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[16 Sep 2013 | No Comment | ]
Three Little Books Coming Soon

A flurry of writing this year leaves me with three little software books to offer you.  One on teamwork, one on communication, and the last on Agile in .NET.
All three will be available on Amazon.com and the Kindle store soon!

Events, Leadership, The IT Shop »

[7 May 2013 | No Comment | ]
10/21: Dan Speaks at Project Summit & Business Analyst World

Project managers and analysts converge on Boston in October for a conference on management and specifications for software. Software consultant Dan Hermes will speak on the topic of human communication in the software industry, presenting material from his publication How to Interact with People.
Mastering Human Communication Patterns by Dan Hermes
Project Summit & Business Analyst World
October 21, 2013, 3:45pm
Boston Marriott Burlington Hotel

Communication, Events, Leadership, The IT Shop »

[11 Jan 2013 | No Comment | ]
3/13 at MIT: Human Communication Patterns for Techies

The Back Bay Large Installation System Administration(BBLISA) group featured Dan Hermes as a speaker on March 13th, 2013, 7:00pm at MIT.  He covered material from his forthcoming book, How to Interact with People: Human Communication in the Software Industry.  For details, see: http://www.bblisa.org/
When: March 13th, 2013, 7:00pm
Where:MIT, Building E51, Room 149, 70 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA
7:00 – Announcements & Introductions
7:30 – Formal presentation
Topic: Mastering Human Communication Patterns
Missed human connections in the software industry account for most of our project failures.  Improving communication can dramatically improve individual and team performance.
Typical Frustrations
They …

Headline, Leadership, The IT Shop »

[7 Jan 2013 | No Comment | ]
Does Personal Integrity Equal Software Quality?

At the heart of our country’s founding is the idea that personal integrity is central to our professional success.   Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson wrote a lot about it. So what does character have to do with software development?
The recent debacle of Apple Maps offers a clue. If the manager of Apple Maps, Richard Williamson, had the personal integrity to stand up in a high-level meeting and divulge that the project was in jeopardy before the release date, this could have prevented the CEO of Apple, …

Leadership, The IT Shop »

[4 Jan 2011 | No Comment | ]
How Do We Stop Missing Delivery Dates?

The reasons can be many, and require a full analysis of the shop to determine the cause. Look first at the project plan. Is there one? Does it take all phases of development into account: analysis, QA, installation? Is there a clear process of requirements gathering or are new features developed as they arise? Is the project too large for the team? Do details seem to get lost due to tracking problems? Is the product delivered only to find that more requirement arise or new defects are found?
Break down the …

Architecture, Featured, Leadership, The IT Shop »

[25 Nov 2010 | No Comment | ]
Embracing Failure as a Likely Outcome – Sherpas of Mt. Everest

Is your software project steep and rocky? Can you predict the weather in your office? How many bodies lay on the side of your project trail?
The best sherpas on Mt. Everest expect failure and death as the most likely outcome. They assume that any grey cloud in the sky may develop into a dangerous fog bank, cold front, or blizzard. Recent powder on angled slopes above could pose an avalanche risk. Too quick a pace could dehydrate the team. Too slow a pace and nightfall may come before they reach …

Architecture, Leadership, The IT Shop »

[23 May 2010 | No Comment | ]
IT Career Killer: The Social Ceiling

Focus on your job and you’ll get better at it?  True.  It may even lead to pay raises and promotions.  But sooner or later you will hit the social ceiling.   In spite of your long hours.  In spite of your top-notch work.  Here in this technical field where many of us fled to avoid people and human interaction which is messy and unpredictable compared to the reasonable, civil interaction that takes place between human and machine:
The social ceiling is our most dangerous career obstacle.

Leadership, The IT Shop »

[23 May 2010 | No Comment | ]
Death March Redux: Viva Las Vegas!

“Blow on that project plan, mamma. Baby needs a new pair of shoes! ”
How many times have we been locked in a conference room and told “We missed the last three dates, now what’s the REAL date gonna be?” The whole team gathered together to come up with another date. This next date is the NEW DATE. It’s got to be better than the OLD DATE, the date we missed. This NEW DATE is gonna be the ONE! It’s gotta be the one.
What does this sound like? The lottery, perhaps? …

Featured, Leadership, Multimedia, The IT Shop »

[13 Apr 2010 | No Comment | ]
Agile Boston: Innovation as a Discipline

At Agile Boston’s “Give Thanks for Scrum” at Microsoft in Waltham, Massachusetts, I gave a multimedia performance and a brief talk on innovation. My approach comes from the Harvard Review’s booklet on Managing Creativity and Innovation which I use to organize and evaluate new ideas for business applications.