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Deconstructing Value Is Just Like Demolition!

Trust is an important component for building effective teams, unfortunately, you can’t buy a bag of trust and like plant fertilizer, sprinkle it on a team. In a special panel discussion aired on SPaMCAST 591, Jeff Dalton reminded us that trust is built; it does not magically appear because we want it to. Many of the Software Process and Measurement Cast and Blog listeners have been thrust into situations where they are suddenly remote and learning to build trust as part of newly remote teams. Sandeep Koorse made an interesting observation in the same podcast that many of us had been lulled in a false sense of trust and intimacy because we have been face-to-face for so long. The implication is that teams don’t invest the time needed to build trust that can withstand shocks like we are now facing. A few simple (no consultants needed) ideas to begin building trust on your suddenly remote team include: (more…)

Listen Now!

The SPaMCAST 591 is a very special podcast.  On the 18th of March, I convened a panel of luminaries to discuss how they were supporting and working with remote teams. I recorded both the audio and video, today I am releasing the audio version.  The panel for this show was  

Jeff Dalton jeff@broadswordsolutions.com 

Amy McDonough Amy.McDonough@spr.com 

Sandeep Koorse Sandeep@koorse.com 

Christopher Hurney    Christopherhurney@gmail.com

And myself! tcagley@tomcagley.com 

We kept the session short but full of practical advice! (more…)

Effective teams exhibit a number of common characteristics.  In an earlier article, we identified four critical attributes.  

  1. Members actively support each other so the team succeeds as a whole.
  2. Teams actively interact and communicate.
  3. The team has a common goal.
  4. How work is performed.

(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…)

Is a root canal collaboration?

We ended Part 1 of our evaluation of activities confused with collaboration with a reminder of logic: all dogs are mammals, but not all mammals are dogs.  All collaborative processes include communication and have a workflow, but, if we flip the equation, not all communication and workflows are collaboration.  Management and meetings are the last two areas of activities in all software development and maintenance organizations (and I do mean ALL) that we will discuss. Collaboration a critical part of delivering quality, in order not to dilute the power at the core of collaboration it is important to clearly understand which behaviors are easy to conflate with collaboration. (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…)

A Panel Discussion - Collaboration?

We recently developed a structure for evaluating whether an activity was collaborative or not.  The four-step evaluation process is important because the same activity is collaborative in one context and overhead in another.  There are four areas of activities in all software development and maintenance organizations (and I do mean ALL) that are sometimes collaboration and sometimes not, but almost always sold as collaboration.  Today we tackle the first two areas. (more…)