Collaboration is not easy. If we start with the premise that collaboration is important, even critical, why does it often fail to emerge or wither on the vine? This is not a rhetorical question. Knowing what can break collaboration is just as important as understanding the prerequisite. Four of the most common ways collaboration gets messed up include:

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The Software Process and Measurement Cast 626 features our interview with Jacob Glenn.  Jacob and I began talking about custom software development and then branched into entrepreneurship and leadership. Finding and enabling people are critical skills for building solutions.  

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Book cover: Tame your Work Flow
Tame your Work Flow

We began our re-read of Tame your Work Flow by Steve Tendon and Daniel Doiron, on Saturday, May 23rd. The world has changed a lot as we worked our way through the book. However, there are important ideas in this book that are far less transitory than the changes we’ve seen in 2020 will be. One of those ideas is finding the constraint in complex, messy workflows. They even add an acronym for this scenario to our alphabet soup vocabulary – PEST. In the messy real-world Steve and Daniel describe how to identify the constraint and then track it as it moves around. This is the difference between understanding flow in theory and doing something about it in practice. I used this approach twice just this week.  Another great and useful idea is the concept of full-kitting. I gauge the value of this kind of book by whether I can use the material and whether it makes me think. I have been able to use these concepts and more in my consulting practice since my first read of the book. The second time through, this re-read, has only deepened my understanding and appreciation of the ideas in TameFlow.

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I recently interviewed several successful technical entrepreneurs. Most have created multiple successful organizations. They have shared several common threads. One of the most basic of those threads is the need for a collaborative culture. Jacob Glenn, President of M Genio (SPaMCAST 626 posting on 17 November 2020) said that he hires people to fit in a collaborative culture. Collaboration is a powerful tool yielding results that include increasing innovation, employee energy, creativity, and productivity. Because the promise is so large, people apply the term to many scenarios where it doesn’t belong. Two of the scenarios that are often confused with collaboration are:

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Play SPaMCAST 625

The Software Process and Measurement Cast 625 features our interview with Drew Angell. Drew and I talk about web development, software development excellence, and how to find great developers. Being good is more than just excellence in coding — listening and problem-solving are also needed which has led Drew to experiment with using GitCommit bounties to get great developers to self-identify.

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Book cover: Tame your Work Flow
Tame your Work Flow

Today we tackle the whole of Part 7 which is Chapter 21 and the Epilogue.  Next week we will complete our re-read of Tame Your Work Flow with concluding remarks.  On November 28th we will kick off our re-read of Great Big Agile.

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Guest Post by Diane Davidson

The future of Finance was already changing from your typical accounting, auditing, and control functions, and that was before the pandemic hit in March.  The mantra of “do more with less” has switched to “do better with less,” which has shifted companies to a lens on cost savings.  As discussed in my first post regarding “What is Finance Transformation?” finance managers are expected to act as future-looking business partners and less point-in-time reporters.  The guidance partner’s role is more critical than ever, with the future holding so much uncertainty and leading to spending freezes.  Many companies have embarked on a finance transformation journey with cost costing as the number one objective.

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Play SPaMCAST 624 Now!

Software Process and Measurement Cast 624 is structured a little differently. We begin with the conclusion of a three-column arc on grateful leadership from Susan Parente’s Not A Scrumdamentalist Column. In this installment, Susan and I discuss how servant leadership, commonly practiced by agilists, can combine with grateful leadership to be even more powerful. 

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Book cover: Tame your Work Flow
Tame your Work Flow

A few logistical comments before we dive into chapter 20.  After this week we have three weeks left in this re-read including our customary debrief. When we decided on Tame your Work Flow we decided on the next two books in the series due to the intense competition, so in four weeks, we will begin Jeff Dalton’s Great Big Agile.  We will only read the part of the book that addresses the Agile Performance Holarchy. This is not a slight to the rest of the book which includes a wide range of tools and techniques that are consumable (I keep a copy close at hand) and do not need further analysis. 

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Fitting The Pieces Together

Getting the work you commit to getting done in an iteration or sprint is not constrained to a conversation about Scrum or Scrumban. Timeboxing is common in almost all work to some extent. For example, the act of a person or a team saying what they will do to meet a need and when it will be done establishes a timebox and an expectation of performance. This expectation of performance is at the very heart of every technique, method, framework, and methodology. This expectation is often violated. Teams that chronically do not complete work they committed to in a sprint the third usual suspects is work hitting roadblocks before being shippable.

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