Becoming a Change Artist
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Becoming a Change Artist

Volume 7: Quality Software Series

About the Book

In Volume 7 of the highly acclaimed Quality Software series, Gerald M. Weinberg illustrates how skilled people (Change Artists) work to create a supportive environment for software engineering —an environment in which your organization can realize long-lasting gains in quality and productivity by learning the artistry of managing change.

As the author argues, the history of software engineering is riddled with failed attempts to improve quality and productivity without first creating a supportive environment. Many managers spend their money on tools, methodologies, outsourcing, training, and application packages, but they rarely spend anything to improve or to remove the leaders who created those situations in the first place.

From systems thinking to project management to technology transfer to the interaction of culture and process, Becoming a Change Artist analyzes models of how change really happens, and how change artistry creates the environment for all other changes.

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About the Author

Gerald M. Weinberg
Gerald M. Weinberg

I've always been interested in helping smart people be happy and productive. To that end, I've published books on human behavior, including Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method, The Psychology of Computer Programming, Perfect Software and Other Fallacies, and an Introduction to General Systems Thinking. I've also written books on leadership including Becoming a Technical Leader, The Secrets of Consulting (Foreword by Virginia Satir), More Secrets of Consulting, and the nine-volume Quality Software series.

I try to incorporate my knowledge of science, engineering, and human behavior into all of my writing and consulting work (with writers, hi-tech researchers, software engineers, and people whose life-situation could require the use of a service dog). I write novels about such people, including The Aremac Project, Aremac Power, Jigglers, First Stringers, Second Stringers, The Hands of God, Freshman Murders, Where There's a Will There's a Murder, Earth's Endless Effort, and Mistress of Molecules—all about how my brilliant protagonists produce quality work and learn to be happy. My books that are not yet on Leanpub may be found as eBooks at <>; on Amazon at; and at Barnes and Noble bookstore:

Early in my career, I was the architect for the Project Mercury's space tracking network and designer of the world's first multiprogrammed operating system. I won the Warnier Prize, the Stevens Award, and the first Software Testing Professionals' Luminary Award, all for my writing on software quality. I was also elected a charter member of the Computing Hall of Fame in San Diego and chosen for the University of Nebraska Hall of Fame.

But the "award" I'm most proud of is the book, The Gift of Time (Fiona Charles, ed.) written by my student and readers for my 75th birthday. Their stories make me feel that I've been at least partially successful at helping smart people be happy.

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Table of Contents

  • Becoming a Change Artist
    • Dedication
    • Preface
    • Part I. Modeling How Change Really Happens
    • Chapter 1. Some Familiar Change Models
      • 1.1 The Diffusion Model
      • 1.2 The Hole-in-the-Floor Model
      • 1.3 The Newtonian Model
      • 1.4 The Learning Curve Model
      • 1.5 Helpful Hints and Variations
      • 1.6 Summary
    • Chapter 2. The Satir Change Model
      • 2.1 Overview of the Model
      • 2.2 Stage 1: Late Status Quo
      • 2.3 Upsetting the Balance: The Foreign Element
      • 2.4 Stage 2: Chaos
      • 2.5 Stage 3: Integration and Practice
      • 2.6 Stage 4: New Status Quo
      • 2.7 Helpful Hints and Suggestions
      • 2.8 Summary
    • Chapter 3. Responses to Change
      • 3.1 Choice Points
        • 3.1.1 Rejecting the foreign element
        • 3.1.2 Accommodating the foreign element into the old model
        • 3.1.3 Transforming the old model to receive the foreign element
        • 3.1.4 Integrating the transformation
        • 3.1.5 Mastering the transformed model
        • 3.1.6 Timing
      • 3.2 Timing Change Interventions with McLyman’s Zone Theory
        • 3.2.1 The Red Zone
        • 3.2.2 The Yellow Zone
        • 3.2.3 The Green Zone
        • 3.2.4 The Gray Zone
        • 3.2.5 Lessons for managers
        • 3.2.6 One person at a time
      • 3.3 Patterns of Information Flow
        • 3.3.1 Old Status Quo
        • 3.3.2 Foreign element
        • 3.3.3 Chaos
        • 3.3.4 Integration and Practice
        • 3.3.5 New Status Quo
      • 3.4 Meta-change
      • 3.5 Change in the Anticipating Organization
      • 3.6 Helpful Hints and Suggestions
      • 3.7 Summary
      • 3.8 Practice
    • Part II. Change Artistry in the Anticipating Organization
    • Chapter 4. Change Artistry
      • 4.1 Personal Responses to Change
        • 4.1.1 The person of the change artist
        • 4.1.2 Types of interventions at each stage
        • 4.1.3 Change and temperament
      • 4.2 Case Study: Changing Geography
      • 4.3 Case Study: Patching
      • 4.4 Case Study: Knowing What to Leave Alone
      • 4.5 Helpful Hints and Suggestions
      • 4.6 Summary
      • 4.7 Practice
    • Chapter 5. Keeping Most Things the Same
      • 5.1 What Are You Maintaining?
        • 5.1.1 Management power, perquisites, and prestige
        • 5.1.2 Failure orientation
        • 5.1.3 Technology mentality versus accounting mentality
      • 5.2 Exposing the Theory In Use
      • 5.3 Deterioration
      • 5.4 Design Maintenance Debt
        • 5.4.1 Design deterioration
        • 5.4.2 Maintenance deterioration
      • 5.5 Change Artistry Debt
      • 5.7 Simple Rules for Managers
      • 5.8 Helpful Hints and Suggestions
      • 5.9 Summary
      • 5.10 Practice
    • Chapter 6. Practicing to Become a Change Artist
      • 6.1 Going to Work
      • 6.2 Making One Small Change
      • 6.3 Changing Nothing
      • 6.4 Changing a Relationship
      • 6.5 Being The Catalyst
      • 6.6 Being Fully Present
      • 6.7 Being Fully Absent
      • 6.8 Applying The Principle of Addition
      • 6.9 Organizing The Grand Tour
      • 6.10 Learning from History
      • 6.11 Putting Theory Into Practice
      • 6.12 Developing Yourself
    • Appendix A: The Diagram of Effects
    • Appendix B: The Software Engineering Cultural Patterns
      • Pattern 0. Oblivious Process
      • Pattern 1: Variable Process
      • Pattern 2: Routine Process
      • Pattern 3: Steering Process
      • Pattern 4: Anticipating Process
      • Pattern 5: Congruent Process
    • Appendix C. The Satir Interaction Model
      • Intake.
      • Meaning.
      • Significance.
      • Response.
    • Appendix D. Control Models
      • D.1. The Aggregate Control Model
      • D.2. Cybernetic Control Models
        • D.2.1 The system to be controlled (the focus of Patterns 0 and 1)
        • D.2.2 The controller (the focus of Pattern 2)
        • D.2.3 Feedback control (the focus of Pattern 3)
    • Appendix E. The Three Observer Positions
    • What Next?

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