Test Driven Management

Sooner or later, the time comes to delegate code. You may be an order of magnitude better than your colleagues, but you can’t deny that 10+n>10 for positive values of n. And unless you have exceptional people skills and/or your colleagues are extraordinarily self assured, you’re likely to rub them the wrong way. The unconventional techniques for managing geeks include:

  • Focus on goals, not tasks.
  • Recognize the “knowledge inversion” - your separation from the nuts and bolts.
  • Give up on power.

For most of us, the problem is our insistence on poking inside the box. Did you consider this? Why are you using alpha instead of omega? It’s almost impossible to ask those questions in a non-adversarial manner. Which is where Test Driven Development can come to your rescue.

Guiding your team with tests pulls you out the box where you don’t belong and into the connections where you do. It directs the focus to goals [tests] and it explicitly separates you from the implementation details.

Back to What I could have learned from XP.