Summary of Antipatterns

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  • Comprehensive
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Professors Colin J. Neill, Phillip A. Laplante and Joanna F. DeFranco all have a background in software engineering, but they offer a guide that is useful managers in any industry. By detailing standard office management and environmental dysfunctions, which they call “antipatterns,” they illuminate familiar problems, and provide immediate cures and solutions for avoiding those problems in the future. Their textbook layout provides clarity, their language is clever and engaging, and their densely packed information is easy to retain. The authors list 21 management antipatterns and 28 environmental antipatterns, showing the main traits and resulting dysfunction of each one. They provide a case study, a self-test, improvement path and advice on working with someone who manifests each antipattern. Their manual targets IT and software managers, but it offers highly useful reading for executives across many fields. getAbstract recommends their methods and worthy solutions to start-ups, small business owners, HR professionals and managers at all levels.

About the Authors

Colin J. Neill is associate division head of engineering at Pennsylvania State University, where Phillip A. Laplante is a professor of software engineering and a graduate faculty member Joanna F. DeFranco is an assistant professor of software engineering.



“Patterns and Antipatterns”

Most people draw solely on their experience to inform their decisions about current problems. This flawed “pattern-based problem solving” leads managers to make decisions by analogy rather than by thought and calculation. Pattern-based solutions work only in the hands of veteran managers drawing on years of experience. Identifying “antipatterns” instead – dysfunctional management practices and cultural traits that are precursors to failure – is useful because these templates show why some problem-solving approaches work and others don’t. Some antipatterns crop up because one or more members of a management team lack the necessary skills. Other antipatterns emerge from corporate environment and culture. Most office problems “exist in swarms;” in such cases, multiple antipatterns apply.

Personality Types

Personality theories aid in understanding individual motivation and detecting how some people produce conflict in groups. These constructs give managers a language for discussing the difficulties that emerge from management and environmental antipatterns. Helpful assessments include:

  • Myers-Briggs Personality Types – ...

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