Teams


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The SPaMCAST 593 features my interview with Scott Crabtree. Happiness at work might sound squishy, but happiness has rigorous science behind it. Simply put, happiness yields better outcomes both in terms of value delivered and our own perception of our value. (more…)

Teams are more than names on paper!

Teams are to agile as the atom is to classic physics. In our article, “Simple Checklist: Are They A Team?”, we began exploring what makes a bunch of people into a team by establishing seven basic questions that need to be asked about behavior and organization. Once we have established that a group of people are a team, it is important to establish what predicts whether a team will be a good team. In order to avoid my cognitive biases, I asked 10 Scrum Masters, managers of Scrum Masters, successful entrepreneurs and Released Train Engineers; that is, people that are highly skilled at working with teams.  Four categories of attributes that emerged (in descending order) are: (more…)

Teams like cooking is about people.

We use Scrum or any of the team-based agile methods for many reasons. Working as a team with an agile mindset:

  • Provides an understanding of how what we are doing fits into the bigger picture.
  • Furnishes the transparency needed to keep track of work with less overhead.
  • Focuses work on deliverables.
  • Avoids the peril of being interrupt-driven (and its nefarious sibling, multitasking).

(more…)

Caution!

Just blurting out no, no, not on your life, or flying into a rant about the unfairness of a request is not generally a good strategic or safe approach to sorting whether you will do a specific piece of work. Gut feel or seat of the pants answers are rarely career-enhancing, rather answering any question requires preparation and a scalable process. (more…)

Saying no, at least where appropriate, is an important tool to ensure good morale, high productivity and delivering more value.  Just saying “no” is easy, having the statement be safe and make sense requires several prerequisite conditions.   (more…)

Collaboration is no soft toss!

Many people have the idea of the lone innovator or the lone programmer developing solutions based on the wits to the adulation of the business deeply embedded in their subconscious.  These lone wolves don’t collaborate. The picture is wrong. Today’s business environment is fundamentally different. Teams and teams of teams are the problem-solving technique de jour.  Collaboration is an important part of solving business problems in teams. Because collaboration is so important, it is important to consider whether planned meetings, events, and interactions are set up to be collaborative before they occur.  Jonas Bull suggested a modification to the collaboration filter we have been using to evaluate whether an event is collaborative posthumously. Jonas’s suggestions (melded with Stephen Adam’s suggestions) follow below: (more…)

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SPaMCAST 554 features our essay on the misuse of the word ‘collaboration’. Collaboration is a hallmark of agile techniques, but people confuse collaboration with many other forms of interactions. When that happens everyone gets confused and disheartened. In order to stop the cycle, we identify four attributes to help recognize collaboration.

We’ll also hear from Gene Hughson who brings his Form Follows Function Column to the podcast.  In the second part of a three-part series on architects, Gene discusses the role of the solutions architect.  Part One can be found on SPaMCAST 543 – Value Chain, Solution Architects, Essays and Discussions Web Player and Show Notes: http://bit.ly/2L3tLku (more…)

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