Synopses & Reviews
Millions of software professionals are hard at work creating mobile apps, web apps, and desktop software—and most of them are working harder than they need to. This unique guide contains best practices for managing teams and projects throughout the software definition, development, and launch process. Distilled from author Chris Vander Meys experience with shipping software at Google and Amazon, the recipes in this book will help keep you focused on practices that lead to great products.
Shipping Greatness begins with a step-by-step product development process devised by software experts, and provides straightforward techniques for working with designers, managing the project, testing, building metrics, and launching. You'll also learn skills that effective software leaders use to achieve greatness, with chapters dedicated to team building, understanding technology, communicating, and coping with life in the software industry.
With this book, youll learn how to:
- Build a great mission and strategy
- Define a great product
- Create a great user experience
- Achieve project management greatness on a budget
- Do a great job testing
- Build great metrics
- Have a great launch
- Assemble a shipping-ready team
- Develop great shippable technology
- Communicate while shipping
- Make great decisions
- Stay a great person while shipping
Need a shortcut to a degree in shipping great software? Successful team leaders must have an extremely broad skill set to find the right product, work through a complex and ever-changing development process, and do it all incredibly quickly. In this guide, Chris Vander Mey provides a simplified, no-BS approach to the entire software lifecycle, distilled from lessons he learned as a manager at Amazon and Google.
In the first part of the book, youll learn a step-by-step shipping process used by many of the best teams at Google and Amazon. Part II shows you the techniques, best practices, and skills you need to face an array of challenges in product, program, project, and engineering management.
- Clearly define your product and develop your mission and strategy
- Assemble your team and understand enough about systems to communicate with them
- Create a beautiful, intuitive, and simple user experience
- Track your teams deliverables and closely manage the testing process
- Communicate clearly to gracefully handle requests, senior-management interactions, and feedback from various sources
- Build metrics to track progress, spot problems, and celebrate success
- Stick to your launch checklist and plan for marketing and PR
About the Author
Chris Vander Mey is a former Google product manager and Amazonengineering manager, and has held multiple roles in small startups. Hehas a Master of Engineering Management from Dartmouth College and a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia. He startedwriting code two decades ago and has shipped software to hundreds ofmillions of consumers and businesses.
Table of Contents
Preface; Shipping Is Greatness; Acknowledgments; Part One: The Shipping Greatness Process; Chapter 1: How to Build a Great Mission and Strategy; 1.1 How to Find the Right Need to Meet; 1.2 How to Construct a Great Mission Statement; 1.3 How to Build the Right Strategy; Chapter 2: How to Define a Great Product; 2.1 Step 1. Write a Press Release; 2.2 Step 2. Create a Living Frequently Asked Questions Document; 2.3 Step 3. Draw Wireframes and Flowcharts; 2.4 Step 4. Write the One-Pager and/or Build a 10-Minute Pitch; 2.5 Step 5. Add API s to Your FAQ; 2.6 Step 6. Write the Functional Specifications Document; 2.7 Step 7. Uncover Edge Cases and Get Buy-in from Your Team; 2.8 Step 8. Test on Customers; 2.9 Step 9. Figure Out the Basic Business Stuff: Name, Price, and Revenue; 2.10 Step 10. Sell Your Completed Product Idea Upstairs; 2.11 Your Product Is Ready to Build--Go Build It!; Chapter 3: How to Build a Great User Experience; 3.1 Understand Design Roles: UX, UI, IA , VisD, UXR ... and Personas; 3.2 Understand How to Evaluate Designs; 3.3 Understand How to Communicate with Designers; 3.4 Learn How to Communicate with Pictures; Chapter 4: How to Achieve Project Management Greatness on a Budget; 4.1 Build and Maintain a Simple Schedule; 4.2 Track Your Bugs and Build a Bug Burndown; 4.3 Managing Dependencies; Chapter 5: How to Do a Great Job Testing; 5.1 Insist on Test-Driven Development; 5.2 Build a Test Team Around a Test Lead; 5.3 Review Your Test Plan and Test Cases; 5.4 Automate Testing; 5.5 Dogfood; 5.6 How to Run a Bug Bash; 5.7 Triage Bugs Properly; 5.8 Use Trusted Testers; 5.9 Parting Thought: Use the Entire Product as a New User; Chapter 6: How to Measure Greatness; 6.1 How to Collect the Right Metrics and Only the Right Metrics; 6.2 The Three Classes of Metrics You Should Collect; 6.3 Focus on the Goal, Not the Minutiae; Chapter 7: How to Have a Great Launch; 7.1 Just Say No; 7.2 Run a War Room; 7.3 Instill a Sense of Urgency; 7.4 Complete the Launch Checklist; 7.5 Write the Blog Post; 7.6 Roll the Software Out; 7.7 Verify the Software Yourself; 7.8 Respond to the Positive and Negative Effects of Your Launch; 7.9 In the Case of Problems, Roll the Software Back; 7.10 Handle Any Production Crises; Part Two: The Shipping Greatness Skills; Chapter 8: How to Build a Shipping-Ready Team; 8.1 How to Start a Team; 8.2 How to Acquire a Company; 8.3 How to Work with Offshore or Remote Teams; Chapter 9: How to Build Great, Shippable Technology; 9.1 The First S: Servers; 9.2 The Second S: Services; 9.3 The Third S: Speed; 9.4 The Fourth S: Scaling; 9.5 How to Ask the Right Technical Questions; Chapter 10: How to Be a Great Shipping Communicator; 10.1 How to Write Great Email; 10.2 How to Handle the Five Types of Meetings; 10.3 How to Run a Good Meeting; 10.4 How to Build and Give a Great Presentation; Chapter 11: How to Make Great Decisions; 11.1 Postponing: "We'll Finish It Tomorrow"; 11.2 Negotiation: "OK, 10 More Minutes"; 11.3 Dealing with Conflict; Chapter 12: How to Stay a Great Person While Shipping; 12.1 How to Balance Shipping, Quality and Impact, and Your Team; 12.2 How to Handle Randomization; 12.3 How to Manage Your Energy While Shipping; 12.4 How to Use Escalation as a Tool, Not an Excuse; 12.5 How to Eat the S#!@ Sandwich and Survive; Chapter 13: That Was Great; Let's Do It Again; 10 Principles of Shipping; Essential Artifacts Your Team Needs; References and Further Reading; Product Definition; Managing Management; Engineering Management; UX; Metrics; Communications; How to Contact Us; We'd Like to Hear from You; Safari® Books Online;