Seven Successful Habits of Effective Software Leaders

Ken Whitaker of Leading Software Maniacs (LSM) has more than 25 years of software development executive leadership and training experience in a variety of technology roles and industries. He has led commercial software teams at Software Publishing (remember Harvard Graphics?), Data General, embedded systems software companies, and enterprise software suppliers. Ken is an active PMI member, Project Management Professional (PMP) certified, and a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM). Sources for LSM's material come from case studies, personal leadership experience, the PMI Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) and Ken's leadership books: Managing Software Maniacs, Principles of Software Development Leadership and I'm Not God, I'm Just a Project Manager.

It is easy to find a million ways that software managers can fail with their teams and their projects. We’ve prioritized seven practical leadership tips and techniques that can help build great teams that consistently deliver great projects. These habits are so simple you can put them into practice immediately.

Is There “Trouble in River City?”
If your team is constantly motivated and focused, wonderful! If your projects are always on time and on budget, congratulations! This article will be probably be a waste of your time. Otherwise, please read on…

The wonderful book Troubled IT Projects gives us a “heartwarming” synopsis of what author John L. Smith believes represents the key root causes of troubled projects based on a study by KPMG:

  • Lack of senior management involvement and commitment
  • Failure to focus on key business and customer needs
  • Failure to break complex projects into manageable “chunks”
  • Poor (or unimaginative) project management
  • Poor risk management and contingency planning
  • Unclear contracts and poor contract management
  • Insufficient focus on user training needs

With that background, I’ve amassed seven habits that you may wish to consider using on a daily basis with your teams and on your projects. And that’s actually the secret: to provide a …

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