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Crash Course:
Managing Software People & Teams
Ron Lichty | Ron Lichty Consulting
Ron@RonLichty.com | ronlichty.com | ManagingTheUnmanageable.net
From Programmer to
Managing Software People & Teams
© www.ronlichty.com 2
3
Untangle Knots in
Development and Product Teams
© www.ronlichty.com
• Making development “hum”
• Training teams & execs in agile
• Interim VP Eng roles
Advise Business & Engineering Leaders
4
• Discount code MANAGING:
35% off @ informit.com/managing2e
• Book and/or eBook
(eBook files include PDF, EPUB, & MOBI)
• Free Shipping in the US
Booksellers include Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and
O’Reilly’s Online Learning Service.
*Discount code MANAGING is only good at informit.com
and cannot be used on the already discounted book +
eBook bundle or combined with any other offer.
5
Managing the Unmanageable:
Rules, Tools, and Insights
for Managing Software People and Teams
The 2nd Edition’s new chapter:
If You Are Agile, What Do Managers Do?
Coauthor, Study of Product Team Performance
http://www.ronlichty.com/study.html
6
You?
• A census of the “room”...
– People managers?
• Chat Storm: write in the Chat, do NOT press Return
– Name /
/ Yes or No (Are you / Ever been a people manager?) /
/ Current role
• Again, do NOT press Return until I signal
7
You?
• A census of the “room”...
– People managers?
• Poll: How much training in management you’ve had
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?
9
Why we wrote:
* Addison Wesley
*
10
Rules of Thumb / Nuggets of Wisdom*
* 300 in the book / more at http://managingtheunmanageable.net/morerulesofthumb.html
11
Rules of Thumb / Nuggets of Wisdom*
• Brooks’s Law: Adding manpower to a late
software project makes it later.
– Frederick P. Brooks Jr., The Mythical Man Month
• Software Development is a team sport.
* 300 in the book / more: http://managingtheunmanageable.net/morerulesofthumb.html
12
“Manager”: Multi-Faceted Job
• Managing
• Leading
• Coaching
• Mentoring
• Listening
• Learning
• Growing
• Supporting
• Enabling
13
Servant Leader
Agenda
• Great Managers
• Transitioning to Managing
• Motivating
• Recruiting
• Handling Problem Employees
• Shielding Your Team
• Managing Out and Up
• Establishing Culture
• Communicating
• So Why Manage?
• Q&A 14
Great Managers
15
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? 16
Managing: Walk the Talk
• 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
17
Managing: Transitioning
• 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
Leaders and Delegation
• Rules of Thumb
Trust but verify.
19
Empowerment
Trust but verify.
-RONALD REAGAN
20
Empowerment
Trust but verify.
-RONALD REAGAN quoting VLADIMIR LENIN
21
– imperative not to micromanage
– the essence of delegation
– setting expected outcomes for teams
Empowerment
Trust but verify.
-RONALD REAGAN quoting VLADIMIR LENIN
22
Empowerment
Trust but verify.
-RONALD REAGAN quoting VLADIMIR LENIN
23
I inspect what I expect.
- ALAN LEFKOF, Netopia CEO, quoting LOU GERSTNER
Managers who use one-on-one meetings consistently find
them one of the most effective and productive uses of their
management time.
- JOHANNA ROTHMAN and ESTHER DERBY, Behind Closed Doors
Managing: Transitioning
• 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
Managing: Transitioning
• 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
• Be a Motivator
• Don’t Be a De-Motivator
25
Motivators vs De-Motivators
26
Frederick Herzberg’s work in the 1950s; charted in Managing the Unmanageable
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
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
28
Recruiting
29
Recruiting
• A manager’s most important job
• Always be recruiting
• There’s no perfect record
30
Handling Problem Employees
• Intervention beats performance plans & firing
– Requires preparation, commitment, time
– But gets the job done earlier
• 3 keys
– Preparation
– 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
31
Agenda
• Managing a Team
• Motivating
• Recruiting
• Handling Problem Employees
• Shielding Your Team
• Managing Out and Up
• Establishing Culture
• Communicating
• So Why Manage?
• Q&A
32
Shielding Your Team
Be a damper to the noise. --Joe Kleinschmidt, CTO
John Evans, Winchester, Hants, United Kingdom, www.thetippingpoint.co.uk
33
Shielding Your Team
• Threats 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
34
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
35
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
36
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.
37
Capacity
• Slack is critical to throughput
– 100% capacity results in bottlenecks
--photo (c) Bud Adams, SXC, www.aimpgh.com
38
Establishing Culture
• Does your company live its values?
• Programming culture ≠ corporate culture
– Wherever you can, leverage culture & values
– Wall parts off
– Substitute and bolster more appropriate values
39
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
40
Establishing Culture
http://www.ManagingTheUnmanageable.net 41
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
• In sw development, we cannot overcommunicate.
42
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
43
Raffle!
44
Ron Lichty Consulting
• 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
45
Informit.com/lichty
Save 50% on Video Training
• Use code VIDEO50
Save 35% on Book
• Use code MANAGING
• Print or eBooks
• (eBook files include PDF, EPUB, & MOBI)
Apply discount codes at informit.com
46
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
Ron Lichty Consulting
• Software leadership, 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
48

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Crash Course - Managing Software People and Teams

  • 1. Crash Course: Managing Software People & Teams Ron Lichty | Ron Lichty Consulting Ron@RonLichty.com | ronlichty.com | ManagingTheUnmanageable.net
  • 2. From Programmer to Managing Software People & Teams © www.ronlichty.com 2
  • 3. 3 Untangle Knots in Development and Product Teams © www.ronlichty.com
  • 4. • Making development “hum” • Training teams & execs in agile • Interim VP Eng roles Advise Business & Engineering Leaders 4
  • 5. • Discount code MANAGING: 35% off @ informit.com/managing2e • Book and/or eBook (eBook files include PDF, EPUB, & MOBI) • Free Shipping in the US Booksellers include Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and O’Reilly’s Online Learning Service. *Discount code MANAGING is only good at informit.com and cannot be used on the already discounted book + eBook bundle or combined with any other offer. 5 Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools, and Insights for Managing Software People and Teams The 2nd Edition’s new chapter: If You Are Agile, What Do Managers Do?
  • 6. Coauthor, Study of Product Team Performance http://www.ronlichty.com/study.html 6
  • 7. You? • A census of the “room”... – People managers? • Chat Storm: write in the Chat, do NOT press Return – Name / / Yes or No (Are you / Ever been a people manager?) / / Current role • Again, do NOT press Return until I signal 7
  • 8. You? • A census of the “room”... – People managers? • Poll: How much training in management you’ve had 8
  • 9. 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? 9
  • 10. Why we wrote: * Addison Wesley * 10
  • 11. Rules of Thumb / Nuggets of Wisdom* * 300 in the book / more at http://managingtheunmanageable.net/morerulesofthumb.html 11
  • 12. Rules of Thumb / Nuggets of Wisdom* • Brooks’s Law: Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. – Frederick P. Brooks Jr., The Mythical Man Month • Software Development is a team sport. * 300 in the book / more: http://managingtheunmanageable.net/morerulesofthumb.html 12
  • 13. “Manager”: Multi-Faceted Job • Managing • Leading • Coaching • Mentoring • Listening • Learning • Growing • Supporting • Enabling 13 Servant Leader
  • 14. Agenda • Great Managers • Transitioning to Managing • Motivating • Recruiting • Handling Problem Employees • Shielding Your Team • Managing Out and Up • Establishing Culture • Communicating • So Why Manage? • Q&A 14
  • 16. 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? 16
  • 17. Managing: Walk the Talk • 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 17
  • 18. Managing: Transitioning • 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. Leaders and Delegation • Rules of Thumb Trust but verify. 19
  • 21. Empowerment Trust but verify. -RONALD REAGAN quoting VLADIMIR LENIN 21
  • 22. – imperative not to micromanage – the essence of delegation – setting expected outcomes for teams Empowerment Trust but verify. -RONALD REAGAN quoting VLADIMIR LENIN 22
  • 23. Empowerment Trust but verify. -RONALD REAGAN quoting VLADIMIR LENIN 23 I inspect what I expect. - ALAN LEFKOF, Netopia CEO, quoting LOU GERSTNER Managers who use one-on-one meetings consistently find them one of the most effective and productive uses of their management time. - JOHANNA ROTHMAN and ESTHER DERBY, Behind Closed Doors
  • 24. Managing: Transitioning • 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. Managing: Transitioning • 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 • Be a Motivator • Don’t Be a De-Motivator 25
  • 26. Motivators vs De-Motivators 26 Frederick Herzberg’s work in the 1950s; charted in Managing the Unmanageable
  • 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. 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 28
  • 30. Recruiting • A manager’s most important job • Always be recruiting • There’s no perfect record 30
  • 31. Handling Problem Employees • Intervention beats performance plans & firing – Requires preparation, commitment, time – But gets the job done earlier • 3 keys – Preparation – 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 31
  • 32. Agenda • Managing a Team • Motivating • Recruiting • Handling Problem Employees • Shielding Your Team • Managing Out and Up • Establishing Culture • Communicating • So Why Manage? • Q&A 32
  • 33. Shielding Your Team Be a damper to the noise. --Joe Kleinschmidt, CTO John Evans, Winchester, Hants, United Kingdom, www.thetippingpoint.co.uk 33
  • 34. Shielding Your Team • Threats 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 34
  • 35. 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 35
  • 36. 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 36
  • 37. 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. 37
  • 38. Capacity • Slack is critical to throughput – 100% capacity results in bottlenecks --photo (c) Bud Adams, SXC, www.aimpgh.com 38
  • 39. Establishing Culture • Does your company live its values? • Programming culture ≠ corporate culture – Wherever you can, leverage culture & values – Wall parts off – Substitute and bolster more appropriate values 39
  • 40. 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 40
  • 42. 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 • In sw development, we cannot overcommunicate. 42
  • 43. 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 43
  • 45. Ron Lichty Consulting • 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 45
  • 46. Informit.com/lichty Save 50% on Video Training • Use code VIDEO50 Save 35% on Book • Use code MANAGING • Print or eBooks • (eBook files include PDF, EPUB, & MOBI) Apply discount codes at informit.com 46
  • 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. Ron Lichty Consulting • Software leadership, 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 48