How To Use the Six Thinking Hats

Note:  This article is updated at How To Use the Six Thinking Hats. How do you get past deadlocks in a meeting?  You can apply the Six Thinking Hats.  I’ve blogged about the Six Thinking Hats before, but to summarize, it’s a way to get everybody thinking about the problem in a collaborative way. The…


Cutting Questions

Note: This article is updated at Cutting Questions. How do you cut to the chase?  How do you clear the air of ambiguity and get to facts?  Ask cutting questions. My manager, Per , doesn’t ask a lot of questions.  He asks the right ones.  Here’s some examples: Who’s on board?  Who are five customers that…


7 Habits of Highly Effective Program Managers

Note: This article is updated at 7 Habits of Highly Effective Program Managers. What does it take to be an effective Program Manager at Microsoft?  I’m responding to some requests for my take on what it takes to be an effective PM.  I figured I could use a familiar 7 habits approach to help frame out…


David Anderson’s Recipe for Success

Note: This article is updated at David Anderson’s Recipe for Success. David Anderson distills his software management learnings down into four bullets: Focus on Quality Reduce Work-in-progress Balance capacity against demand Prioritize He names this set a recipe for sucess.  Here’s what the recipe mean to me. Focus on Quality.  For me, focusing on quality means pushing quality…


What Are You Optimizing

Note: This article is updated at What are You Optimizing? This is such a fundamental question.  It has an enormous impact on your product design and how you structure your product life cycle. For example, are you optimizing time? … money? … impact? … innovation? … resource utilization? If you don’t answer this question first,…


Time-boxes, Rhythm, and Incremental Value

Note: This article is updated at 3 Keys to Agile Project Success: Timeboxing, Rhythm, and Results. Today I had some interesting conversations with Loren Kohnfelder. Every now and then Loren and I play catch up. Loren is former Microsoft. If you don’t know Loren, he designed the CLR security model and IE security zones. He created…