Book Notes #17: Changing Software Development - Allan Kelly

William Meller - Changing Software Development - Allan Kelly
Changing Software Development explains why software development is an exercise in change management and organizational intelligence.  


Title: Changing Software Development: Learning to Become Agile
Author: Allan Kelly
Themes: Agile, Career, Cases, Technology, Management, Business
Year: 2008
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0470725311, 9780470725313
Pages: 258

This book is peppered with practical advice and case studies to explain how and why knowledge, learning, and change are important in the development process. 

An underlying belief is that change is learning and learning creates knowledge. By blending the theory of knowledge management, developers and managers will gain the tools to enhance learning and change to accommodate new innovative approaches such as agile and lean computing.

Today, managers are preoccupied with knowledge management, organization learning, and change management, while software developers are often ignorant of the bigger issues embedded in their work.  

William Meller - Changing Software Development - Allan Kelly

This innovative book bridges this divide by linking the software world of technology and processes to the business world of knowledge, learning, and change. 

Allan has done an excellent job of combining modern business management principles with modern software methodology, so you can draw on the knowledge of both business and software experts.

My Book Highlights:

"... In the longer term, it is about making your team into a learning team, capable of learning, changing, and improving itself. Such teams are true Agile teams..."

The first idea of the book is about changing your development team. In the short to medium term, the focus is on making your team Agile. In the longer term, it is about making your team into a learning team, capable of learning, changing, and improving itself. Such teams are true Agile teams.

The second idea in the book is a call to change the dominant view of software development. Traditionally, software development has been considered an engineering discipline – something to be planned, scheduled, and executed. 

The view presented considers the process of developing software as an exercise in learning and knowledge creation.

 The book provides a comprehensive guide to understanding the changing nature of software development, the challenges of implementing change, and the best methods and approaches to successful change management.

Chapters of the Book:

Chapter 1: Introduction
  1.1 Why Read this Book? 
  1.2 Who are Software Developers? 
  1.3 Software Developers are Knowledge Workers 
  1.4 Drucker’s Challenge 
  1.5 The Prototype of Future Knowledge Workers 
  1.6 Software: Embedded Knowledge 
  1.7 Authority and Leadership 
  1.8 Practical Theory 
  1.9 Begin with Yourself 
  1.10 The Organization of the Book 

Chapter 2: Understanding Agile
  2.1 The Roots of Agile Thinking 
  2.2 Positioning Agile 
  2.3 Common Practices of Agile Teams 
  2.4 Applicability Outside of Software Development 
  2.5 Conclusion 

Chapter 3: Knowledge
  3.1 The Difference Between Knowledge and Information
  3.2 Knowledge into Action
  3.3 Explicit and Tacit Knowledge
  3.4 Sticky Knowledge
  3.5 Problems with Knowledge
  3.6 Where is Knowledge in Software Development?
  3.7 Knowledge Creation
  3.8 Conclusion

Chapter 4: Learning
  4.1 Three Knowledge Domains
  4.2 Developing Software is Learning
  4.3 Learning Benefits Your Business
  4.4 Learning Theories
  4.5 Learning, Change, Innovation and Problem Solving
  4.6 The Role of Leaders
  4.7 Seed Learning
  4.8 Conclusion

Chapter 5: The Learning Organization
  5.1 Defining the Learning Organization
  5.2 The Infinite and the Finite Game
  5.3 The Layers of the Organization
  5.4 Learning in Practice: Senge’s View
  5.5 Blocks to Learning
  5.6 Conclusion

Chapter 6: Information Technology – the Bringer of Change
  6.1 Change
  6.2 Benefits of Technology Change
  6.3 Change is What IT People do to Other People
  6.4 Software Projects Fail: Why are we Surprised?
  6.5 Change Starts with Business Requirements
  6.6 Conclusion

Chapter 7: Understanding Change
  7.1 Defining Change
  7.2 The Change Spectrum
  7.3 Radical Change
  7.4 Routine Change in Software Development
  7.5 Continuous Improvement
  7.6 Charting a Course
  7.7 Internal and External Forces for Change
  7.8 Conclusion

Chapter 8: Change Models
  8.1 Learning and Change
  8.2 Lewin’s Change Theory
  8.3 Satir’s Theory of Change
  8.4 Kotter’s Model of Change
  8.5 Theories E and O of Change
  8.6 Appreciative Inquiry
  8.6.1 The Change Trap
  8.7 Models, Models, Models
  8.8 Motivating Change
  8.9 When Not to Change
  8.10 Conclusion

Chapter 9: Making Change Happen
  9.1 Build a Case for Change
  9.2 Slack in Action
  9.3 Leading the Change
  9.4 Create Feedback Loops
  9.5 Remove Barriers
  9.6 Conclusion

Chapter 10: Individuals and Empowerment
  10.1 Involve People
  10.1.1 Motivation
  10.2 Coaching
  10.3 Empowerment
  10.4 That Difficult Individual
  10.5 Developing the Next Leaders
  10.6 Time to Go
  10.7 Conclusion

Chapter 11: Rehearsing Tomorrow
  11.1 Future Memories
  11.2 Planning
  11.3 Change Events
  11.4 Outsiders
  11.5 Conclusion

Chapter 12: New Beginnings
  12.1 The Change Problem
  12.2 Bottom-up Over Top-down
  12.3 Begin with Yourself
  12.4 Make Learning Happen
  12.5 Create a Vision, Draw up a Plan
  12.6 Three Interlocking Ideas
  12.7 Change Never Ends
  12.8 Conclusion

Changing Software Development is an essential guide for anyone looking to successfully implement change in software development. 

By understanding the key principles of change management and applying the best practices outlined in the book, readers can quickly and successfully implement change and ensure the success of their projects.

Allan Kelly worked as a developer for over 10 years and now helps software teams and companies improve their ability to deliver software.

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