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From Techie to Boss: Transitioning to Leadership

Book Description

From Techie to Boss teaches technical people who are making or mulling the transition from team player to team leader all the management techniques and soft leadership skills they never needed before—but need now, pronto. Veteran team lead and project manager Scott Cromar lays out the classical management training course, but stripped down to precisely the essentials that techies need to start managing on the fly. He gets it that a front-line techie getting a field promotion to team leader just doesn't have the time to wade through an MBA textbook bulging with irrelevant material.

The author appreciates how you got to the place where you need this book. Management tapped you instead of some experienced manager from the outside because you know the technical challenges, company culture, and team players better than anyone else: you're ready to hit the ground running. But the skills that make you an excellent techie are not sufficient to make you a successful manager. The rules of your world have abruptly changed. You will now be judged not by your puzzle-solving elegance but by how effectively your team contributes to the organization's bottom line.

From Techie to Boss shows you how to translate and adapt the analytic skills that made you an outstanding techie to your new responsibilities as a technical manager. Even more crucially, this book teaches you a whole new set of interpersonal, organizational, and metrical skills you never needed before, but without which you cannot succeed as a manager.

What you'll learn

The new skills you'll learn for leading technical teams include:

  • Techniques and tips for all aspects of management—project, time, scope, risk, dependency, earned value, quality, team roles, distributed team, global team, and conflict management

  • 90-day plan pointers, such as managing your boss, selecting early wins, defining scope, gathering requirements, developing a WBS, documenting procedures, and compliance

  • Troubleshooting techniques such as Current Reality Tree and Ishikawa diagrams

  • Project scheduling methods, including work breakdown structures and dependency management with GANTT and PERT charts

  • Requirements analysis using UML and Agile

Who this book is for

This book teaches management-caliber techies the skills they'll need to make the jump to being successful project managers and multifunctional operational team leaders, on their way to becoming senior project managers, system and network administrators, and program managers.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Apress Business: The Unbiased Source of Business Information
  3. Dedication
  4. Contents
  5. About the Author
  6. About the Contributor
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Introduction
  9. CHAPTER 1: Moving into Management
    1. Right from the Start
    2. Characteristics of a Good Leader
    3. Analysis Paralysis
    4. Modeling Behavior
    5. Enabling Your Team Members
    6. Problems Caused by Poor Leadership
    7. The Core Challenges
    8. Summary
    9. Discussion Questions
    10. Further Reading
  10. CHAPTER 2: Your Transition Plan
    1. Team Building
    2. Evaluate Your Team
    3. Early Wins
    4. Organizational Wins
    5. Structure the Team for Success
    6. Defect Rates and Tracking Success
    7. Postmortems—On a Small Scale
    8. Communication Structure
    9. Challenging Environments
    10. Manage Expectations
    11. Managing Your Boss
    12. Drinking from the Fire Hose
    13. What You Need to Find Out
    14. Conversations with Your Boss
    15. Draft a Learning Plan
    16. Matching the Strategy to the Situation
    17. Identifying Problems
    18. Selecting Your Early Wins
    19. Your Team’s Transition
    20. The New Boss’s To-Do List
    21. The 90-Day Plan
    22. Summary
    23. Discussion Questions
    24. Further Reading
  11. CHAPTER 3: Time Management
    1. The Multitasking Myth
    2. Scheduling, Calendars, and To-Do Lists
    3. Time Killers
    4. Delegating Effectively
    5. Managing Meetings
    6. Traffic Cop
    7. On-Call Scheduling
    8. Summary
    9. Discussion Questions
    10. Further Reading
  12. CHAPTER 4: Project Management
    1. Setting Expectations
    2. Project Phases
    3. Scope Definition
    4. Business Case
    5. Project Charter
    6. Scope Statement
    7. Scope Management
    8. Stakeholders
    9. Work Breakdown Structure
    10. Resource Estimates
    11. Project Requirements
    12. Project Management Plan
    13. Risk Management
    14. Dependency Management
    15. Interface Management
    16. Milestones
    17. Reporting Project Status
    18. Quality Management
    19. Project Delivery
    20. Summary
    21. Discussion Questions
    22. Further Reading
  13. CHAPTER 5: Documenting Policies and Procedures
    1. Procedures
    2. Change Control
    3. Incident Response
    4. Policy Approvals
    5. Standards
    6. Summary
    7. Discussion Questions
    8. Further Reading
  14. CHAPTER 6: Building Your Team
    1. Recruiting the Right People
    2. Team Formation
    3. Goals
    4. Motivation
    5. Exercising Power
    6. Processes for Success
    7. Decision-Making Process
    8. Feedback
    9. Organizational Culture
    10. Staff Training
    11. Credibility
    12. Your Education
    13. Summary
    14. Discussion Questions
    15. Further Reading
  15. CHAPTER 7: Resolving Conflicts
    1. Methods of Conflict Management
    2. Conflicts between Team Members
    3. Conflicts between Teams
    4. Personality Types
    5. Dealing with Difficult People
    6. Don’t Be a Difficult Person
    7. Communications Breakdowns
    8. Issuing Reprimands
    9. Summary
    10. Discussion Questions
    11. Further Reading
  16. CHAPTER 8: Budgets
    1. Purpose of a Budget
    2. Estimating Costs
    3. Quality Management
    4. Negotiating Your Team’s Budget
    5. Organizing the Information You Need
    6. Procurement
    7. Supplier Stability
    8. Ethics
    9. Summary
    10. Discussion Questions
    11. Further Reading
  17. CHAPTER 9: Root Cause Analysis
    1. Investigation Phase
    2. Analysis Phase
    3. Implementation Phase
    4. Root Cause Analysis
    5. 5 Whys
    6. Current Reality Tree
    7. Pareto Diagram
    8. Summary
    9. Discussion Questions
    10. Further Reading
  18. CHAPTER 10: Influence Networks
    1. Responsibility without Authority
    2. Reciprocity
    3. Tenacity
    4. Managing Upward
    5. Identify What You Need
    6. Find an Approach
    7. Summary
    8. Discussion Questions
    9. Further Reading
  19. CHAPTER 11: Managing a Dispersed Team
    1. Is Offshoring More Efficient?
    2. Advantages and Risks of Global Teams
    3. Time and Distance
    4. Cultural Differences
    5. Summary
    6. Discussion Questions
    7. Further Reading
  20. CHAPTER 12: Managing Software Development Teams
    1. Code Quality
    2. Software Maintenance
    3. Operational Excellence
    4. Continuity
    5. Scheduling
    6. Software Reusability
    7. Project Management Challenges
    8. Scope Creep
    9. Explaining Complexity
    10. The Importance of Testing
    11. Business Value
    12. Tool Selection
    13. Methodology
    14. Summary
    15. Discussion Questions
    16. Further Reading
  21. CHAPTER 13: Visualizing Requirements
    1. UML Activity Diagrams
    2. UML Statechart Diagram
    3. Sequence Diagrams
    4. Data Flow Diagrams
    5. Entity Relationship Diagram
    6. Summary
    7. Discussion Questions
    8. Further Reading
  22. CHAPTER 14: Integrating Third-Party Software
    1. Research and Vendor Selection
    2. Proof of Concept
    3. Financial Research
    4. Procurement
    5. Vendor Management
    6. Vendor Support
    7. Integration
    8. Deployment
    9. Replacement
    10. Summary
    11. Discussion Questions
  23. CHAPTER 15: Managing Outside Your Specialty
    1. Know What You Don’t Know
    2. Listening
    3. Demand Clarity
    4. Process
    5. Teamwork
    6. Blame and Responsibility
    7. Learn
    8. Summary
    9. Discussion Questions
    10. Further Reading
  24. CHAPTER 16: Taking Care of Yourself
    1. Arranging Time Off
    2. Learn to Trust Your Staff
    3. Work–Life Balance
    4. Your Physical Health
    5. Spiritual Health
    6. Career Development
    7. Summary
    8. Discussion Questions
    9. Further Reading
  25. APPENDIX A: GanttProject
    1. Main Window
    2. Defining a Project
    3. Resources
    4. PERT Chart
    5. Summary
  26. APPENDIX B: PERT and Gantt Analysis
    1. Gantt Charts
    2. PERT Duration Estimates
    3. Summary
  27. Index