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Crash Course - managing software people and teams (sfelc, 10.26.16)

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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.

Published in: Software
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Crash Course - managing software people and teams (sfelc, 10.26.16)

  1. 1. Crash Course: Managing People and Teams Ron Lichty, Ron Lichty Consulting www.ronlichty.com
  2. 2. Ron Lichty, Managing Software People & Teams SOFTWEST 2
  3. 3. Coauthor, Study of Product Team Performance http://www.ronlichty.com/study.html 3
  4. 4. Why we wrote: * Addison Wesley published October 1, 2012 * 4
  5. 5. 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? 5
  6. 6. Rules of Thumb / Nuggets of Wisdom* * 300 in the book / more at http://managingtheunmanageable.net/morerulesofthumb.html 6
  7. 7. 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 7
  8. 8. Agenda • Managing Down • Motivating • Recruiting • Handling Problem Employees • Shielding Your Team • Managing Out and Up • Establishing Culture • Communicating • So Why Manage? • Q&A 8
  9. 9. Great Managers 9
  10. 10. 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? 10
  11. 11. 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 11
  12. 12. 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. 12
  13. 13. 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 13
  14. 14. 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 14
  15. 15. Leaders and Delegation • Rules of Thumb Trust but verify. 15
  16. 16. Empowerment Trust but verify. -RONALD REAGAN 16
  17. 17. Empowerment Trust but verify. -RONALD REAGAN quoting VLADIMIR LENIN 17
  18. 18. – imperative not to micromanage – the essence of delegation – setting expected outcomes for teams Empowerment Trust but verify. -RONALD REAGAN quoting VLADIMIR LENIN 18
  19. 19. Leaders and Delegation • Rules of Thumb Trust but verify. - RONALD REAGAN quoting VLADIMIR LENIN I inspect what I expect. - ALAN LEFKOF, Netopia CEO, quoting LOU GERSTNER 19
  20. 20. 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 20
  21. 21. 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 21
  22. 22. Motivators vs De-Motivators 22
  23. 23. Motivating: Be Careful What You Reward • “Behavior revolves around what you measure.” – Jim Highsmith • “Firefighters who get rewarded carry matches.” – Kimberly Wiefling • Do you define “done” as “coding complete”? – Or as features that delight customers? 23
  24. 24. Motivating: Making a Difference • Why are you working here? 24
  25. 25. 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 25
  26. 26. Recruiting • A manager’s most important job 26
  27. 27. Recruiting • A manager’s most important job • Give it the priority it deserves 27
  28. 28. Recruiting • A manager’s most important job • Give it the priority it deserves • Always be recruiting 28
  29. 29. Recruiting • A manager’s most important job • Give it the priority it deserves • Always be recruiting • There’s no perfect record 29
  30. 30. Handling Problem Employees • Intervention beats performance plans & firing – Requires preparation, commitment, time – But gets the job done earlier: • One of two results: – Turns them around – Manages them out —Marty Brounstein: Handling the Difficult Employee 30
  31. 31. Agenda • Managing Down • Motivating • Recruiting • Handling Problem Employees • Shielding Your Team • Managing Out and Up • Establishing Culture • Communicating • So Why Manage? • Q&A 31
  32. 32. Shielding Your Team Be a damper to the noise. --Joe Kleinschmidt, CTO John Evans, Winchester, Hants, United Kingdom, www.thetippingpoint.co.uk 32
  33. 33. 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 33
  34. 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 34
  35. 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 35
  36. 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. 36
  37. 37. Capacity • Slack is critical to throughput – 100% capacity results in bottlenecks --photo (c) Bud Adams, SXC, www.aimpgh.com 37
  38. 38. 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 38
  39. 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 39
  40. 40. Establishing Culture http://www.ManagingTheUnmanageable.net 40
  41. 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 41
  42. 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 42
  43. 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
  44. 44. 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. —Joseph Kleinschmidt, CTO, Leverage Software 44
  45. 45. 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 study: The Study of Product Team Performance – http://ronlichty.com/study.html • I train managers and teams: The Agile Manager Managing Software People and Teams Zero to Agile in Three Days 45
  46. 46. 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 study: The Study of Product Team Performance – http://ronlichty.com/study.html • I train managers and teams: The Agile Manager Managing Software People and Teams Zero to Agile in Three Days 46

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