Cover image for Creating high performance software development teams
Creating high performance software development teams
Ginac, Frank P.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Upper Saddle River, N.J. : Prentice Hall, [2000]

Physical Description:
xxvi, 123 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QA76.76.D47 G555 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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How to build-and lead-a world-class software development team In this book, expert software development manager Frank P. Ginac brings together world-class techniques for building and leading high-performance software development teams. Ideal for the first-line manager - especially managers transitioning from developer roles - this book offers start-to-finish guidance for delivering superior products, on time and on budget. Ginac focuses on the two most important elements of successful team building - people and leadership. He demonstrates exactly how to: * Clearly outline your software projects business and technical goals * Choose the right people for your team - and avoid the wrong ones * Organize your software development team for success * Fill gaps in your teams skills and experience * Appraise individual and team performance * Incorporate todays software quality best practices Ginac shows you how to be a leader, not just a manager - and how to avoid the barriers to leadership, including politics, bureaucracy, and corporate popularity contests. Youll learn how to plan successfully - and how to build a team that executes your plans with passion.

Author Notes

In his 13-year technology career, Frank Cinac has used his engineering expertise and project management talent to help visionary companies achieve their product development objectives.

Mr. Ginac has been responsible for creating and directing product development groups for highly successful start-ups as well as for established corporations. He has developed innovative processes that improve product quality and speed resulting in high-quality software and shorter development cycles.

He is presently the Vice President of Product Development for one of the hottest start-ups in Austin, TX.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. xiii
Prefacep. xv
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
Introductionp. xix
Chapter 1 Nail Down the Requirementsp. 1
Purpose of Requirementsp. 1
The Questionsp. 2
Problemp. 2
What problem will the product solve?p. 2
Opportunityp. 5
Who has the problem?p. 5
How many have the problem?p. 5
Window of Opportunityp. 6
When do they need a solution?p. 6
Returnp. 7
Is the product worth building?p. 7
What is ROI?p. 7
Calculating ROIp. 7
Requirementsp. 8
How will the product solve the problem?p. 8
How will customers use the product?p. 9
Getting the Answersp. 10
Develop a Theme for the Project (Keep It Simple)p. 10
Customers and Prospectsp. 10
Competitorsp. 10
Temper Requirements with Innovationp. 11
Example 1-1 Product Requirements Documentp. 11
Chapter 2 Build the Best Teamp. 15
Piecing Together the Puzzlep. 15
Define the Team's Objectivesp. 15
Hiring Profilep. 16
Culturep. 16
Personalityp. 18
Track recordp. 19
Knowledge, skills, and experience needed for successp. 21
Example 2-3 Hiring Profilep. 23
Hiringp. 25
Finding candidatesp. 25
Do they fit?p. 26
Sell the opportunityp. 29
Make them an offer they can't refusep. 30
Close the deal fastp. 30
Organize Around Productsp. 30
Traditional Hierarchical Organizationsp. 30
What is a traditional hierarchical organization?p. 30
Why they don't workp. 31
Flat Organizationsp. 33
What is a flat organization?p. 33
Why they don't workp. 33
A Better Wayp. 33
Product development requires a cross-functional body of peoplep. 33
Create a cross-functional teamp. 34
Appoint a leader with cross-functional responsibilityp. 34
Chapter 3 Prepare the Teamp. 37
Eliminate Team Weaknessesp. 37
Individual weaknesses versus team weaknessesp. 37
Focus on determining team weaknessesp. 38
Harness Strengthsp. 38
Fill In the Holes in Their Skills and Experiencep. 39
Book studiesp. 39
Formal trainingp. 39
Chapter 4 Prepare to Leadp. 41
People Are People Not Resourcesp. 41
People Have Needs, Resources Need
Maintenancep. 42
People Learn, Resources Are Programmedp. 44
People Quit, Resources Breakp. 48
You Must Be a Leader Before You Can Leadp. 48
I'm a Manager, Doesn't That Make Me a Leader?p. 48
Classic distinction between manager and leaderp. 48
Management is assigned, leadership is earnedp. 49
Is It Possible to Be Effective If You Are
Not a Leader?p. 49
What does it mean to be effective?p. 49
Leadership is a prerequisite for effectivenessp. 49
Do others see you as a manager or a leader?p. 49
Perception is everythingp. 50
Trickle-Down Effect of Leadershipp. 51
Barriers to Effective Leadershipp. 51
Popularity Contestsp. 51
Politicsp. 51
Bureaucracyp. 52
Prepare to Leadp. 52
Identify Your Weaknessesp. 52
Eliminate Your Weaknessesp. 53
Find a mentor and a coachp. 53
Fill in the holes in your skills and experiencep. 55
Chapter 5 Planningp. 57
By the Seat of Your Pantsp. 57
Planning Is a Prerequisite for High Performancep. 57
There Is No Substitute for a Good Planp. 58
Focuses Teamp. 58
Informs Othersp. 59
Identifies Dependenciesp. 59
Anticipates Challenges and Offers Alternative Courses of Actionp. 59
Project Planning Is Not an Exact Sciencep. 59
Task Breakdown Errorsp. 59
People Are Unpredictablep. 60
Unforeseen Eventsp. 60
Aim for 80% Accuracy in First Version of a Project Planp. 60
Don't guessp. 60
Develop the Planp. 61
Step 1 Put a stake in the groundp. 61
Step 2 Specify the objectivesp. 63
Step 3 For each set of related objectives, specify functional/design optionsp. 64
Example 5-1 Uni-Specificationp. 70
Step 4 Select functional/design optionsp. 72
Step 5 Derive major tasks from selected functional/design optionsp. 73
Step 6 Identify dependenciesp. 74
Step 7 Identify the critical pathp. 74
Step 8 Identify "mini-release" pointsp. 74
Step 9 Assign people to tasksp. 75
Step 10 Level resourcesp. 76
Step 11 Adjustp. 76
Project Planning Toolsp. 77
The Easy Part Is Done, Time to Executep. 78
Chapter 6 Execute with Passionp. 79
Execute ...p. 79
Keep It Simplep. 79
Work Your Project Planp. 79
Lessons from SCUBA divingp. 79
The changing critical pathp. 80
Keep your weakest performers off the critical pathp. 81
Maintain Focusp. 81
Ask questionsp. 81
Encouragep. 82
Motivatep. 82
Reward focusing behaviorsp. 83
Reward resultsp. 83
Clear the path aheadp. 83
Accept no excusesp. 85
Manage performancep. 86
... With Passionp. 88
Think Like a Winnerp. 88
Set high standardsp. 88
Push the limitsp. 88
Create a Sense of Urgencyp. 89
What is it?p. 89
What happens if you don't have it?p. 89
How do you create it?p. 89
Chapter 7 Conclusionp. 95
Nail Down the Requirementsp. 95
Build the Best Teamp. 96
Prepare the Teamp. 96
Prepare to Leadp. 96
Planningp. 97
Execute with Passionp. 97
Appendix Developing Softwarep. 99
Software Development Processesp. 99
Types of Software Development Processesp. 99
Waterfallp. 99
Prototypingp. 100
Iterativep. 101
Selecting the Right Process to Followp. 103
Scope of problemp. 104
Schedulep. 105
Availability of toolsp. 106
Configuration Managementp. 107
Source Code Controlp. 108
Productionp. 110
Version Managementp. 110
Constructionp. 110
Problem/Defect Trackingp. 111
Quality Assurancep. 111
In the Eyes of the Beholderp. 111
Quality Attributesp. 113
Product-specific attributesp. 114
Organization-specific attributesp. 115
Quality Metricsp. 115
Types of metricsp. 116
Beyond metricsp. 117
Test Methods, Types, and Toolsp. 117
Test methodsp. 118
Types of testsp. 118
Commercial test toolsp. 119
Indexp. 121