You are previewing Shipping Greatness.

Shipping Greatness

Cover of Shipping Greatness by Chris Vander Mey Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  1. Shipping Greatness
  2. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly
  3. Preface
    1. Shipping Is Greatness
    2. Acknowledgments
  4. One. The Shipping Greatness Process
    1. 1. How to Build a Great Mission and Strategy
      1. How to Find the Right Need to Meet
      2. How to Construct a Great Mission Statement
      3. How to Build the Right Strategy
    2. 2. How to Define a Great Product
      1. Step 1. Write a Press Release
      2. Step 2. Create a Living Frequently Asked Questions Document
      3. Step 3. Draw Wireframes and Flowcharts
      4. Step 4. Write the One-Pager and/or Build a 10-Minute Pitch
      5. Step 5. Add API s to Your FAQ
      6. Step 6. Write the Functional Specifications Document
      7. Step 7. Uncover Edge Cases and Get Buy-in from Your Team
      8. Step 8. Test on Customers
      9. Step 9. Figure Out the Basic Business Stuff: Name, Price, and Revenue
      10. Step 10. Sell Your Completed Product Idea Upstairs
      11. Your Product Is Ready to Build—Go Build It!
    3. 3. How to Build a Great User Experience
      1. Understand Design Roles: UX, UI, IA , VisD, UXR … and Personas
      2. Understand How to Evaluate Designs
      3. Understand How to Communicate with Designers
      4. Learn How to Communicate with Pictures
    4. 4. How to Achieve Project Management Greatness on a Budget
      1. Build and Maintain a Simple Schedule
      2. Track Your Bugs and Build a Bug Burndown
      3. Managing Dependencies
    5. 5. How to Do a Great Job Testing
      1. Insist on Test-Driven Development
      2. Build a Test Team Around a Test Lead
      3. Review Your Test Plan and Test Cases
      4. Automate Testing
      5. Dogfood
      6. How to Run a Bug Bash
      7. Triage Bugs Properly
      8. Use Trusted Testers
      9. Parting Thought: Use the Entire Product as a New User
    6. 6. How to Measure Greatness
      1. How to Collect the Right Metrics and Only the Right Metrics
      2. The Three Classes of Metrics You Should Collect
      3. Focus on the Goal, Not the Minutiae
    7. 7. How to Have a Great Launch
      1. Just Say No
      2. Run a War Room
      3. Instill a Sense of Urgency
      4. Complete the Launch Checklist
      5. Write the Blog Post
      6. Roll the Software Out
      7. Verify the Software Yourself
      8. Respond to the Positive and Negative Effects of Your Launch
      9. In the Case of Problems, Roll the Software Back
      10. Handle Any Production Crises
  5. Two. The Shipping Greatness Skills
    1. 8. How to Build a Shipping-Ready Team
      1. How to Start a Team
      2. How to Acquire a Company
      3. How to Work with Offshore or Remote Teams
    2. 9. How to Build Great, Shippable Technology
      1. The First S: Servers
      2. The Second S: Services
      3. The Third S: Speed
      4. The Fourth S: Scaling
      5. How to Ask the Right Technical Questions
    3. 10. How to Be a Great Shipping Communicator
      1. How to Write Great Email
      2. How to Handle the Five Types of Meetings
      3. How to Run a Good Meeting
      4. How to Build and Give a Great Presentation
    4. 11. How to Make Great Decisions
      1. Postponing: “We’ll Finish It Tomorrow”
      2. Negotiation: “OK, 10 More Minutes”
      3. Dealing with Conflict
    5. 12. How to Stay a Great Person While Shipping
      1. How to Balance Shipping, Quality and Impact, and Your Team
      2. How to Handle Randomization
      3. How to Manage Your Energy While Shipping
      4. How to Use Escalation as a Tool, Not an Excuse
      5. How to Eat the S#!@ Sandwich and Survive
    6. 13. That Was Great; Let’s Do It Again
  6. A. 10 Principles of Shipping
  7. B. Essential Artifacts Your Team Needs
  8. C. References and Further Reading
    1. Product Definition
    2. Managing Management
    3. Engineering Management
    4. UX
    5. Metrics
    6. Communications
  9. D. How to Contact Us
    1. We’d Like to Hear from You
    2. Safari® Books Online
  10. About the Author
  11. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly
  12. Copyright

Chapter 12. How to Stay a Great Person While Shipping

I TRIED HARD TO come up with a way to sugarcoat this but I couldn’t, so here’s the bombshell: shipping great software is damn hard and crazy stressful. It’s also incredibly rewarding. The energy you spend is worth it. But the stresses placed on those called upon to ship can be extreme. Sometimes you’ll be asked to balance multiple competing priorities without guidance. You may be asked to do the job of three people in half the time it would take one. And throughout the project you’ll probably have to deal with feature requests, changing corporate priorities, politics, and general unfairness. But wait—there’s more! There’s hope!

There are tricks that can help you cope with these shipping life challenges. I’ve spent many years working with colleagues who were all trying to ship, and there’s a small kernel of battle-hardened advice that I’ve gathered and held on to. I think it helps, and it’s broken down into these five categories:

  • How to balance shipping, quality and impact, and your team, so you deliver great software.

  • How to handle randomization, so you can continue to ship a great product in a timely way. Randomization is what happens when your management throws you a curveball, or your team wanders off into the weeds. Randomization is one of those words that everyone at Google and Amazon understands because it’s the opposite of helping a team stay focused on shipping.

  • How to manage your energy deliberately, so you can do the job ...

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