Collaboration Explained: Facilitation Skills for Software Project Leaders

by Jean Tabaka

A challenge faced by any project leader is how to lead the team without resorting to a command–and–control management style. This book’s essential premise is that the project leader can do this by fostering collaboration among team members. Jean Tabaka’s Collaboration Explained is really two books in one. The first explains the benefits of collaborating and why project leaders need to foster collaboration among their teams if those teams are to perform at a high level.

The second, and by far longest, part of Collaboration Explained is a compendium of techniques that will foster team collaboration and will help the reader become a more collaborative leader. Any reader will finish this part having learned new techniques. Nominally this book is about team decision making and so most of the book is about the various decisions teams make and how the project leader can ensure that the team makes the best decision. Covered are decisions about project requirements, estimates, priorities, vision, resolving conflict and more. Tabaka provides both general purpose advice that can be used in many contexts as well as very specific advice for each of the contexts or meetings she describes.

This book is well–placed in a series devoted to agile software development. However, it is important to point out that the techniques covered here will be applicable to any team with any development process. Any project leader who wants to help his or her team work better together will benefit from reading this book.