: Software teamwork: taking ownership for success (9780321488909) : Jim Brosseau : Books
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Software Teamwork: Taking Ownership For Success

by Jim Brosseau
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
  • Publishing date: 10/11/2007
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9780321488909
  • ISBN: 0321488903


“If your desire is to effect change or have more influence on a software team, you could either stumble around in the dark for a few years, experimenting with different techniques, or you could buy, read, and apply the techniques in this book. This choice, of course, is up to you.”–Matthew Heusser


“Jim Brosseau’s understanding of the true dynamics of the IT workplace shows through in Software Teamwork. For those on the IT solution delivery front lines, and for those who manage them, his insights and wisdom will lead to not only better projects, but a better work life as well.”–Bruce A. Stewart, Chief Executive Officer, Accendor Research, Inc.


Optimizing the Human Side of Software Development:

Real Solutions Based on Real Data and Experience


Software Teamwork is a compelling, innovative, intensely practical guide to improving the human dynamics that are crucial to building great software.


Drawing on years of work with a wide range of teams, Jim Brosseau shows how to drive powerful improvements through small, focused changes that deliver results. These changes are designed to work for the whole team and respect existing organizational culture. Better yet, Brosseau identifies solutions you can start implementing right now, as an individual, without waiting for executive buy-in.


Whatever your methodology, technology, or organization, Software Teamwork demonstrates how to apply solutions to realistic development challenges involving complex sets of stakeholders. Along the way, Brosseau shares important new insights into the attitudes, motives, and personal relationships that project management software just can’t track.


Software Teamwork is a revelation–and an invaluable working resource for every project team member, leader, and stakeholder.



Preface xv

Acknowledgments xxi

About the Author xxiii


Part I: The Problem Space

Chapter 1: Why Are We So Challenged? 3

Chapter 2: Do the Right Thing 23

Part II: Individuals

Chapter 3: The Right Stuff 39

Chapter 4: A Quality Focus 53

Chapter 5: Facing Challenges 65

Chapter 6: Proactive Effectiveness 81

Chapter 7: Sustainability 95

Part III: Groups

Chapter 8: Communication 109

Chapter 9: Motives and Expectations 125

Chapter 10: Playing Well Together 143

Part IV: Teams

Chapter 11: Alignment 161

Chapter 12: Organization 177

Chapter 13: Coordination 199

Chapter 14: Guidance 217

Part V: Stakeholders

Chapter 15: Customers 235

Chapter 16: Setting Goals 243

Chapter 17: Specification 259

Chapter 18: Prioritization 273

Chapter 19: Change 283

Chapter 20: Progress 295

Part VI: Putting It All Together

Chapter 21: Pick Your Battles 311

Chapter 22: Flexibility and Rigor 323

Chapter 23: Progress Revisited 335

Chapter 24: Change Revisited 345

Chapter 25: Constant Vigilance 361

Part VII: Appendix

Appendix: Core Tools 375


Index 387


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  • Inspiring and sharp
    From Amazon

    The book is lengthy but fun to read, and very inspiring too. The author had one opportunity to participate in an project management simulation, this is what he concluded: "Almost all attempts at the simulation apparently start off fine for the first couple of months, but most end up with significant time and cost overruns, with huge quality issues, too. The beauty of this simulation is that we see the cause and effect of a ten-month project in the span of a couple of hours, and thus we can more easily make the connection between cause and effect." The author's tone remains very positive and sharp at the same time: "Sometimes doctors tell patients something they don't want to hear, anything from "you should quit smoking" to "get your affairs in order quickly." Although there are clear stages in the absorption of information, people will progress through these stages at different rates. Some will never get past the stage of denial, whereas others will quickly take affirmative action on the information and have the greatest chances for survival and growth." The book can be much shorter, the point Jim made is that both management and the software developer often lose sight of what are really important.

  • Simply Brilliant and Unrivaled - Decades of Wisdom Distilled and Very Digestible
    From Amazon

    This book is brilliant and it reads very easily, as a good novel might. If anybody wants to really understand the challenges of software development and especially projects that require teams of individuals, this is the book for you. There simply is not another book out there that I have come across that effectively communicates and codifies the issues inherent in team software development. As a software developer, I consistently said to myself "somebody else gets it" as I read through it. If this book were to get enough press, it could be revolutionary. The trouble is that it does not offer buzzwords or acronyms for the marketers to focus on. Enjoy this book and become an effective participant in the software development process, regardless of whether you are a developer or a stakeholder of another sort. You'll be glad you did.

  • Business and computer libraries alike need his approach to software team development.
    From Amazon

    SOFTWARE TEAMWORK: TAKING OWNERSHIP FOR SUCCESS is a practical guide to improving the human interactions which go into software development. Years of work with a range of teams contribute to tester/developer author Jim Brosseau's expertise and insights. His book shows how to take small, tested routines and strategies and apply them to the whole team and its wider purposes, making for a set of realistic development routines which provide solid results. Business and computer libraries alike need his approach to software team development.

  • how groups can work better
    From Amazon

    "Software Teamwork: Taking Ownership for Success" isn't just about teams. The book provides tips on the individual, group, team and stakeholder levels. (A group is defined as interacting with others without being a team.) I particularly liked the inside cover references. Each of four tables (individual/group/team/stakeholder) that cross reference the chapter number and four areas (trouble signs, success indicators, questions to ask and tools for support.) These combine to form 16 icons. The icons are used within the chapters to highlight key concepts or find them later. While this sounds complicated trying to describe it, it's a case where a picture is worth a thousand words and the concept works very well in reading/navigating/referencing the book. I also particularly liked the "how is this relevant?" section that ends each chapter. After the chapter summary, the author picks key concepts and asks questions to get you thinking about how it applies in your workplace. I'm always a bit skeptical of books that claim to address everyone involved in the software development process including managers, developers and stakeholders. This book manages the task impressively. And finally, the book resonates with problems and phrases used in industry. My favorites are the problem with "and then a miracle happens" and the repeated emphasis on what "done" means throughout the book. There are good analogies, stories and examples throughout the book. It was a great read and very informative. I highly recommend this book.

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