Chapter 5. Best Practices for Staffing the Contractor s Software Project Team

Chapter 5. Best Practices for Staffing the Contractor's Software Project Team

Software development has been and will continue to be very dependent on the caliber of the individuals involved. The reason, of course, is that software development is an intellectual exercise. More importantly, teams produce successful software development projects. The trends of outsourcing and offshoring extend this concept further by introducing groups of teams that must work well together (hence, the reason for a separate chapter covering the outsourcing organization's team). In his book Object Solutions: Managing the Object-Oriented Project, Grady Booch, one of the creators of the RUP, states, "It is time that I come clean and unveil one of the dirty little secrets of software engineering: People are more important than any process."[1]

[1] From Object Solutions: Managing the Object-Oriented Project by Grady Booch. Quoted with permission.

Successful teams are fascinating to analyze. After observing hundreds of teams over the years, I believe that good teams transcend process and technology. A successful software development team has much in common with a successful sports team. In particular, the following are characteristics of a good team:

  • Each person on the team respects his company, customer, and, especially, fellow team members.

  • Each person on the team trusts the other members of the team completely.

  • Although individuals take pride in their accomplishments, they recognize that their accomplishments are diminished unless the team succeeds.

  • Although individuals have specific expertise and roles on the team, they are quick to assist others on the team if help is needed.

  • The team has a certain "chemistry" that customers, management team members, and others recognize.

  • Major decisions affecting the project's or team's direction are not made without consulting the team.

This chapter describes the major roles on a modern, high-performance software development team. It discusses the best practices for creating a team that will eventually exhibit the characteristics just listed (but this does not occur overnight!). This chapter also discusses how these teams are best managed.

Project Management with the IBM Rational Unified Process(c) Lessons from the Trenches
Project Management with the IBM Rational Unified Process: Lessons From The Trenches
ISBN: 0321336399
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2007
Pages: 166
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