[tpm] Special TASSQ Presentation: Johanna Rothman

Michael Bolton michael.a.bolton at gmail.com
Sat May 19 08:37:27 PDT 2007

Hello there...

I'm writing because on Tuesday, May 29, the Toronto Association of System
and Software Quality (TASSQ) will be bringing in a special speaker--Johanna
Rothman, co-author of _Behind Closed Doors, Secrets of Great Management_ and
author of the highly acclaimed Hiring the Best Knowledge Workers, Techies &
Nerds: The Secrets and Science of Hiring Technical People.

For those who've never met her, read her books, or seen her at a conference,
Johanna is the real deal.  She's been involved in the high-tech business as
a tester, a test manager, and over the last several years as a management
consultant.  Details of her presentation for TASSQ follow below.  She is
entertaining, engaging, and relentlessly pragmatic; highly recommended.

Please feel free to pass this message on to your colleagues and your
network.  Non-TASSQ members are quite welcome to the event and encouraged to

To sign up for this dinner meeting, check in with the TASSQ Web site
(http://www.tassq.org/infoUpdates/dinnerMeeting.php).  TASSQ now supports
PayPal, so registration for TASSQ events is easier than ever.

All the best...

---Michael B.

DevelopSense:  Software Testing in Plain English
Web Site:  http://www.developsense.com <http://www.developsense.com> 
Newsletter: addme at developsense.com <mailto:addme at developsense.com> 
Blog: http://www.developsense.com/blog.html

Say Yes-or Say No? What to Do When Faced with the Impossible

Imagine this scenario. All the testers and the test manager are working as
hard as they can on their projects. Everyone's working at full capacity,
trying to make some time to test the last system your boss asked you to add
to your list of things to do. And now, your boss is in your office asking
you to take on one more system. You just can't. What do you say now?

Testers and test managers are in this predicament all the time. If you
continually say Yes, does that yes mean yes or no? And baldly saying No may
be career-limiting. Johanna will describe ways to discuss the work you have,
the work you can accomplish, and how to make the work possible when faced
with the impossible.

We're all faced with choices daily about how much work we can accomplish,
and how much new work we can add to our workload. But how many of us know
how much we can do? It's not easy to estimate how long our work will take,
and priorities shift-sometimes daily. What can we do?

In this experiential presentation, Johanna will first show the costs of
multitasking. Then, we'll discuss ways to say No so that your agreements to
add more work is a true agreement and not a placating Yes-and not a
non-career-enhancing conversation. 

Part of how you can say yes or no is to make the work more visible to your
management (no matter where you are in the organization). But sometimes,
that's not enough. In that case, it's worth considering your mission, how
you know what's strategically important work, and making sure you've built a
relationship with your manager before you need to have the tough
conversation about what you can and can't do. 


Johanna Rothman consults, speaks, and writes on managing high-technology
product development. She assists managers, teams, and organizations to
become more effective by applying her pragmatic approaches to the issues of
project management, risk management, and people management. She's helped
Engineering organizations, IT organizations, and startups hire technical
people, manage projects, and release successful products faster. 

Johanna is the author of Manage It! Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project
Management, available June 2007. She is the coauthor of the pragmatic Behind
Closed Doors, Secrets of Great Management, and author of the highly
acclaimed Hiring the Best Knowledge Workers, Techies & Nerds: The Secrets
and Science of Hiring Technical People. Johanna is a host and session leader
at the Amplifying Your Effectiveness (AYE) conference.


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