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12 Take Aways - Managing the Unmanageable

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Twelve Take Aways: Managing the Unmanageable. We'll look at 12 best practices that make programming managers great but take most managers years to discover. Expect an interactive session.

About 95 percent of programming managers had no management training before being tapped to manage. Ron Lichty and his co-author Mickey W. Mantle, both former programmers, didn't either.

About half of managers never get any training in managing. Ron and Mickey were lucky enough to work for companies like Apple and Pixar that provided some general management training. But little to none of it was specific to managing programmers, or to managing programming teams.

The struggle to manage programmers and programming teams motivated years of weekend breakfasts for Ron and Mickey, during which they traded insights - on the challenges they faced - and solutions they had used and seen - the kinds of stuff they’d wished they'd had when they started managing.

Sharing insights and best practices with each other for a decade led them to realize they wanted to share what they had learned. And that led to spending eight years of free time writing their Addison Wesley book, Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools, and Insights for Managing Software People and Teams, http://www.ManagingTheUnmanageable.net. To their own hard-won experience, they added the best of the treasure troves they'd each collected of rules of thumb and nuggets of wisdom from their peers and programming manager thought leaders around the world.

Reviewers have repeatedly compared Managing the Unmanageable to The Mythical Man-Month and Peopleware, the classics on software development challenges.

About Ron:

Ron Lichty has been managing and, more recently, consulting in managing software development and product organizations for over 25 years at companies like Apple Computer, Fujitsu, Charles Schwab, Avenue A | Razorfish, Forensic Logic, Stanford, Check Point, MediaBrands, and dozens of startups of all sizes. Before that, as a programmer, he coded compiler code generators, was awarded patents for compression and security algorithms he designed and coded for embedded microcontroller devices, wrote two widely used programming texts, and developed the computer animation demo that Apple used to launch and sell a next-generation line of PCs. He has mostly managed development teams and organizations, but also product managers, project managers, testers, designers, … pretty much everyone on product teams.

The primary focus of his consulting practice, these last 5 years, has mirrored what he did as a manager: untangling the knots in software development. His career grew to VP Eng, VP Product and CTO roles.

As Ron Lichty Consulting, he takes on fractional Interim VPE roles, trains teams in scrum, transitions teams to agile, trains managers in managing software people and teams, and advises organizations and coaches teams to make their software development “hum.” http://www.ronlichty

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12 Take Aways - Managing the Unmanageable

  1. 1. 
 12 Take-Aways:
 Managing the Unmanageable Ron Lichty | Ron Lichty Consulting Ron@RonLichty.com | www.ronlichty.com
  2. 2. * Addison Wesley published October 2012 *
  3. 3. Coauthor, Study of Product Team Performance http://www.ronlichty.com/study.html 3
  4. 4. Ron Lichty, Managing Software People & Teams SOFTWEST
  5. 5. You?
  6. 6. Why we wrote: * Addison Wesley published October 2012 *
  7. 7. 12 Take-Aways: 
 Managing the Unmanageable Ron Lichty, Ron Lichty Consulting www.ronlichty.com, Ron@RonLichty.com
  8. 8. Take-away #1 •  Isn’t it odd... – how long we expect programmers to have studied the art of programming – how little we expect managers to have studied the art of managing?
  9. 9. Manager Training with Impact •  Managers and the Law •  Situational Leadership •  Reflective Listening
  10. 10. Manager Training with Impact •  Managers and the Law •  Situational Leadership •  Reflective Listening •  Managing Software People and Teams
 (live classes, & now LiveLessons video)
  11. 11. Manager Training with Impact •  Managers and the Law •  Situational Leadership •  Reflective Listening •  Managing Software People and Teams
 (live classes, & now LiveLessons video) •  The Agile Manager
  12. 12. Manager Training with Impact •  Managers and the Law •  Situational Leadership •  Reflective Listening •  Managing Software People and Teams
 (LiveLessons, and live classes) •  The Agile Manager •  Lean: Factories vs Code
  13. 13. Manager Training with Impact •  Managers and the Law •  Situational Leadership •  Reflective Listening •  Managing Software People and Teams
 (LiveLessons, and live classes) •  The Agile Manager •  Impactful training you’ve taken?
  14. 14. Agile Training & Managers Dean Leffingwell: transitioning factories to Lean, in Asia
  15. 15. Agile Training & Managers ScrumTeam.jpg (from Exploring Scrum- the Fundamentals, by Dan Rawsthorne & Doug Shimp)
  16. 16. Agile Training: Where’s the Manager? ScrumTeam.jpg (from Exploring Scrum- the Fundamentals, by Dan Rawsthorne & Doug Shimp)
  17. 17. Managers Must Foster Agile Culture •  Trust Our People •  Empower Self-Organization & Excellence •  Expect / Enable Truly Shared Leadership •  Model, Defend, Evangelize Agile Values •  Foster a Culture of Communication •  Encourage Teamwork and Collaboration •  Shield Teams from Politics & Distraction •  Take Care of Stuff! Take Care of Teams!
  18. 18. Take-away #1 •  Get the most management training you can!
  19. 19. Take-away #2 •  Find a mentor
  20. 20. How we came to write: * Addison Wesley published October 2012 * Mentoring
  21. 21. How we came to write: * Addison Wesley published October 2012 * Co-mentoring
  22. 22. Rules of Thumb* * 300 in the book ____________________________________________________________________ Managing the Unmanageable http://www.ManagingTheUnmanageable.net Take-away #3
  23. 23. Rules of Thumb* * 300 in the book ____________________________________________________________________ Managing the Unmanageable http://www.ManagingTheUnmanageable.net Take-away #3
  24. 24. Rules of Thumb* •  Measure twice, cut once. •  Writing clean code is what you must do in order to call yourself a professional developer. – Uncle Bob Martin, co-author, Agile Manifesto •  Brooks’s Law: Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. –  Frederick P. Brooks Jr. * 300 in the book
  25. 25. Take-away #3 •  leverage Rules of Thumb in managing
  26. 26. Take-away #4: Always Be Recruiting
  27. 27. Take-away #4: Always Be Recruiting •  Recruiting: A manager’s most important job
  28. 28. Take-away #4: Always Be Recruiting •  Recruiting: A manager’s most important job •  Always be recruiting –  Be out there
  29. 29. Take-away #4: Always Be Recruiting •  Recruiting: A manager’s most important job •  Always be recruiting –  Be out there •  Why must we give it focus & attention?
  30. 30. Take-away #4: Always Be Recruiting •  Recruiting: A manager’s most important job •  Always be recruiting –  Be out there •  Why must we give it focus & attention? –  Hiring windows
  31. 31. Take-away #4: Always Be Recruiting •  Recruiting: A manager’s most important job •  Always be recruiting –  Be out there •  Why must we give it focus & attention? –  Hiring windows –  Getting it right is critical
  32. 32. One Bad Hire •  a plague on your team for months •  demotivate your team •  demoralize your organization •  undermine your leadership •  incite dissension and strife •  delay or derail your deliverables •  and... it’s so hard it is to get rid of bad hires!
  33. 33. Take-away #4: Always Be Recruiting •  Recruiting: A manager’s most important job •  Always be recruiting –  Be out there •  Why must we give it focus & attention? –  Hiring windows –  Getting it right is critical •  Don’t let fear of making a bad decision rule
  34. 34. Take-Away #5 Handle Problem Employees •  Know: There’s no perfect recruiting record
  35. 35. Take-Away #5 Handle Problem Employees •  Know: There’s no perfect recruiting record •  Even if there were, you’ll inherit a problem employee
  36. 36. Take-Away #5 Handle Problem Employees •  Know: There’s no perfect recruiting record •  even if there were, you’ll inherit a problem •  Intervention beats performance plans & firing –  Requires preparation, commitment, time –  But it’s focused on fixing the issue earlier: •  Marty Brounstein: Handling the Difficult Employee
  37. 37. Intervention Meetings •  a LOT of preparation •  stating the problem •  list every impact •  let your employee vent •  brainstorm solutions •  map out a plan –  that must include regular, structured follow-ups
  38. 38. Take-Away #5 Handle Problem Employees •  Know: There’s no perfect recruiting record •  Intervention beats performance plans & firing –  Requires preparation, commitment, time –  But it’s focused on fixing the issue earlier: •  Marty Brounstein: Handling the Difficult Employee •  One of two results: –  Turns them around –  They quit on their own
  39. 39. Take-Away #5 Handle Problem Employees •  Know: There’s no perfect recruiting record •  Intervention beats performance plans & firing –  Requires preparation, commitment, time –  But it’s focused on fixing the issue earlier: •  Marty Brounstein: Handling the Difficult Employee •  One of two results: –  Turns them around –  They quit on their own •  Handle it!
  40. 40. Take-Away #6 Programmers Aren’t All Alike! •  Programming disciplines •  Generations of programmers •  Morning people vs night people •  Employees vs Contractors •  Proximity •  Cowboys vs Farmers
  41. 41. Take-away #7 In the beginning, everyone will talk about scope, and budget, and schedule, but in the end, nobody really cares about any of those things. The only thing they care about is this: People will love your software, or they won’t. So that’s the only criterion to which you should truly manage. —Joseph Kleinschmidt, SF CTO / now CEO
  42. 42. Take-away #7 Stay Focused on What’s Important! In the beginning, everyone will talk about scope, and budget, and schedule, but in the end, nobody really cares about any of those things. The only thing they care about is this: People will love your software, or they won’t. So that’s the only criterion to which you should truly manage. —Joseph Kleinschmidt, SF CTO / now CEO
  43. 43. Take-away #8 •  Leading by example occurs whether you like it or not. — Jateen Parekh, Founder, CTO, Jelli Crowdsourced Radio
  44. 44. Take-away #8 •  Leading by example occurs whether you like it or not. — Jateen Parekh, Founder, CTO, Jelli Crowdsourced Radio •  Example is not the most important way of influencing other people. It’s the only way. — Albert Schweitzer
  45. 45. Leading by Example: Nugget of Wisdom •  Nothing undermines your credibility as a manager more completely than pounding on your team all year to get their work done on time and then telling them you don’t have their reviews done because you were busy. Whatever you were busy with likely wasn’t managing your people, so you’ve just proven to them that they don’t matter. Good luck motivating them next year. –  Tim Swihart, engineering director, Apple Computer
  46. 46. Take-away #9 Rule of Thumb about climbing the career ladder: The very thing that has made you successful in your last role will get in your way in your next role.
  47. 47. Take-away #9 Rule of Thumb about climbing the ladder: The very thing that has made you successful in your last role will get in your way in your next role. • Manage
  48. 48. Take-away #9 Rule of Thumb about climbing the ladder: The very thing that has made you successful in your last role will get in your way in your next role. • Manage • Delegate
  49. 49. Leaders and Delegation •  Rules of Thumb Trust but verify. 49
  50. 50. Leaders and Delegation Trust but verify. -RONALD REAGAN 50
  51. 51. Leaders and Delegation Trust but verify. -RONALD REAGAN quo.ng VLADIMIR LENIN 51
  52. 52. –  imperative not to micromanage –  the essence of delegation –  setting expected outcomes for teams Leaders and Delegation Trust but verify. -RONALD REAGAN quo.ng VLADIMIR LENIN 52
  53. 53. Leaders and Delegation I inspect what I expect. - ALAN LEFKOF, Netopia CEO, quo.ng LOU GERSTNER 53 Trust but verify. -RONALD REAGAN quo.ng VLADIMIR LENIN
  54. 54. Take-away #9 Rule of Thumb about climbing the ladder: The very thing that has made you successful in your last role will get in your way in your next role. • Manage • Delegate • See managing as a new learning challenge
  55. 55. Take-away #10 • The things that Motivate are not the same as the things that De-Motivate
  56. 56. Take-away #10 •  Just as you actively Motivate •  You need to actively avoid De-Motivating
  57. 57. Take-away #10 •  Just as we actively Motivate •  We need to actively avoid De-Motivating * Frederick Herzberg, 1950s
  58. 58. Motivators vs De-Motivators
  59. 59. Take-away #11: Be Careful What You Reward •  “Behavior revolves around what you measure.” --Jim Highsmith –  If you reward heroes... •  What gets measured gets manipulated. •  “Do you define “done” as “coding complete”? –  Or as features that delight customers? •  Be very careful trying to reward with cash
  60. 60. Take-away #12: Learn to Manage Up
  61. 61. Take-away #12: Learn to Manage Up •  “The single most important leader in an organization is your immediate supervisor.” –  Jim Kouzes •  “You can safely assume all perceptions are real, at least to those who own them.” –  Joe Folkman
  62. 62. 12 Top Take-aways: These, or... •  Your new hire’s first day •  Fostering and nurturing unique culture •  The value of regular one-on-ones •  Managing your people •  Getting programmers to work together well
  63. 63. Raffle!
  64. 64. Ron Lichty Consulting •  Mentoring, coaching, training, consulting: –  http://ronlichty.com, Ron@RonLichty.com •  The book: Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools & Insights for Managing Software People & Teams –  http://ManagingTheUnmanageable.net <-----tools, excerpts, more rules of thumb •  The video training: LiveLessons: Managing Software People and Teams –  http://ManagingTheUnmanageable.net/video.html •  The study: The Study of Product Team Performance –  http://ronlichty.com/study.html •  Training: The Agile Manager Managing Software People and Teams Zero to Agile in Three Days 64
  65. 65. Informit.com/lichty Video Training 50% discount code: •  Use code VIDEO50 Book 35% discount code: •  Use code SWDEV35 •  Good whether print, eBook, or combination •  eBook includes PDF, EPUB, MOBI formats Discount codes applicable only at informit.com Also available on the Safari Bookshelf
  66. 66. A Few Closing Rules of Thumb •  If you’re a people manager, your people are far more important than anything else you’re working on. —Tim Swihart, Engineering Director •  Projects should be run like marathons. You have to set a healthy pace that can win the race and expect to sprint for the finish line. —Ed Catmull, CTO, Pixar Animation Studios •  In applications with high technical debt, estimating is nearly impossible. —Jim Highsmith, Agile Coach and Leader •  The quality of code you demand during the first week of a project is the quality of code you’ll get every week thereafter. —Joe Kleinschmidt, CTO, Leverage Software
  67. 67. Ron Lichty Consulting •  Mentoring, coaching, training, consulting: –  http://ronlichty.com, Ron@RonLichty.com •  The book: Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools & Insights for Managing Software People & Teams –  http://ManagingTheUnmanageable.net <-----tools, excerpts, more rules of thumb •  The video training: LiveLessons: Managing Software People and Teams –  http://ManagingTheUnmanageable.net/video.html •  The study: The Study of Product Team Performance –  http://ronlichty.com/study.html •  Training: The Agile Manager Managing Software People and Teams Zero to Agile in Three Days 67

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