A Primer for Software Leaders

Keith Klain, leader of test organizations in the financial industry, has been blogging about his leadership methodology. His posts lay out an excellent set of guidelines to follow when thinking about leadership of a team of technical professionals.

Starts with Values

The foundation of an organization is its values. These values influence who we choose to join the team, how we operate, and how we interact with our stakeholders. Keith’s values are well described in his first post about leadership.

Next comes Principles

Principles are the “rules” that help us make day-to-day decisions which are consistent with our values. Having a set of principles helps the leader describe why he/she made a particular decision.

Strategic Objectives

The dictionary defines strategy as “A plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim”. To paraphrase the Cheshire Cat, if you don’t have an overall goal, then it doesn’t matter what your team does. Setting these goals is the realm of setting Strategic Objectives.

Building a Strong Team

Keith makes the point that process frameworks, training, tools, and technologies are less important than the people on the team. He gives a number of tips to build and retain a strong team.

I see a lot of value in his series of posts, I’ll be watching his blog for more. I hope this was worth your time as well.