* ISBN: 0-932633-28-5 328 pages hardcover

Dorset House Publishing

(translated into Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese)

I have now converted the contents to two new eBooks:

– Managing Yourself and Others (Quality Software Series #5)

– Managing Teams Congruently (Quality Software Series #6)

Sample and/or Buy the each ebook through:


Barnes & Noble


Buy at Amazon.com

“Congruent Action is about creating quality software not through the use of methodologies, CASE tools, JAD, or other silver bullets, but through the application of basic people skills crucial to good management. . . . In spite of computer folks having a reputation for atrocious people and communication skills, we’d rather read a book on ISDN communication protocols than one on people management.” —Peter de Jager

CIO Canada

“If you care about getting complex development projects completed on time, with high quality but without total team burn-out, buy this book by Gerald Weinberg. Read it yourself, then give copies to your software team, starting with their managers. . . . Highly recommended.” —Ron Jeffries, ATMUSER

“The former star programmer who now struggles with the challenges of management will find, in Weinberg, a mentor with more than two decades of experience helping programmers, team leaders, and managers grow in the psychological and social dimensions of their professions. This book will probably make you think twice about some decisions you currently make by reflex. That alone makes it worth reading.” —Tom Adams, IEEE Software

An incredibly useful book

Reviewer: Stuart M Scott from New Jersey (Source: Amazon.com)

This book focuses focuses on an issue of huge importance to software managers: how to respond appropriately to people (clients, bosses, team members) in difficult, emotionally charged situations.

Weinberg uses simple but effective models to explain human behavior, and examples from the software engineering industry to put these models in contexts familiar to software developers. I first read this book several years ago, and as a professional facilitator had immediate opportunities to evaluate my own ability to behave congruently under stress. I quickly found that Weinberg’s models helped me to understand and deal with conflicts more and more effectively.

Today I use the insights gained from this book every day in my work with software development teams, clients, employees, and my own family. As Weinberg has pointed out, one of the main questions in software engineering (and perhaps in life) is Why do people so often do things wrong when they know how to do them right? As this book shows, to do the right thing often requires that in a moment a conflict or confrontation you behave congruently with all points of view, with the needs and fears and personalities of all parties to the issue.

The insights, examples, and tools Weinberg provides here can help you become vastly more effective in working with others. I strongly recommend this book, and the rest of the Quality Software Management set, to people who lead software projects.


” We discovered that the key reason for our lack of competitiveness was poor management-by worldwide, not U.S. standards. We were being wiped out by the Japanese because they were better managers. It wasn’t robotics, or culture, or morning calisthenics and the company songs-it was professional managers who understood their business and paid attention to detail. – Vaughn Beals (1)

In the four decades I’ve spent in the software business, I’ve learned that there are three fundamental abilities you need to do a quality job of managing software engineering:

1. the ability to understand complex situations so you can plan a project and then observe and act so as to keep the project going according to plan, or modify the plan

2. the ability to observe what’s happening and to understand the significance of your observations in terms of effective adaptive actions

3. the ability to act appropriately in difficult interpersonal situations, even though you may be confused, or angry, or so afraid you want to run away and hide.

All three abilities are essential for quality software management, but I didn’t want to write a large, imposing book. Therefore, like any quality manager of software, I decomposed the project into three smaller projects, each one addressing one of these three fundamental abilities. Volume 1, Systems Thinking deals with the first ability-the ability to understand complex situations. Volume 2, First-Order measurement, deals with the ability to observe what’s happening and to understand the significance of your observations. This third volume, Congruent Action will deal with the ability to act appropriately even in the presence of strong feelings.

Now for an apology. Like most software managers, my initial estimate for this total work was optimistic. As a result, I cannot finish what I have to say in this volume, but will require a fourth. In the fourth volume, I will treat the question of organizational change-how you can manage a large organization, using all the tools of the first three volumes, so as to transform your organization into as high a cultural pattern as you wish, but particularly Pattern 4.

In order to understand and improve software engineering management, organizations are going to have to understand and improve the emotional functioning of their software engineering managers. The congruent managers they need must possess the three essential abilities of cybernetic control mechanisms:

* take information about actual and desired performance

* process that information congruently

* act in an appropriate manner

In short, they need managers whose personal effectiveness will tie together all components of effective software engineering management. Somehow managers themselves must take responsibility for upgrading the quality of management. They must recognize that managers are people, too, and just like everyone else, are trying to be helpful. Wherever I’ve seen this kind of upgrading, it’s been individual managers taking responsibility for changing themselves before they try to impose changes on everyone else.

What are you doing to get congruent management in your organization? What are you doing to become a more congruent manager yourself? Some of your personal effectiveness comes from training and experience-feedback from past projects-and some of it comes from your ability to take in what’s happening in the present project. But even more of it comes from your past experience of a more general kind-your experience as a human being functioning in the world.

Some managers do not succeed because they shouldn’t have been chosen as managers in the first place-and likely didn’t even want to be chosen-but their organizations didn’t appreciate that choosing managers for other than managerial potential is a mistake. Some are well-chosen, but nobody appreciates that management is as much dependent on technique as any other profession, and that even the most able managers must be trained.

This volume is devoted to helping those individuals get a fresh start-so they can decide if they really want to be managers, and if so, develop themselves to lead the way to a true profession of software engineering.

1. Vaughn Beals, CEO of the Harley-Davidson Company, explaining to TV interviewers how they saved their company and beat Japanese competition.