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Crash course- managing software people and teams

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"We'd like you to manage the team now." That's about as much introduction - and training - as many of us get before our first day managing. Often preceded only by, "You're a great programmer,” and maybe, “it feels like you've got some people skills.” 

But while programming cred and facility with people are helpful qualifications, what do you really need to know to manage well? What makes a manager great? What are the qualities that meld teams and deliver great software? What will make both your programmers and your execs rave? Those are among the questions that led Ron Lichty and his co-author Mickey W. Mantle to write "Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools, and Insights for Managing Software People and Teams" (Addison-Wesley). 

In this interactive session, Ron will examine the great managers each of us has experienced, and the qualities, skills, finesse and gifts of greatness that made them stand out. He'll talk about "the rest of the job": managing up, managing out, and other aspects of being a seasoned manager that reports mostly don't see. 

You'll take away a few best practices that take most managers years to discover.

Bio:
Ron Lichty has been managing and, more recently, consulting in software development and product organizations for over 25 years at companies like Apple, Fujitsu, Schwab, Razorfish, Forensic Logic, Stanford, Check Point, 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 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 four years, has mirrored what he did as a manager: untangling the knots in software development. His career has spanned web applications, system software, entertainment, shrinkwrap products, ecommerce, interface development, embedded devices, professional services and IT - and grew from first level managing to VP Engineering, VP Product and CTO roles.

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

His 450-page book, Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools, and Insights for Managing Software People and Teams (http://www.ManagingTheUnmanageable.net), published by Addison Wesley, has been compared by many readers to programming classics The Mythical Man-Month and Peopleware. He also co-authors the biannual Study of Product Team Performance (http://www.ronlichty.com/study.html).

Published in: Software
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Crash course- managing software people and teams

  1. 1. Crash Course: 
 Managing People and Teams Ron Lichty, Ron Lichty Consulting www.ronlichty.com
  2. 2. Managing Software People & Teams © Ron Lichty 2
  3. 3. © Ron Lichty 3
  4. 4. •  Untangling knots in software development •  Making development “hum” •  Interim VP Eng roles Advise Business & Engineering Leaders © Ron Lichty 4
  5. 5. Coauthor, Study of Product Team Performance http://www.ronlichty.com/study.html 5
  6. 6. You? •  A census of the room... 6
  7. 7. You? •  A census of the room... –  People managers? 7
  8. 8. Management Training •  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? 8
  9. 9. Why we wrote: * Addison Wesley published October 1, 2012 * 9
  10. 10. Rules of Thumb / Nuggets of Wisdom* * 300 in the book / more at http://managingtheunmanageable.net/morerulesofthumb.html 10
  11. 11. Rules of Thumb / Nuggets of Wisdom* •  Measure twice, cut once. •  Life is simpler when you plow around the stump. •  Brooks’s Law: Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. –  Frederick P. Brooks Jr. * 300 in the book / more: http://managingtheunmanageable.net/morerulesofthumb.html 11
  12. 12. Agenda •  Managing Down •  Motivating •  Recruiting •  Handling Problem Employees •  Shielding Your Team •  Managing Out and Up •  Establishing Culture •  Communicating •  So Why Manage? •  Q&A 12
  13. 13. Great Managers 13
  14. 14. Help Me Identify What It Takes •  Best manager you ever had? What were the… • Skills • Behaviors • Finesse • Gifts of greatness . . . that made them stand out? 14
  15. 15. Managing Down: 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 15
  16. 16. Managing Down: Challenges •  Rule of Thumb about climbing the ladder: The very thing that has made you successful will get in your way in your next role. 16
  17. 17. Managing Down: Challenges •  Rule of Thumb about climbing the ladder: The very thing that has made you successful will get in your way in your next role. •  Code -> Manage 17
  18. 18. Managing Down: Challenges •  Rule of Thumb about climbing the ladder: The very thing that has made you successful will get in your way in your next role. •  Code -> Manage •  Delegate –  Delegate anyway –  Delegate, not... 18
  19. 19. Leaders and Delegation •  Rules of Thumb Trust but verify. 19
  20. 20. Empowerment Trust but verify. -RONALD REAGAN 20
  21. 21. Empowerment Trust but verify. -RONALD REAGAN quo-ng VLADIMIR LENIN 21
  22. 22. –  imperative not to micromanage –  the essence of delegation –  setting expected outcomes for teams Empowerment Trust but verify. -RONALD REAGAN quo-ng VLADIMIR LENIN 22
  23. 23. Leaders and Delegation •  Rules of Thumb Trust but verify. - RONALD REAGAN quo-ng VLADIMIR LENIN I inspect what I expect. - ALAN LEFKOF, Netopia CEO, quo-ng LOU GERSTNER 23
  24. 24. Managing Down: Challenges •  Rule of Thumb about climbing the ladder: The very thing that has made you successful will get in your way in your next role. •  Manage •  Delegate •  See It as a New Learning Challenge 24
  25. 25. Managing Down: Challenges •  Rule of Thumb: The very thing that has made you successful will get in your way in your next role. •  Manage •  Delegate •  See It as a New Learning Challenge •  Be a Motivator •  Don’t Be a De-Motivator 25
  26. 26. Motivators vs De-Motivators 26 Frederick Herzberg’s work in the 1950s; charted in Managing the Unmanageable
  27. 27. Motivating: Be Careful What You Reward •  “Behavior revolves around what you measure.” •  Jim Highsmith •  Do you define “done” as “coding complete”? –  As meeting specs? –  Or as features that delight customers? •  “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 •  Reward heroes? –  Or reward everyone pitching in day in day out 27
  28. 28. Motivating: Making a Difference •  Why are you working here? 28
  29. 29. Motivating: Making a Difference •  Why are you working here? •  Make the connection –  the company’s mission –  the work each and every member of your team is working on 29
  30. 30. Recruiting •  A manager’s most important job 30
  31. 31. Recruiting •  A manager’s most important job •  Always be recruiting 31
  32. 32. Recruiting •  A manager’s most important job •  Always be recruiting •  There’s no perfect record 32
  33. 33. Handling Problem Employees •  Intervention beats performance plans & firing –  Requires preparation, commitment, time –  But gets the job done earlier: •  2 keys –  Impacts not behavior –  Plan – mutually created – to fix those impacts •  One of two results: –  They turn their behavior around –  They leave —Marty Brounstein: Handling the Difficult Employee 33
  34. 34. Agenda •  Managing Down •  Motivating •  Recruiting •  Handling Problem Employees •  Shielding Your Team •  Managing Out and Up •  Establishing Culture •  Communicating •  So Why Manage? •  Q&A 34
  35. 35. Shielding Your Team Be a damper to the noise. --Joe Kleinschmidt, CTO John Evans, Winchester, Hants, United Kingdom, www.thetippingpoint.co.uk 35
  36. 36. Shielding Your Team •  Threat to your team –  Torrent of politics, “opportunities,” issues –  Sap your team’s focus •  Challenge for you –  Be a conduit for Mission, Passion, Strategy –  While shielding your team from distraction 36
  37. 37. Managing Out and 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 37
  38. 38. Managing Out & Up •  Challenging because –  your peers increasingly are not technical –  and your boss may not be either •  …they’ll pressure you –  to micromanage your team (or let them) –  to report on / prove your team’s productivity –  to fill your team’s plates to capacity 38
  39. 39. Productivity The Apple Lisa team’s managers had asked engineers to report, each week, how many lines of code they’d written. The first week, Bill Atkinson turned his attention to making QuickDraw faster and more efficient, reducing the previous week’s code by 2,000 lines. He duly reported that he’d written minus-2,000 lines of code for the week. 39
  40. 40. Capacity •  Slack is critical to throughput –  100% capacity results in bottlenecks --photo (c) Bud Adams, SXC, www.aimpgh.com 40
  41. 41. Establishing Culture •  Does your company live its values? •  Programming culture ≠ corporate culture –  Wall parts off –  Substitute and bolster more appropriate values •  Wherever you can, leverage culture & values 41
  42. 42. Establishing Culture •  “Publicly reward or acknowledge engineers who act in a way that supports the culture that you want to create.” —Juanita Mah, engineering manager 42
  43. 43. Establishing Culture http://www.ManagingTheUnmanageable.net 43
  44. 44. Communicating •  You have to communicate more •  Encourage your team to communicate •  Create a culture of communication –  at every level –  with everyone •  up, down, within and across 44
  45. 45. Communicating •  You have to communicate more •  Encourage your team to communicate •  Create a culture of communication –  at every level –  with everyone •  up, down, within and across •  “We have two ears and one mouth. Use them in this ratio.” — Kimberly Wiefling 45
  46. 46. So Why Manage? •  You get to go broad –  Affect more of the product –  Affect more of the customer experience •  You get to be more in the conversation •  You get to mentor and coach and motivate –  A whole team –  To become something more 46
  47. 47. 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 47
  48. 48. Raffle! 48
  49. 49. Pre-Order & Save 40%* informit.com/managing2e •  Use code EARLYMANAGING •  Available as Book and/or eBook (eBook all-inclusive: PDF, EPUB, and MOBI) •  Free Shipping in the US Book is also available via booksellers including Amazon and Barnes & Noble and in O’Reilly’s Online Learning Service. *Discount code EARLYMANAGING is only good at informit.com and cannot be used on the already discounted book + eBook bundle or combined with any other offer. Offer ends December 9, 2019 and is subject to change.
  50. 50. 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 50
  51. 51. Pre-Order & Save 40%* informit.com/managing2e •  Use code EARLYMANAGING •  Available as Book and/or eBook (eBook all-inclusive: PDF, EPUB, and MOBI) •  Free Shipping in the US Book is also available via booksellers including Amazon and Barnes & Noble and in O’Reilly’s Online Learning Service. *Discount code EARLYMANAGING is only good at informit.com and cannot be used on the already discounted book + eBook bundle or combined with any other offer. Offer ends December 9, 2019 and is subject to change.

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