The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Software Development

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In his book "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People," Stephen Covey identifies seven key principles that will lead to effective behaviour, whether at work or at home. In the context of software development projects these habits mean:
  1. Be Proactive: Identify and reduce risks. Actively involve stakeholders in projects. Take responsibility.
  2. Begin with the End in Mind: Be goal driven, know what it is you want to achieve. Covey suggests drawing up a mission statement.
  3. Put First Things First: Do the important work first, the must have items, finishing with the least important.
  4. Think Win/Win: Solve the greatest number of requirements with the least amount of effort possible. Be creative.
  5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood: Do not start thinking about solutions too early on in projects. Understand the business requirements first and then look at solutions.
  6. Synergize: Work as an effective team to achieve the maximum possible. The team as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
  7. Sharpen the Saw: This is about renewal and staying fresh. Keep trying to learn and improve during every project.
Arguably, Stephen Covey's Seven Habits is the most influential and insightful management book of the 21st Century. I would encourage anyone new to management to buy his book, read and digest it.

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