Managing the Unmanageable

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Most software development project leaders would welcome some guidance on the challenges of managing and motivating their teams. A good place to start is a new book written by two industry veterans with 70 combined years of experience. Here, they discuss their battle-tested approach.

As anyone who has worked with software developers knows they are a unique group of people. They are highly technical and yet at the same time they have to be extremely creative in developing solutions.  They frequently work in solitary isolation and yet they are asked to function in group settings with colleagues and fellow project team members. I know of many project managers who have at different times described software developers, fairly or not, as “unmanageable.” 

Well, now there’s a new book that is designed to deal with this issue — Managing the Unmanageable: Rules, Tools and Insights for Managing Software People and Teams. Written by industry veterans Mickey W. Mantle and Ron Lichty, the book is based on their 70 years of combined experience as developers, managers of developers, and leaders of development projects. They have spent several years bringing this experience together into a book that is destined to become an extremely valuable resource for those who lead and manage developers.

ProjectsAtWork recently chatted with Mickey and Ron to …


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"Impartial observers from other planets would consider ours an utterly bizarre enclave if it were populated by birds, defined as flying animals, that nevertheless rarely or never actually flew. They would also be perplexed if they encountered in our seas, lakes, rivers and ponds, creatures defined as swimmers that never did any swimming. But they would be even more surprised to encounter a species defined as a thinking animal if, in fact, the creature very rarely indulged in actual thinking."

- Steve Allen

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