For a few years now I’ve been listening and reading to the work Mary Poppendeick has produced with increasing appreciation. Then last year I had the opportunity to interview Mary and Tom for InformIT, as part of InformIT’s coverage of the Agile 2009, where Mary was giving a keynote speech.

(Mary and Tom) and I have very different backgrounds. We worked in different kinds of organizations and our careers and interests took us in very different directions.

Yet here was this other person that had both studied the history of the philosophy of management — and studied the actual effects of those ideas in practice — and come to the same conclusions as I had.

For that matter, the way that the Poppendeick’s approach the subject is different than my stuff, and I think worth studying. So when I found out that they had a google tech talk, I just had to link to it here:

I’ve spent tens, if not hundreds of thousands of words trying to explain the ideology of “process improvement” and some of my concerns about it. For a quick summary introduction, I gotta say, this video by Mary is shockingly good. Throw in a copy of The Management Myth by Matthew Stewart and you end up with a very good survey of the literature in two source documents.


If you need me, I’ll be in the corner, licking my wounded pride, trying hard not to cry.


Seriously, this is a good stuff, and I am pleased to recommend it.

UPDATE: A cursory glance at Poppendeick LLC website finds several ‘sound byte’ level things that you might take issue with in regards to /testing/. My advice: Ignore the sound bytes that are so easy to misconstrue; watch the video instead. Check out what she actually /says/ about software development, management, and leadership. I expect it will resonate with you. It did with me.