 30

2.7 When You Can’t Plan Accurately, Plan Often 32

2.8 Plans Must Be Maintained 34

Sources 36

Part II: Managing Your Teams 37

Chapter 3: Elements of Effective Teams 39

3.1 Teams Commit to Common Goals 40

3.2 Teams Can Perform Better Than Individuals Do Alone 42

3.3 Teams Often Face Seven Common Problems 43

3.4 Four Reasons That Teams Fail 46

3.5 The Jelled Team 51

3.6 Four Things Effective Teams Need 52

3.7 Teams Develop Over Time 54

3.8 Three Elements of Team Communication 56

3.9 Forming-Storming-Norming-Performing 58

3.10 The Best Kind of Group 61

3.11 Teams Adopt Various Working Styles 65

3.12 Properties of Self-Directed Teams 69

Sources 75

Chapter 4: Being an Effective Team Member 77

4.1 Good Team Members Do Whatever Is Needed 78

4.2 Commitment Is an Ethic That Must Be Learned 79

4.3 A Goal Is Something You Want to Achieve 81

4.4 Every New Idea Starts as a Minority of One 83

4.5 All Team Members Should Contribute What They Know 84

4.6 Team-Building Requires Active Involvement of All Team Members 86

4.7 Good Negotiators Have an Effective Strategy 89

4.8 One Non-Participant Will Reduce Everyone’s Performance 92

4.9 Ask for Help and Offer Yours 94

Sources 95

Chapter 5: Leading and Coaching Your Teams 97

5.1 Leadership Makes the Greatest Difference 98

5.2 The Three Principal Motivators Are Fear, Greed, and Commitment 99

5.3 Making and Sustaining Commitments 104

5.4 Create a Sense of Urgency with Short-Term Goals 105

5.5 Involve the Entire Team When Selecting New Team Members 107

5.6 The Power of Coaching 109

5.7 Techniques for Getting All Team Members Involved 110

5.8 Put Teams to Work During the Storming Phase 123

5.9 Building the Management Team 125

5.10 The Essence of Rational Management 127

Sources 129

Part III: Managing Your Boss 131

Chapter 6: Negotiating Your Projects and Defending Your Plans 133

6.1 Projects Get into Trouble at the Very Beginning 134

6.2 Keep Your Team Focused on Top Priorities 137

6.3 Always Make a Plan before Making Any Commitments 139

6.4 Teach Your Manager to Negotiate With You 143

6.5 Lean Really Is Mean 145

6.6 What to Do When a Project Is Doomed 146

6.7 Autocratic Bosses Demotivate Workers and Diminish Performance 150

6.8 Is Your Environment Autocratic? 153

6.9 Building a Case for Process Improvement 155

6.10 Making the Strategic Case for Process Improvement 161

6.11 Making the Tactical Case for Process Improvement 169

6.12 What Management Expects from a Team Leader 176

Sources 179

Part IV: Managing Yourself 181

Chapter 7: Taking Control of Your Work 183

7.1 A Defined Process Will Help You Improve 184

7.2 Be Your Own Boss, and Don’t Be a Victim 185

7.3 How to Improve the Quality of Your Work 186

7.4 The 18-Hour Work Week 188

7.5 Fight Phantom Issues in High-Pressure Projects 192

7.6 Support Staff Can Help You 194

7.7 The Logic of Time Management 196

7.8 Being Responsible Is about Ownership and Attitude 199

7.9 Delay Is Almost Always the Worst Alternative 202

7.10 Being Committed Is a State of Mind 204

7.11 Manage Commitments So You Don’t Forget Any or Run Out of Time 207

7.12 What Do You Want From Life? 209

7.13 Devote Yourself to Excellence 211

Sources 211

Chapter 8: Learning to Lead 213

8.1 How You Behave Affects Your Team 213

8.2 Leaders Set an Example for Their Teams 215

8.3 Learn to Avoid the Symptoms of Poor Leadership 217

8.4 Leadership Must Be Earned 220

8.5 Strive to Be a Transformational Leader 222

8.6 Leaders Are Made by Their Circumstances 224

8.7 Leading from Below 225

Sources 227

Epilogue: Software Engineers Are the Pioneers of Knowledge Work 229

Appendix: PSP, TSP, and CMMI 237

The Personal Software Process (PSP) 237

The Team Software Process (TSP) 239

CMM and CMMI 240

Bibliography 243

Index 245


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